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Repousse...and cuff bracelets

Hi there Aurora,
If your reply is directed towards me, then thanks but thats not what im asking about.
Repousse is great if youve only hand tools, but if you didnt know, I do relief work in sterling like coin proof results with equipment like 250 ton coining presses etc…
However I made all my own hand punches, some 50 off, many yrs ago when I was decorating cuff bracelets with individual customers interests. for example a fisherman would have a pictogram, from left to right of the sky, then the water then the fish then him and more like birds and trees etc .
However in 1987 I took over a jewellery factory which uses production techniques , dies etc which are very costly , but that opens the door to making products the bench worker cant. It means I an get the results I need in seconds instead of days!!.
that means it has been a very busy time since then with more work than I can manage single handed!.
Ill wait to see if anyone else has the answers to my 2 questions before I write to Victoria.
Repousse designs on holloware like Paul De Lamarie our most famous silversmith here in the UK were done AFTER making the main shape of the vessel.

Actually my reply was not directed at you Ted, I was replying to Julie who wrote “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 did copy that bit of text and leave it in my reply so everyone would know what I was responding to however the forum software strips it all out now which leave me wondering half the time what someones reply was addressing.

Your accomplishments are commendable to be sure!


so, I figured I would add these links to this post

Saign Charlestein’s chasing tools

his tutorials on Youtube (which got me started on wanting to learn in the first place)

and Victoria Lansfords chasing tools (at @Rio Grande!)



I just got a repy to a question, from Victoria Lansford’s peoples, regarding her DVD and E-Book…they anticipate releasing a video download version of the DVD, in about a month or so…so that you can watch it on the computer!

I asked if @RioGrande would be adding it to their website, as they already sell the tools and DVD…I hope so! (hint, hint @RioGrande)



I visited Ventin Yoktov’s website, and found this! about making a cuff bracelet! excellent!

(I looked for the Lapidary Journal issue where he was featured, but alas, I could not find it either!)


(oh my! I committed a spelling error above! and now unable to edit, so…)

should be: Valentin Yotkov (not Ventin)


When I started out trying to learn repousse I used every resource I could find just to get the idea. I took a silversmith course at our local JC and we did a bit of it in class. I had no tools, no pitch pot, no sandbag, so I started out using a bag of shot my husband had laying around. Actually works pretty good! If he ever decides to load some shotgun shells I’m out of luck. As far as tools, lucky me my husband is a blacksmith and helps me out by either making my tools or modifying things I get at the hardware store. Although I am not a professional, I have won a few blue ribbons at our local fair for consecutive years with some of my metal work. You can read all the books you want but the best way is to get out your hammer and go for it!

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Chasing and Repousse is one of my most enjoyable metal arts techniques. I have recently taken a three day cuff bracelet workshop from Davide Bigazzi in Menlo Park, California. I was so enthralled with his method of teaching that I followed Davide to Florence, Italy for a week long workshop at his family home and studio there. I can recommend these workshops without hesitation. You can find his website and further information at

I do have them Ted.

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? 24 gauge and 20 - 26 gauge copper
  2. Does she tell if she does the high relief repusse flat then bend up after? She begins flat yes, as the metal is worked it begins to curve and then you support it with pitch and work in the round. She says its not impossible to work flat, that to achieve the deep relief you work in the round. The page Julie posted he’s working in 22k gold which of course is far more pliable than sterling. As I mentioned before she is an excellent instructor, covers every possible question one might have. Her DVDs - I have 3 or 4 of them now are worth every cent!
    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.

Hope that helps, Aurora

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“I have recently taken a three day cuff bracelet workshop from Davide Bigazzi in Menlo Park, California”

Wow! How lucky are you! Several years ago I wanted to go take a workshop from Davide, it didn’t work out for me (I’m east coast and too many family responsibilities) and I’ve been hoping he would make a DVD one day :slight_smile:

Hi @Helene1,

how wonderul that you were able to go to Italy as well!


Hi Aurora!

Thanks so much for posting that information! Very helpful!


Hi @Betty2

Thank you for enlightening me! I did not know the specifics about BrynMorgen, but I visited the website and realized how many of their books I already have!

These are the two still on my wish list

(I cannot believe I do not yet have this one in my library!)
The Theory & Practice of Goldsmithing
by Prof. Dr. Erhard Brepohl

(my friend INSISTS that I get this one!)
Jewelry Illustration
By Dominique Audette



I was looking up the melting temp for pitch, and came across this article written by Brian Meek @alberic (what does alberic mean?) which has a cornucopia of information (as writings by alberic usually do!

thank you @alberic


To the OP:

I was sort of in your boat with the chasing tools… however, not really into repousse with a pitch pot; I wanted to fill parts with pitch (or not), use the tools in conjunction with a sand bag on specific parts of pieces, etc.

I found Yunke tools (Germany) on Etsy and I believe they are on Amazon and other sites, including their own site. I got the 12-piece basic set and liked them so much that I also got the texturing tools. These are high-quality and perfectly finished. The 12-piece could make a great, affordable starter set (without sacrificing quality) that could help you decide if you want to get into making your own, more specific shapes.

I ordered and got them in two days. They must ship out from somewhere here in the US.

The Etsy link:


I follow @RioGrande on YouTube, and noticed that a new video was added today.

It was on Victoria Lansford demonstrating her unique and different Eastern Repousse Tool set.

This was great to see because I am considering purchasing her tools from @RioGrande (where I get all my tools…I love tools!)

…and she gives an especially GREAT TIP! on how she gets such fabulous high relief!

watch the below video to hear what it is!


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Hi Aurora,
thanks for your info on metal thickness.
I have now had a reply from Valentin to say the mermaid cuff in 22ct was made from .8mm gold sheet, in case anyone else wants to know.
So have the info I was interested in.
I have deep drawn with male/ female steel dies down to 15,000th in without splitting in sterling and bronze., and also minted it high relief up to 4mm thick.
You do need tho, lots of tonnage for that thickness.
Sadly, not really a Ganoksin bench jewellers technique. If one wants to go down this thickness road then one needs to get the kit to do so. I was lucky to see it being done so wanted to do that as well. Lost wax casting wont give the sharpness of coin proof minting.
You may guess I love tools as well.!! The challenge being to get it to work without spending a fortune and to invent products that arnt done by anyone else.#
Then it works money wise.

Hi Julie,
as an afterthought to my last post, i looked at Victoria,s video, sweet, but uneconomic. Too time consuming in my honest opinion therefore not commercially viable.
It was post 1880 that the Birmingham jewelley quarter gave up repousse by hand and moved on to tool steel die working the same designs with fly presses and drop stamps… The quarter museum where I was asked to restore all their Victorian machinery to working order ,has hundreds of lovely dies , that I got to play with. Lucky me!
. Hasnt anyone tried to use the hammer headed hand piece that goes on ones flexi drive? with different heads? Hi Brian? another product for your knew concepts?
To me it would seem obvious to do it that way for no other reason than it would cut production time
from days to at most a couple of hours.
For example men who dig up tarmac dont use picks anymore they use pneumatic hammers.
your time is too valuable to take ages to make something, when you can get here in the UK at least 10$ an hour stacking shelves in supermarkets. Not that you would do so, but time is money and if your trying to earn a proper living from this game you have to be commercial, otherwise its just a hobby.
For what its worth.

Hi Ted,

"oh to have been a fly on the wall during that period of time!"
sometimes I just search “Birmingham silver” and have a look!

and yes, the first time I saw dies being used as props in a jewelry store, I did not know what they were, but was fascinated by them…! imagine huge production collections of them makes my heart race! ha ha!

…remember that blog post by @alberic showing that ghostly, frozen, warehouse filled with giant machines and presses…frozen to the flooring…impressed in my mind…I forget the link…

also, to my thinking, there are many reasons to pursue things…the business of generation income, pleasure, challenge, necessity, quest to learn something new, creative curiosity…or!.. a combination of these things…or something else!

…me…I have a desire to “feel” this technique of moving the metal…I don’t really have anything specific in mind to make, other than a cuff bracelet…something high relief…I am curious about this technique!

…although, and funny you should mention, I also was JUST thinking about “what if” i had proper tips for using my hammer handpiece of GRS engraver, to do chasing and repousse!,

I have been making inquiries and have learned that it is possible to use 18gg/ 1.0mm sterling silver, in medium pitch, to chase and repousse a high relief cuff bracelet.


“Hasnt anyone tried to use the hammer headed hand piece that goes on ones flexi drive? with different heads?”

Ooh! I have those - five or 6 piece set of hammer heads from Foredom and a hammer hand piece! It never occurred to me to try even though I’ve been playing with an air impact hammer/compressor on larger pieces!
I will have to modify the sharp edges on the hammer pieces first.