Brent Berry Arts

Repoussé

HOW IT'S DONE - IN THICKER METAL  -  22 gauge to 14 gauge Thick

3 different examples of Copper repousse using pitch.  

 Repoussé Pitch has been made from many different mixtures since ancient times.  When it's hot, it's soft like putty, you place the front side of the metal into the hot pitch, which is usually in a strong container or cast-iron bowl.  As the pitch cools, it becomes hard but still malleable and soft enough to allow the metal to be formed into it when it is struck with a hammer or a tool.  The design is then embossed by hammering shapes into the back side of the metal.  When the embossing is done, the pitch is removed by heating it again.  The front side is cleaned and then additional tool work and engraving can be done to the design.  Some pieces require repeatedly working the metal from both sides in pitch.

These are only simple designs but they showthe basic steps of repoussé work.



Practicing metal embossing with a simple Norse knotwork symbol

Sketch design
 


 
After heat, acid, and oxidization with chemical bluing
Using tools with copper in the pitch

Front side after embossing

Slightly cleaned to achieve an ancient looking patina


Thor's Hammer, variation 1


Working the backside
Ready to work the front side

Working the backside again

Adding texture to the background with a hammer only
Embossing finished




Scrubbing the surface with volcanic  pumic pumice and water

After heating once more to get a uniform surface
Clean surface after scrubbing and acid treatment


Using chemical bluing and water to tarnish the surface
After tarnishing
Lightly polished in order to get a nice patina


Thor's Hammer, variation 2

First strokes

Adding shapes using metal tools, stamps, punches

 
Backside after embossing work

Smoothing surfaces of the work area

Adding more shapes to the design

Front side after embossing work


repousse--work-steps
 Thor's Hammer Copper Disc after heat, acid and tarnishing treatment


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