Friday, December 20, 2013

Chasing & Repousse with Valentin Yotkov

In October, Valentin Yotkov came to Spruill Arts Center for a one-week chasing and repousse workshop.  Just about all of us in the class had taken one of his classes previously, so were able to work on the second project, which is considered a more intermediate level.  

For anyone just beginning to do chasing/repousse, or anyone interested in the process, I'll give a brief synopsis of our week below.

We began by transferring the design via tracing paper onto our piece of copper and then beginning the lining process, working from the outside and moving inwards.  

 Now we move to the inside and line the entire piece, making sure we are pounding hard enough that the design will appear on the opposite side of the piece when turned over.

Once the piece was completely lined, we flipped it over and began to repousse...

...until we had completely finished with the entire design.  One goal was to vary the depths of the design in the proper places.  Another was to use the correct tool for the part of the design we were working on, which can be a little confusing at times.

Then we flipped it back over and did all of the finishing touches (the outside braid, the flattening of the rectangles of the cross, re-lining where needed, adding texture to the background, etc).

At this point it's important to not anneal the piece because you want it to be hard and strong, so it's best to remove it from the pitch with a heat gun and then clean off any excess pitch with the heat gun and/or acetone.

Everyone's pieces came out great!  I'm pretty sure we were all quite pleased with ourselves.  Valentin is an excellent teacher and was as gracious as always, helping us along every step of the way.  A GREAT week!