I left nursing 14 years ago to embark on a journey of self expression and vision and though I see the world a little differently than some, it has (as still is) a exciting jouney.
At the age of 8, my mother taught me this traditional art form that has been pass down thoughout generations. Though I did not do anything until my youngest daughter, many years later, needed an aution item. I resurrected the “old copper work” and created my first piece. I discovered an new way to express all the wonderful crazy thoughts into something that was beautiful.
I was not until years later that I found out that the technique I was doing was traditional call repousse and chasing. I work with copper of various thicknesses from 36 gauge (very thin) to 20 gauge and have created items as small as 2” x 3” to as large as 5 ft x 9 ft
Each picture is started as a flat piece of metal and is hand-worked only by myself. Each one is considered an original
Each picture I create is skillful & painstakingly accomplished with the use of small hand-held chisels (liners) that are used to create an outline of the design into metal so it can be seen on the back.
Once the line design is completed, I manipulate the copper by pushing it from the back, into either a type of soft material, sandbag or pitch. In this way the copper is moved towards the front thus creating the 3-dimensional aspect of the piece. The front must also be worked to enhance the various details. This is the chasing.
After I am satisfied with it, the picture is completely darkened and then hand buffed, allowing me to bring out different highlights and create the shadows that will play across the picture. If I feel that more accents are needed, I use items that I have made to adorn it, such as hot glass shaped and formed into leaves, polished amethyst and other semi-precious stones, tourch work, and foiling or hand painting limited areas.
The metal is unforgiving, every mark made on it will be seen; therefore, though each step is meticulous and time consuming, though equally rewarding when done.