If you have the choice, I would recommend getting the bowl in the
Contenti picture that has more steeply curved sides and less of a
flat bottom than the frying pan.
The larger bowl is more versatile, though it will obviously take
more pitch. You’ll need enough metal for the size of the design you
want to chase, plus at least 1/2" or more of a border around the
design. That is to allow you to sink the metal into the pitch and
secure it by making a ridge of pitch around the border of the metal.
You have to have enough space beyond that pitch edge to move your
tools easily as you chase the outside edge of the design.
Another reason for choosing a larger, deeper bowl is that as you
chase and move your punch on the metal, it helps a great deal to be
able to tilt the bowl. You can’t tilt the bowl at much of an angle at
all with a flat bottomed surface.
Chasing and repousse isn’t just about holding a punch perpendicular
to a flat surface embedded in pitch. How you angle the punch makes a
difference in the outlines or depth you create in your piece. For
example, if you are using a wide liner to make a circle as a border
around your design, you will create a different edge by holding the
punch straight up and down or holding the punch at an angle. Imagine
the edge of the liner as a “V”. If you hold it at an angle, you can
channel a line that creates more of a flat edge on the outside of
the circle. This can be a beautiful finish for the outside of the
design. You have to tilt the bowl while you angle the liner punch to
I would also have much greater depth of pitch than 1" - - use 3" if
you can. If you are doing much repousse, 1" of pitch depth is very
limiting. If the repousse is deep, you will need to embed the metal
into the pitch. And the slight resilience of the pitch as you hit it
with your punches is what allows the metal to stretch. You need more
depth than 1" before you hit the plaster of paris.
The 1" pitch depth should be fine if you’re just doing chasing.
I like the red pitch that Allcraft offers; I don’t know who the
other suppliers are.
Marcia Rae Design