Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco presents: Chased + Repoussé, an exhibition shown in conjunction with the release of the recent publication, Chasing and Repoussé, Methods Ancient and Modern, by Nancy Megan Corwin.
This exhibition includes work from twenty-one contemporary artists who share a passion for these ancient metalworking techniques, many of whom have work included in Corwin’s book. The twenty-one artists reflect a range from traditional roots to modern approaches to the practice of chasing and repoussé. Dating back to antiquity, the technique has been used to add embellishment on armour, large scale sculpture, and gold and silver jewelry. The Statue of Liberty was formed from a sheet of copper using chasing and repoussé, as was the mummy mask of King Tutankhamen.
« Chasing and repoussé are methods of metalworking in which the metal is embossed from both front and back, creating a three-dimensional form from a two-dimensional sheet. Repoussé is a French word meaning « to push up or forward. » It refers to a family of techniques that form sheet metal. Repoussé can be thought of as focusing on the creation of volume, while chasing is work done to the front such as planishing, lining, matting, and making crisp edges on forms that were raised from behind.
The techniques of chasing and repoussé are traditionally used to add detail to the surface of a piece of hollowware or jewelry. Sheet metal, hollow-formed metal, flatware, and sculptures can all be chased (textured and refined from the front with steel tools called chasing tools and using a chasing hammer), and worked from the back with soft-faced steel tools (repoussé).
The work is held steady in a material called pitch (wood-based resin combined with wax and plaster), and hammered with fine steel tools. Pitch can be held in a heavy metal bowl, spread on a piece of wood or poured into the hollowware piece that is being chased. The versatility of this material is what gives chasing its sculptural and detail possibilities. Contemporary metalsmiths continue to apply these techniques in both traditional and non-traditional ways. What makes these techniques contemporary is the freedom that many artists experience in terms of content and aesthetic. »
Candace Beardslee, Jessica Benzaquen, Davide Bigazzi, Kate Case, Yuyen Chang, Nancy Megan Corwin, Christina Gebhard, Catherine Gilbertson, Catherine Grisez, Komelia Hongja Okim, David Huang, Cheri Lewis, Keith Lewis, Charles Lewton Brain, Jackeline Martinez, Joe Meunch, Liza Nechamkin, Miel-Margarita Paredes, Linda Kindler Priest, Suzanne Pugh, Greg Wilbur.
Catherine Clark Gilbertson ‘Spiral’ earring
Keith Lewis ‘Descent’ brooch – silver, gold, limoges & basse-taille enamel (back)
Linda Kindler Priest- brooch ‘dreams of the Big Cheese’ gold,citine slice, orange saphires
Nancy Megan Corwin ‘White and Black’ brooch
Yuyen Chang brooch – orifice series- silver
BOOK : « Chasing and Repoussé, Methods Ancient and Modern« , by Nancy Megan Corwin.