Simple Repousse Heart (Great for Beginners)

This piece is VERY easy and does not take long to complete.  One or two days is all you need.  The design is simple and there is not much detail to worry about, so I think it's a perfect beginners piece just to get you started on the mechanics of doing chasing and repousse.  I wanted to begin getting back to using my chasing hammer and tools with something that wouldn't cause my shoulder pain to return.

This is the basic design I came up with.  It's a large heart with a smaller heart above and 5 leaves extending out from the top.  I actually drew the design on the other side of what you see below, laid it on the hot pitch (after covering with chapstick for easy removal) and begin repousse work.  Once I felt I'd done as much as I could, I removed the piece from the pitch pot by heating with the heat gun, pulling off with tweezers and quickly wiping off the leftover pitch.  Then I turned it over to define the forms on a steel block by edging around all the shapes.  Then I put it back on the pitch (again with chapstick), and defined the shapes further.  Unfortunately,  I did burst through the metal a couple of times when I was defining the leaves, which I later had to fill with some silver solder.  It happens sometimes, and I try not to beat myself up too hard.  I simply repair the crack when I'm completely finished forming the piece.  The sterling silver is 22 gauge. The next one I make will be 20 gauge, so I'll have less chance of breaking through with the thicker silver.

Then I removed it again from the pitch, annealed, and added some texture around the heart.

Now it's time to get out the jeweler's saw and cut the design out of the sterling silver.

Once I finished sawing the shape out and filing the edges, I went over the entire piece with white diamond polish followed by the red buffing compound.  Then I formed a chain from some sterling silver oval shapes I'd made earlier, silver beads and garnets.



Sterling Silver or Copper (I suggest 20 gauge)
A Pitch Pot filled with pitch
A chasing hammer
Repousse Tools
Steel Block
Jeweler's Saw
Tracing Paper
Buffing compounds


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