Chasing copper

I spent a lot of time annealing and hammering this little copper bowl copper over a steel stake to give it the concave form. Susie was teaching me the techniques chasing and repoussé.

Repoussé is when the metal is shaped by hammering from the reverse side. Working on the front of the piece only is called chasing. The two are used together to create a finished piece.

The metal must be annealed before you work with it. Susie can hear it when metal has become too cold immediately (it sounds brittle) but I am still learning. And annealing takes time, because you have to wait until the metal becomes cool enough to touch. So sometimes I am a little impatient and I burn my fingers on the hot copper. A nice tip from Susie was to hold my earlobe between my burnt fingers. It takes the burn away because your earlobes are cold. 

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