Chasing + Repoussé on Book : alternative to chaser's resin
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
The Sharing spirit😇
It’s December again and it’s the month that makes me feel more sharing and giving.
In the past month I was invited to an online conference of contemporary jewellery held in Mexico (4º Congreso Internacional de Joyería Platynos) to give a presentation about my current project “The World Within”. It was such an honourable opportunity and also a challenge for me, as it takes so much effort for me to be articulate what I want to express in front of people. However, I did it and it gave me so much experience and confidence which I’m so grateful for. (Thank you so much again for the lovely organizers and people at Platynos and to whoever attended the conference!!!💓💓)
In the conference I explained about some of the techniques that I often apply in the collection and one of them was “chasing and repoussé on book”, which caught a great deal of attention from the audience. Therefore, here today, I would like to share a little tutorial in case you have missed the conference and also with more details, tips and photos.
Typical student thing...👩🎓 💸
The reason why I happened to explore this technique was simply I was a student without much budget for my creation at that time. I loved chasing and repoussé but I wasn’t sure if I should purchase the resin and chasing pitch bowl because there were more other materials that I was interested to try out. Another big reason was that it was during the beginning of pandemic and I couldn’t get access to some facilities since the school workshop was closed. The only place I could continue working on my final year project was my little simple workshop at home with limited tools.
One day my teacher, Carmen, advised me “why don’t you try it on a book?
Me: Ok, but I have practiced chasing in your class just once. I’m not sure if I do it right.
Teacher: No worries, just do it as you like!
(I love her for free-ranging me to explore🐓)
So, I did it in my way. I did some research and watched some tutorials on YouTube.
Eventually I’m happy with the result and I definitely recommend whoever is interested giving it a go. However, it has its pros and cons depending on the finish you want to achieve – book would be better than resin and vice versa.
Chasing and Repoussé on Book
- Economical option what you need is a book, painter's tape and steel block apart from chasing tools.
- Less fuss and mess (no need to manipulate the resin ex. heating up, cooling down, breaking it to take off the piece. The metal sheet is taped down on a book, so when you finish giving volume to the piece, simply you just need to peel the tape off.)
- Difficult to achieve a deep, voluminous piece. As an example, the piece I made is approx. 6mm in depth.
- Needs power strokes Books are not yet as soft as chasing resin and it doesn't adopt its form to the shape of the metal, so you will have to give full swing strong strokes to create a volume)
These cons might be improved if you try books with different types of paper and thickness, everything is about experimenting. I used one of my books that is relatively thick enough and soft, and of course the one that already has finished its role as a book.
What you need is a book, chasing chisels, chasing hammer and masking tape (painter’s tape), steel block and torch.
I made all the chisels out of steel bars using files (you’d better prepare ones for steel only) and sanding papers. You can find many free tutorials online. (Thank you, internet💓)
Also, for the book, I chose a softcover book with approx. 2 cm thickness. I assume that a thick book with softer paper would work well because we are looking for something similar to the hardness of resin.
The metal sheet I used was brass with 0.6mm thickness.
Different shapes and size of chasing chisels
Steps are pretty much the same as when you use resin.
1. Trace the outline on a steel block (This is going to be the front side of the piece.)
3. Tape the metal sheet facing down (you are seeing the back side of the sheet) down on a book. Start giving volume using the tracing mark as a guide. It might take a bit of time to start obtaining the volume.
5. Place the metal sheet facing front side up and trace the outline to define the border and the shape.
6. Repeat until you achieve the volume you desire.
Here is another piece I made with this method. Depth is approx. 6mm.
Again, it’s all about the experiment so I think depending on what kind of book you use the result could be different. If I had another opportunity to make a piece with this technique, I would love to try different one such as Japanese comic magazine, which they use soft recycled paper and it’s quite thick.
After I finish making a chased piece, I like to make a mould with pouring silicone out of it for my acrylic resin pieces to make the most of it and play around.
Please leave a comment if you have any question about this technique or to share some other alternative to chaser’s resin!
Thank you and happy holidays!🌼