Friday, April 25, 2008

Studies in repousse and chasing

I have been drawn to the processes of repousse and chasing since I began metalsmithing in the ‘70s. I still have my first pitch bowl with the black pitch that I found difficult to work with. I attempted a few pieces and had minimal success. I still have the uncompleted sterling design that sat in the pitch bowl for years after. I juried and was accepted to study and work at the Visual Arts Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Deborah Nore introduced me to the pitch from Northwest Pitchworks. Years later I attended a free workshop on the Japanese technique of uchidashi held at the University of Arizona and taught by Eleanor Moty. Eleanor taught me the subtleties of moving the metal that has allowed me to push my exploration of metals elasticity.

I had the good fortune of being asked to make several sets of Japanese uchidashi tools for one of many workshops that Eleanor Moty has taught at the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Center under the fabulous guidance of Jeanne Jerousek- McAninch. It is through Jeanne’s efforts that the center is one of the best places to take workshop taught by some of the nation’s best metalsmiths and artists. The tool making exercise was one of the most valuable teaching tools I have experienced. I continue to pass on these tool making skills to my students whenever the interest arises.

The following examples were created over the last several years and I continue to make tools and hone my skills in this seductive technique.
Gingko leaves modeled in a 4x4”18 gauge copper sheet.

The beetle is approximately 1.5” long. Repousse and chasing in 18 gauge copper.



Becky James said...

Dear Fred,
I'm Becky James from the UK and am just about to embark on a new adventure into the art of reposse- as a total beginner!! I am at the 'where do I start stage?' doing a bit of research and have just stumbled over your blog. I must say I feel very humbled by your work, having seen a lot over the last few days sat here... I found the beetle and gingko pictures extremely inspirational and wanted to let you know. I think somewhere, lying dormant in me, is a metal crafter waiting to burst forth!!

Fred Zweig said...

Hi Becky,

I am pleased that my work inspires. Glad to hear that you are plunging into repousse. You will find much more to inspire you in the UK museums.


Anonymous said...

Wow I love your beetle and how you polished the shell! Your work is great. I always enjoy trying to copy other works and your beetle is one for me to try.

Fred Zweig said...

Hi David,

So pleased that you find it inspirational.


Alan Ness, Architect, Ten Directions Design said...

Hello Fred,
Our Buddhist group in Seattle is looking for an offering bowl, and we wanted to contact you about your copper lotus bowl.
Thank you,
-Alan Ness

Fred Zweig said...

Hi Alan,

I have emailed you and would be delighted to create a lotus bowl for your group.