Repoussé is a very ancient technique. Skilled craftsman from the early Etruscans onward have made incredible objects using this process.
Repoussé is the direct forming of metal to create sculptural reliefs. Here, you actively work the metal to create forms and images. This is done with the use finely shaped tools and a specialty hammer called a chasing hammer. The metal is held in a substance called pitch which allows you to develop the image by hammering into it with use of these tools. Forming on the back side, repoussé, is the beginning. Working on the front side is called chasing, and it begins the refining process. This back and forth procedure goes on until the image is complete. It takes a long time develop the form, starting with a very roughed out shape, then slowly capturing motion, detail and feeling.
The end result is a piece of metal that has been transformed from a cold machine-milled surface to a sculpture that has texture, form and personality, where every millimeter has been worked and reworked.
The manipulation of metal, the ability to move and control it, has captivated repoussé artist Linda Kindler Priest for many years. “I have sculpted in gold and silver all sorts of wonderful birds, bugs, beasts, fish and flowers.”