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Repousse...and cuff bracelets


I am curious as to how repousse cuff bracelets are made, in terms of are they repoussed flat, and then formed into a cuff?..or, are they formed into a cuff, and then repousse’d…? or some blend of the two…?

I am fascinated by repousse and am planning to order Victoria Lansford’s tools and book and dive in and start learning the basics, but was just very curious about that…


Hello again,

I should have mentioned that I was referring to the Eastern high relief style in relation to wide cuff bracelets.

such as by Victoria Lansford, and seen on her website:


I don’t know much about her style of repousse. But you can support a high relief area with a pinch of pitch while you are still working flat.

When flat is impossible, such as when working on a bowl, David Huang fills the bowl with microcrystalline wax. I cannot get enough of David Huang. :heart_eyes:

Before you buy tools, have a look at these tools:

and these:


Meg Corwin’s book on chasing and repousse shows a bracelet being worked on.
Lapidary Journal had an issue showing a gold bracelet being created by
Valentin Yotkov (?) and a student, but unfortunately I must have thrown out
the issue in an (unusual) fit of cleaning. Maybe someone has that old issue
and can send the details.

And yes, David Huang is a wonderful artist.


Thank you both!

I will definitely look for Meg Corwin’s book as well.

(for anyone who has Victoria Lansford’s book, would you tell me if there is instruction on this type of high relief bracelet in it?)

(and! if anyone has any comments on which is better…the book…or the DVD?..before I purchase…)


If you scroll down Bill Dawsons home page, you’ll see a fixture he made for working on a coronet. It is not exactly like pages 110 to 114 that Corwin devotes to your cuff question in her excellent book, but it reminds me of her overall idea that other supportive materials can be used, such as wood and plastic in combination with and without pitch, pitch pot and sandbag.

I have not seen Lansford’s technique, book or video, but one way to decide between them is by looking at their work.

Hi Betty,

I just went to Bill’s website per your link, but do not seem to see this fixture…only punches…?

I will definitely get both artists teachings, but was just wondering regarding Victoria Lansford, if the book and the DVD covered the same content…?


You are looking at his tool page.

This is his home page:

Hi Betty!

Thank you for straightening me out!

Also, I think I am confused and Victoria has a DVD but no book…?


It looks like she makes videos and ebooks.

Not speaking about Lansford here, but I struggled with two other less expensive repousse books that went in the garbage can. The thing that initially put me off of Corwin’s book was my lack of interest in Die Forming.

Corwin’s book turned out to be a delightful surprise. It’s concept is broad enough to interest almost everyone and it has excellent instructions. The Die Forming information is much better than I expected, although it does not inspire me to use a hydraulic press, I’m not sure anything could move me in that direction.

Hi Julie,
With all due respect to Lansford (beautiful work!) and the others with repousse and tool websites, before I’d spend $15 to $25 on simple punches, I’d investigate making a set of my own.Virtually any nail set or punch or piece of high carbon tool steel, including blank drill rod and old cold chisels, can be used to make punches and repousse tools. I have a couple of pounds of various pieces gleaned from the assorted tool bins of pawn shops which will be used too make various punches when I get “a round tuit.” You can file or grind hardened tools for the liners if you like, without even annealing them. Or you might prefer/need to anneal, then file, then sand, polish, harden and temper. You can copy Lansford’s shapes and dimensions or construct purpose made shapes and sizes you want.

Sets of “vintage” chasing tools sell on ebay regularly for about $100 a set, so there must be a lot of folks who don’t want to make their own, but I don’t see it when ten minutes of work will produce most of them. Just another two cents…

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That’s why I like the tool websites I shared, because they show the punch details, which helps give us a bit of information about how to shape the punches we make.

You probably already know that making your own punch is the handmade ideal, in that you will not be able to make them as perfectly as the professionals; therefore, your work will reflect the uniqueness of the punch you made because no one will have one exactly like it.

Victoria Lansford does give workshops in Eastern high-relief repousse, and she’s a terrific teacher - I took Russian filigree from her. I know she is teaching a limited number of workshops this year, but perhaps something is still available.

Hi Roy,

Yes, you and Betty are right, I should make some of my own punches. I am afraid that I would get all caught up in tool making… and not make them “correctly” at that…

I love tools!..perhaps I will buy a few to start, and then go from there…

I found the book by Nancy Megan Corwin on Amazon… for same day delivery! so I got it.


i hope I bought the right one (187 pages) as there were a few other offerings at much higher prices…but they did not specify number of pages,soooo,



Julie, Victoria Lansford’s information is an excellent place to begin. Her DVD’s are very basic and she knows how to present so you’ll understand how to start. The next thing you need is Corwin’s book, it’s the best. It’s very clear, you’ll enjoy learning from her. Although David Huang is a very accomplished artist, he is very different and very complicated. He’s not teaching beginning. He is also into vases and not so much into bracelets or jewelry. He has a 100% different approach using wax for his base for Chasing and Repousse. Valentin won’t teach or show you a bracelet unless you come to his studio in New York or New Jersey and it’s not for beginners. He is very advanced in his teaching. He teaches beginning, but it won’t be a piece you can use as jewelry. It will be a small beginners piece of Copper teaching you how to use the tools. Stay on track and don’t get off on these side lines that are being suggested. It is a very expensive time consuming hobby. Going off into several directions can cause you high unneeded expenses. You will have fun and find it very satisfying.

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No worries, this book is not too advanced for you. You bought the correct version. Here’s it is on the publisher’s website:

You probably know that BrynMorgen Press publishes books for metalsmiths.

@Betty2, ok, great! thank you! I just received the book…same day delivery!..what a wonder!


@Antiquitiez, thank you for your detailed reply! On impulse, I purchased Corwin (for same day delivery!) and just received it. I will get Victoria Lansfords DVD/ e-book as well. Then I think I will get some pitch, and a few tools to start…perhaps make my own…two liners, two embossers, two planishers, perhaps…although, I think I would be best off buying a few to start…I might just end up spending days researching the best tool steel and quenching oil, then spending days researching the best way to make and harden the punches (properly)…then spend days “practicing” making them …and then segueing into days of hammer and tool polishing frenzy, and months could pass me by! ha ha!

although i do believe that learning the art of making my own tools is something I should definitely invest time in, sooooo…

…hmmm I shall meditate on all that!..I think I shall go off and read my new book now!

p.s. thank you everyone!


If you have Victoria’s book/dvd, id be interested in the following.
For her cuff bracelets,

  1. Does she state what thickness silver she starts with?
  2. Does she tell if she does the high relief repusse flat then bend up after?
    or does she do it after bending the cuff round?
    As my experience of bending such high relief in 1mm or less silver is it will distort at best or at worst collapse the relief.
    Not that repousse interests me to the point of making a product to sell.
    Tho I pull high relief using dies in 15,000 tho in silver in one strike… How its done is a stampers kept skill. I had to prove I was worthy of the knowhow before it was disclosed to me!!

Victoria Lansfords DVDs show you step by step how to make your own punches from inexpensive Hex Key sets, how to modify, grind and polish them and then how to use them! She is very thorough, and very gracious in helping if you should need to write to her.