Chasing and repousse is an ancient method of shaping metal into contoured forms using hammers and punches to move the metal.
I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with Il Maestro- Fabrizio Aquafresca at In The Studio last October. Fabrizio is a world renowned master having learnt studied the art himself from the age of 13, and producing commissions for an illustrious selection of clients including The Vatican. Il Maestro travels to the UK a couple of times a year to teach so I was delighted to secure a place.
The metal is attached to a block of pitch where the design is pushed into the reverse of the piece using hammers and punches. We practised on copper to begin with before moving onto precious metals!
The next stage is to flip over the piece and add the detail and outlining – this is the “chasing” part. Given my obsession with hares, it was only natural that I would choose to make a tiny silver moongazing hare picture!
After many hours of burning pitch, hammering and other things I will not bore you with the finished piece was ready, plus a bonus piece made for me by Il Maestro! Now I have silver moongazing hare twins!
Since the course I’ve made several more pieces of handmade silver jewellery using this time consuming and skilled technique, but think that the results are definitely worth all the effort !