Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Favorite Techniques: Metalwork Repoussé

Acorn and Oak Leaf Amulet by The Leafylady

Today my guest, Kirsten of The Leafylady, shares the inspiration and skills behind her beautiful sculptural jewelry designs.

Inspirational Beading: What is your all time favorite beading or jewelry technique?

Kirsten: It's hard to decide. I like the techniques of chasing and repoussé the best. I can create life-like relief images from sheet metal, without casting or clay.

Inspirational Beading: How do you first learn to use this technique?

Kirsten: I taught myself when I needed to make some bas-relief faces for a sculptural piece. Later I had the opportunity to watch a Japanese artisan work. I couldn't ask questions because of the language barrier, but I watched attentively and learned enough to progress in the technique.

Bronze Dragonfly Cupboard Pull by The Leafylady

Inspirational Beading: Of all the creations you’ve made with this technique, which one is your favorite?

Kirsten: There are so many favorites. If I had to pick a favorite, I would choose this bronze dragonfly on a leaf. There is a gallery or set of my chasing and repoussé work on Flickr.

Inspirational Beading: Can you share any tips for getting started with this method?

Kirsten: I like the book Chasing & Repoussé by Nancy Megan Corwin. To get started, I'd suggest taking a class. An advanced metalsmith could probably teach his/her self with some tips from a book. A beginner or intermediate metalsmith would benefit from some hands-on instruction.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite material to use it with?

Kirsten: 18k gold is my favorite, but it’s not so affordable. Right now, I enjoy working with sterling silver.

Inspirational Beading: If someone had to choose to learn only one technique, would you recommend this one?

Chased Bronze Heart Pendant by The Leafylady

Kirsten: No, I wouldn't recommend this as the primary technique. It's an advanced technique with specific applications - making images or textures. For a primary technique, I'd recommend that an artist choose to learn forging.

Inspirational Beading: In your opinion, what is the best place for beginners to learn this technique?

Kirsten: At a week long intensive workshop hosted by a craft or jewelry school.

You can see more of Kirsten’s design and get the latest news on The Leafylady’s Facebook page.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Leafylady

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