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Red Pitch

For those of you who are not familiar with chasing and repousse,
there are a couple of excellent sites which will help describe the
process and/or show some amazing examples.

Pitch is not an adhesive, but more an organic support which holds the
metal securely while working. Pitch is strong enough to take the
hammer blows, but yielding enough to give life and “activate” your

The black pitch which is sold commercially is mostly comprised of
black tar which contains lots of petroleum. Northwest Pitchworks (317
Roland St., Bellingham Washington, USA 98226 ,Tel: 360 715-177) is an
excellent source for pitch. It is tan in color and contains real pine
pitch and other addititives. I am not going to claim here that I know
all about pitch recipes. During a workshop of Valentins, he suggested
that I use the Red German pitch. After using the gross black stuff
at Mass Art, the Red Pitch is a joy to work with.

For the red pitch, there is a particular protocol to melt it into
your black pitch bowl. This should be posted on my website in a
couple of days. I’ll let you know when it is there.

I can say with all honesty, that if you are interested in chasing and
repousse, don’t go out and purchase the ready made tools from the
popular jewelry catalogs. They are made by people who don’t do this
for a living. I used a dapping punch for years and a couple of other
tools and made some very respectable pieces. After taking one of
Valentine’s classes, I purchased the tools he makes and has for sale
on his website. This was the difference from driving a car made by a
person who never drove or saw an automobile in their life, to getting
behind the wheel of a car made by a person who drove every single day
and was also an expert mechanic. My chasing tools glide on the metal
now and my designs come to life.

Karen Christians
10 Walnut St.
Woburn, MA 01801
Fax: 781/937-3955
Accredited Jewelry Instruction