Repousee w/Mold -- Tools?

Am in the process of trying to reproduce a rather large (14" x 10")
brass repousee plate dating from the 18th century. I have produced
a plastic steel (Devcon) negative (concave) mold of the plate, and
would like to try hammering .005 brass into it. I have little
experience with repousee, and none at all using a mold in this way.
In order to ensure picking up fine details, what would those with
experience suggest as a tool? Something tipped with neoprene,
perhaps, to force the metal into the finer grooves?

Any/all advice gratefully accepted.


I have produced a plastic steel (Devcon) negative (concave) mold of
the plate,

Why not have the mould heavily electroplated in your chosen metal
then strip the resulting positive from the mould and fill the back
with some sort of gunk?

Al Heywood

TCP, Are you sure that the design is not actually produced by both
chasing and reposee. Usually the fine details are chased into the
surface. David

I don’t think that the brass will be the easiest metal to start with
if you have never done repousee before. It can be springy. If you use
it, be sure to let it air cool after annealing. Copper or silver
would be my choice of metal. Repousee is usually done using special
punches and chasing hammers. These hammers have a broad face and a
springy handle. You shouldn’t have to hammer hard if the metal is
properly annealed. The punches can be bought or made from tool steel.
The ends are shaped to push the metal in specific ways. There are
very narrow ones to line with and broader ones to fill in with. It’s
ok to start with a hammer if you have broad areas, deep areas or
both. Marcia Lewis published a book about chasing. You would benefit
from reading it.

Would this be a better project to cast?

Marilyn Smith