Vast majority of our work is created using a technique called repoussage. What it is exactly?
Repoussage (also known as chasing or embossing) is an antique sheet metal forming technique, in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by manually hammering to create a design in low relief. Proficiency in this technique provides large range of possibilities in the creation of custom products and ornaments out of copper or zinc sheets. Repoussage is so precise that it is applied even in the process of producing custom made jewellery.
The repoussage technique allows to create any product out of copper and zinc - in most cases bowls, flowers, ornaments, trays, inscriptions, signs, roof spikes, weather vanes, banners, vanes, spires, gargoyles and masks. Although, the range the possibilities offered by repoussage is much broader - it also allows to create both minute jewelry ornaments, as well as a several meters long monumental statues. The most impressive example of a large-size repoussage is the Statue of Liberty in New York, made of patinated sheet copper.
Repoussage often presents a good alternative in the creation of individual or non-serial metal sheet products - their cost often happens to be several times lower than the one manufactured using the CNC technology, in which only the development of a mould can cost tens of thousands zlotys.
How in practise the process of repoussage look like?
A metal sheet with a drawn pattern is placed on a special “soft anvil” (for example a bag of sand or a bowl of chasers pitch) and then hammered and forged using various tipped steel bars, called punches. As a result a concave relief is created, which is also finished at its convex side.
While creating a low relief becomes art, which with a little perseverance can be mastered after a relatively short time at the basic level, hammering a high relief requires a great deal of skills and years of experience - inadequate planning of hit points will eventually lead to excessive constriction of the material, which after further forging will inevitably brake.
Improperly chosen punches can cause deformation of the material texture, and the surface, which should be smooth and flat becomes rough and wavy. Advanced repoussage requires planning and pre-determined strategy, which are impossible to obtain without the proper, several-years of experience.