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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bewitched by Pitch

Gia has been teaching at Spruill, so I have been able to continue learning Repousse/Chasing, which I am truly loving. It has taken me a few starts and stops to get to this point. My first exposure to Repousse/Chasing was in a four-day workshop with Valentin Yotkov a few years ago (brought here by the Georgia Goldsmith's Group). I thoroughly enjoyed learning this new technique, but the class lasted only four days, and I wasn't quite sure what to do on my own after it ended. A couple of years later Victoria Lansford taught a class and I learned a few new techniques I had not learned from Valentin. But not until I started working with Gia did it all begin to come together. Gia is a true master and makes it all look easy, which, of course, it is not. Here he is showing us one of his own "works in progress."

I recently began an experimental design on copper for a cuff bracelet. I then transferred the same design (with a few modifications) onto sterling silver and am working on it presently. Doing a model in copper beforehand is extremely helpful. The mistakes are made in the copper, not in the silver. The one error I made on this copper piece was taking the design too far to the ends of the cuff, which I have corrected in the silver piece.

We often begin our designs on a "hard or medium" ROMA Plastilina before placing the metal in the pitch, but if there is not a lot of height desired on the design, using only pitch is completely acceptable. Here's is Gia's example of a project he's been teaching the beginning students, this one done totally on red pitch.

This is the design the entire class is working on.   Here we have Gia's example:

This is my final design, which I sawed out of the copper when finished.