An introduction to chasing and repoussé in copper with Bryony Knox

Silversmithing

Ref: SLW11791

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About this course

Learn the ancient art of chasing and repoussé – where metal is formed and embossed using small steel tools, whilst held in pine pitch resin. Chase a flat plaque and a bowl and make your own chasing tools.

Course Description

On this course you will learn and hone the different chasing and repoussé techniques such as lining, repoussé, matting, planishing etc. You will make a plaque or brooch, have made at least one chasing/repoussé tool and chased a copper bowl.

You will develop and work out designs for the plaque or brooch and the copper bowl projects and turn sketches into chasing designs. You will become confident using pitch, learn its qualities and uses and how to remove it from metal. You will gain the skills to set up your own pitch bowl and be able to continue using this technique at home.

First evening: Introduction to chasing and repoussé – there will be examples made by the tutor and images by other makers showing how versatile the technique can be. The tutor will give an overview of the course and the main techniques you will be using. There will be time for a quick chat about design ideas for both pieces so you have time to think about your ideas before the following day.

Day 1: Discuss design ideas for a figurative plaque or brooch. You will start putting your pre-prepared design onto tracing paper, before transferring the design onto copper and set into pitch bowls. The tutor will demonstrate techniques and you will begin by outlining your design, before starting to chase. Once the front side of the piece is lined, then you will work on the reverse with repoussé and doming punches to create volume.

Day 2: You will spend the day honing skills learnt earlier. Working on the front of the piece, adding detail and manipulating shapes created and finish the plaque.

You will learn to make own liner tool through grinding, filing, polishing and hardening/tempering the metal.

You will then start on your design for the copper bowl. The tutor will also give demonstrations on chasing in the round on copper/ silver bowls.

Day 3: There will be opportunity to make further tools. The tutor will demonstrate forging of repoussé tools and you will continue and finish the copper bowl and tool making.

(During the evenings you can continue chasing in the workshop without the tutor but no machines can be used i.e. grinders or hot air guns whilst tutor is not there.)

By the end of the course, you will have completed a chased flat piece (10 x 10 cm), made 1-3 chasing/repoussé tools and chased a small copper bowl using various chasing and repoussé techniques.

Timetable

Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

Included

  • Copper sheet 0.9mm thick is provided in the cost of the course, but if you are interested in chasing in silver then please bring 0.9mm thick silver sheet or purchase from the College Shop.
  • Spun copper bowl
  • Tooled steel blanks to make 3 chasing tools.
  • Pitch bowls and tools are provided to use on the course.

What students need to bring

  • No need to bring any tools or materials, if you already have chasing tools then bring them to use if you wish.
  • An apron
  • Something to tie your hair back with, if it is long
  • Enclosed toe footwear (essential)
  • Designs: if you get the chance to think about designs before the course, then this gives you more time for making on the day. The tutor tends to work with figurative imagery, such as animals, birds and plants, but abstract pattern and shape also work well. Start by looking for a simple line drawing of your idea, and then it can be made more elaborate as you chase. Please bring photocopies or sketches. The tutor will provide tracing paper and help to adapt them to chasing designs.
  • Scale of design:
  • For flat piece – approx. 10 x 10 cm.
  • For bowl – approx. 7 cm high and 20 cm circumference - you can adapt designs to different size and shapes of copper bowls on the course.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • 0.9mm silver sheet.
Please note: Recommended bullion suppliers: Argex Ltd, Metalor Ltd, Exchange Findings Ltd, Bloomsteins. Cookson Precious Metals Ltd. Some bullion suppliers have minimum order levels (e.g. £25). Ask for your requirements to be checked against this before placing an order. Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.

Tutors

Bryony Knox

For the past 20 years Bryony Knox has worked in many scales and metals - specialising in  Chasing and Repousse. She teaches master classes from her studio in Edinburgh as well as a visiting Lecturer. Bryony trained at Glasgow School of Art and past commissions include objects for J K Rowling & HRH Princess Anne.

Accommodation

Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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