Repoussé

This month’s blog topic is the on the art of Repoussé.

Repoussé is an ancient skill used in metal craft to create beautiful images in malleable metals. The term Repoussé is derived from the French word pousser, “to push forward.”  The techniques of Repoussé are found worldwide from ancient times, such as the gold mummy mask of Tutankhamun,  to today, as demonstrated in the Statue of Liberty.

The repoussé design is created by raising the image from the back using special hammers and chasing fine details from the front.    Bas-relief (low relief) repoussé is often confused with a mass production process of “rolling” or “stamping” designs into metal with special forming machines. This kind of imprinting a design into metal does not typically result in the fine detail associated with genuine repoussé, and doesn’t allow for cost-effective intricate one-off custom designs.

Texas Lightsmith artisans are skilled in this venerable process to create unique one of a kind functional art products. Watch the video for inspiration on how to incorporate repoussé into your Texas Lightsmith project.

Discover Nickel Silver / German Nickel For Your Project

Sample Comparison Texas Lightsmith

Initially developed in the East, nickel silver, commonly referred to as German nickel, was being produced sometime in the 16th century in Western Europe and was in regular use by the 18th century. Used for jewelry primarily, nickel silver found its way into coins, musical instruments, model railroad tracks, and items to be electroplated with silver, among others. At Texas Lightsmith, we have been using nickel silver for over 20 years in the production of range hoods, sinks, and countertops.

Nickel silver is a very tough material due to its nickel content. It is much less prone to denting and scratching than zinc or pewter as well as being less reactive. Thus, for items such as countertops, sinks, backsplashes, and range hoods, it is a superior material.

Nickel silver is an alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel. In appearance, it has a subtle warm silver color naturally that is very apparent when contrasted to stainless steel, pure zinc, or pewter. This alloy will oxidize, though not as readily as copper and other copper alloys and can achieve a lovely range of patinas including a range of graphite greys to black and even some degree of verdigris.

At Texas Lightsmith we use solid nickel silver instead of a copper plated with nickel silver to give your artisan projects superior durability to last for years to come.

 

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