Backing for chased piece

Does anyone know what backing to use for a chased piece in thin
(22ga.) copper? A fine Portland cement (tile adhesive) seems to stick
to work-oxidized (uncleaned) copper. Will this last? I would love to
find a good book on chasing/repousse…

Richard Bynum

I would love to find a good book on chasing/repousse…

Look for “Chasing: Ancient metalworking technique with modern applications” by Marcia Lewis. I checked and it’s out of
print but I’m sure you can find a copy through one of the out-of-print
or used book search engines.



With all of the discussions of repousse and chasing… and pitch
formulas here is what I do:

2 -8 oz cans of (traditional black pitch) red is great too. vegetable
shortening (the cheapest can at the grocery is fine)

I use an old frying pan (skillet) from the second hand shop to melt
it into on my electric stove with the windows open… low heat does
NOT cause smoking … so patience is essential to NOT create

I just turn the metal pitch cans up on edge and set the stove to
medium low… then even lower as the pitch begins to move…

After the pitch is out of the cans I mix in 3-4 cups of the vegetable
shortening… yes this is a lot… I want it to be thoroughly

I go for a spongy pitch… it is what works best for my work…

after I have the vegetable shortening mixed in I get my plaster of
paris and start blending it in… start out with 5 cups…
still on very low heat here too…

the plaster of paris works magic… allowing me to get a really neat
always spongy surface to work…

the only way to get it exact that I have found it to pour the mix
into my chasing bowl and let it cool… try it… if it is still
too loose… back to the frying pan and adding more p-o-p

when the consistency is just what I want… I dust the top with fresh
P-O-P… I have very few times when the pitch sticks to my work even
when really moving lots of metal! and if the pitch does stick it
balls up with little effort when I rub it making it very easy to
clean up… of course if some does stick heating the piece WITH
EXCELLENT ventilation removes the rest.

Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it… :>)

All the best in all things


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