Chasing and repousse book recommendation?

I have a birthday coming up soon and my family has started to ask me
if I have anything in mind that I would like as gifts. I would love
to have a book on chasing and repousse yet all of the ones that I’ve
seen online when I’ve searched are “out of print, limited

Can anyone recommend any such book that is still in print and that
is suitable for a beginner - I would like one that goes into some
detail about the punches but it is not absolutely necessary for that
part to be covered. It would also be good if it goes into detail
about preparing the pitch.

Thanks for any suggestions!

RR Jackson

Metal Techniques for Craftsmen by Oppi Untracht. A new edition is
available on Amazon.

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.

Metal Techniques for Craftsmen: A Basic Manual for Craftsmen on the Methods of Forming and Decorating Metals

By Oppi Untracht

Price: $53.55

Media: Hardcover
Release data: November, 2001

Jewelry: Concepts And Technology by Oppi Untracht has a good,
comprehensive chapter on it.


Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Forget the book and get your family to “pitch in” (pun intended) and
send you to a workshop with Valentin Yotkov!


Dear RR Jackson, Try “Chasing: Ancient metalworking technique with modern applications” by Marcia Lewis



I can’t recommend a book on chasing and repousse but I can recommend
a class. Take one of Valentin Yutkov’s classes and you will learn
more than you ever expected.

Jennifer Friedman
Ventura, CA

“Moving Metal” Adolph Steenes

“Chasing metal” by Marcia Lewis

details, sample pages, sources etc are at the website.


Check out It’s Marcia Lewis’ web site. She has a
book available and if you have an opportunity she’s a gifted

As for the punches: Alexander Weygers “The Making of Tools” might be

Kevin Kelly

Don’t waste your money on any Chasing and Repoussee books that might
be out there. If you have more than a passing interest,a workshop
with Valentin Yotkov is money incredibly well spent. If you can
afford the tools that he makes you will have the Rolls Royce, and at
the very least using his tools in the class will give the best point
of reference for those you can make for yourseld. A patient and kind
teacher of his craft, there is none better. I am taking my second
workshop with Valentin this Fall in Florence, Italy and will send a
report once my feet touch the ground once more…

Thanks for all the replies to this topic. Firstly, I would like to
say - I would love to take a workshop with Valentin Yutkov but I live
in Australia and could neither afford nor justify the expense of the

I am still hoping to get a book and the one by Marcia Lewis looks
good to me however, where it is listed it is also listed as being
currently unavailable.

Chasing: Ancient metalworking technique with modern applications

I think I heard that a new edition of this book is meant to be
coming out - does anyone know anything about this? When it will be

And finally - I am hoping to make some punches… unfortunately my
studio is not suitable for the processes of annealing and tempering
the steel as will be necessary - the building is old/heritage listed
and full of old, dried out timber - the facilities manager is very
vigilant about fire risks and I have a lot of restrictions on my
torch - the size, the floor surface under it etc but, there is also a
heat sensor in the roof and if it detects a certain level of heat in
the room the fire alarm will be set off and the fire brigade
automatically called. So, I would not even attempt these procedures
in my studio. This leaves me to do the process at home in my
backyard… and I am wondering about options to heat the steel to a
high enough temperature to anneal and then later to temper it.

At a medieval festival I saw blacksmithing being done using a bbq
tripod full of red hot embers and a hand held bellows pump. When the
smith needed to heat a piece of steel he laid it on the bed of embers
and his assistant pumped air through the coals until the steel itself
glowed red hot and was workable. Would it be possible and controlled
enough to emulate this process to make punches at home? I was
thinking a small air compressor should do in place of the bellows
pump. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? (Please keep in mind I’d
rather leave my torch in the studio. My studio is located in the
middle of a bustling city - it is a big hastle to get a car in there
and find a park just to take equipment to and from my studio - I
catch public transport otherwise.)

RR Jackson

unfortunately my studio is not suitable for the processes of
annealing and tempering the steel as will be necessary -and I am
wondering about options >to heat the steel to a high enough
temperature to anneal and then later to temper it. 

hey freak style - I did all the tempering of my punches that I made
outside on my back verandah using just my LPG torch a couple of fire
bricks and a tin of dirty oil ( dirty 'cause it is thicker therefore
works more slowly than clean oil). Made a bit of smoke, this is
something I don’t think you are going to be able to do inside. This
was over 10 yrs ago, punches still fine.

p.s. It is possible to outsource to a toolmaking place for kiln
tempering., cheers, Christine in Sth Aus

Did anyone suggest the book “Moving Metal” by Adolphe Steines to
you? Judy Berger translated and published it in English. I’ve found
it to be the best book overall for the topic. You should be able to
find a current source by googling the title. It is definitely in
print. Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll look up the recent
advertisement in The Hammer’s Blow. There is also a very short article
by Pijanowskis in the 1991 Jewelry Metalwork 1991 Survey, edited by David
LaPlantz, the absolute best 3 pages on the Japanese style of chasing
I’ve ever read. This book is definitely no longer in print, but you
may be able to find someone with a copy who will xerox it for you. If
you could only find one bit of info on the process, I’d go to these
short 3 pages first.

I do quite a bit of chasing & repousse on steel and non-ferrous
metals. I’ve got some recent pictures posted a few entries back on and older stuff here

You can grind your chasing tools from W1 tool steel and then harden
& temper with an atmospheric acetylene or oxy-acetylene (or propane)
torch. You don’t need to forge or do anything that will catch the
building on fire. If you’re involved with the blacksmiths’ group in
Australia, there should be plenty of people who can run you through
that process, with or without forging.

Good luck. Email me if you can’t find the book or article that I
mentioned, is best to reach me for metalworking

Kirsten Skiles

I understand Valentin Yotkov is in the process of writing a book on
chasing and Repousse. Not sure when it will be out, but I know will
be worth waiting for.


I would not even attempt these procedures in my studio. This leaves
me to do the process at home in my backyard... and I am wondering
about options to heat the steel to a high enough temperature to
anneal and then later to temper it. 

If you can solder in your studio, you can temper your steel tools.
It really doesn’t take all that much heat. You could possibly do it
on a gas burner, though I haven’t tried it. Just heat the tip of the
steel to red hot and let it cool slowly to anneal. A pretty minor
procedure. After shaping, polish it up, then heat it slowly just
until the very tip begins to turn brown-- by the time you get the
torch away, it will probably be a tiny bit blue at the end. Quench
it instantly, and you’re all set.


RR Jackson,

Marcia Lewis has a website that lists dealers who sell her book. You
can find it at:

Steve Brixner

Greetings everyone,

I heard about the recent discussion on chasing and repousse. It is
fantastic to see that more and more people are anxious to learn
these beautiful techniques.

At our studio, we receive requests for workshops from people around
the world. Up to date, we have been contacted by students and
professional metalsmiths from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England,
France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland.

We are in the process of scheduling workshops abroad so that more
people can learn chasing and repousse without having to spend a lot
on travel to the United States.

If you have any pertaining to a school, Art Center,
Metalsmiths Association, or private studio in your country that
maybe interested in hosting a workshop, please contact me. I kindly
ask that you forward this message to anyone who may be interested in
attending a chasing and repousse workshop close to home.

Best regards,

Valentin Yotkov
Valentin Yotkov Studio
Artisan Member of Society of American Silversmiths
68 Jay Street, Studio 501A
Brooklyn, New York, 11201

Hi Noel,

I don’t know if the orchid digest mis printed your advice on
tempering chasing tools, but you seem to have missed out the steel
hardening section. Tempering is a process of softening the steel tip
down after hardening.

Here is my method

  1. anneal the steel to a cherry red and let cool slowly on the

  2. form, or shape the tool, then clean it up and polish it

  3. re harden the tool by annealing the working tip to cherry red and
    quenching immediately in oil or water.

  4. re emery paper the tool and polish it so that you can see the
    temper colours easy

  5. use a small flame just below the tip of the tool and heat until
    the colors appear, heat gently until your required temper colour hits
    the tip, then quench quickly to hold that temper, then a final

I hope you don’t mind me adding a bit to your advice Noel.

Best regards James
James Miller FIPG in the UK

This procedure is not going to produce a useable tool. Anneal the
tool–heat till red and cool slowly–shape the tool and polish the
shaped end–heat the tool till red and quench in water-- tool is now
hardened and may crack if used–clean the steel bright down one
side–heat with torch in the center of the length–watch for color
flow-- when the shaped end is a light straw color quench in water.
If the end is purple or blue you have annealed the tool to soft and
must start over.

your right i thought i had included the hardening step. sorry.

Hi James, Noel,

Here is my method 1) anneal the steel to a cherry red and let cool
slowly on the firebrick 2) form, or shape the tool, then clean it up
and polish it.... 

Just a note that if you buy W1 water hardening tool steel (drill
rod, either square or round, W1 is also called silver steel in
England and Australia) then it is dead soft, already annealed when it
is delivered. This means you do not need to anneal it before forming
or shaping the tool. In fact, heating and annealing (and air cooling
too fast) may end up harder than it was delivered…