Repousse is the technique of creating a design from the underside of the metal by hammering to form a raised design on the front of the metal. The literal definition in French is “to push back”.

Chasing is the technique of defining the design on the front of the metal.

The same tools are used for both chasing and repousse but the “tiny” tools are used for the detail work on the front (chasing) side.

Ovals, squares, curves, lines, rounds, textured…

Using the correct tool is important but it all starts with correct hand position.

Preparing the TAR to receive and hold the metal is messy and stinky. PITCH can also be used in a pitch bowl. Pitch is available in red, green, and black each having different heat retention properties but tar is excellent for retaining the heat needed for chasing & repousse and is essential for snarling. Tar is also very dangerous and all safety precautions must be taken prior to and during use.

Snarling is the technique

used to make goblets, bowls, vases

using chasing and repousse.

First the snarling tool is made to access the interior of the object…in this case a fine silver goblet. Rebar is filed down on both ends. One end round and one end more pointed. Then the rebar is heated, clamped into a vise, gently pulled down while heating and striking with a hammer (blacksmithing) to create a 90 degree angle. Then the other end is bent in the opposite direction. This tool is then placed in a vise and the opposite end is used to “repousse” the inside via the reverberation from striking it with a hammer close to the vise. It is a 2 person job for beginners and there is a definite learning curve but with practice can be done solo.

Filling with tar

Cooling in ice (lots of ice)

Ready for chasing

Heating from the bottom to remove the tar

Lifted off tar ball and heat applied all over

Burning off the remaining tar (in the dark so you can see the glow of the fine silver and “hopefully” not melt the silver)

Finishing touches…

looking for holes using a light bulb

(yes – you will have holes to solder, chasing is so much fun…you will go too far)

soldering the stem to the base

soldering the stem to the goblet

purifying the inside with lemon and baking soda

and yes, the final test…DRINKING!

For more information please see the link below to the instructor I was privileged to study under…