Chasing and Repoussé for Jewelry: Sculpting Forms Directly into Metal

Course Description

About this course

Create wonderful little sculptural relieves in metal with a process called chasing and repoussé . This course is an introduction to this technique and how to develop forms in a small scale. It is a direct process where you will be sculpting the metal itself. Using hammers, chasing tools, and metal set into a tar like substance called pitch, students will learn how to create interesting textures, patterns, unusual shapes and realistic images. Learn how to emboss silver and copper metal with finely shaped chasing tools, to develop forms of your own design. Demonstrations will cover how to work with these tools, starting with chasing when you work on the front side of the metal and then repoussé when turn the metal over and you work the back. Students will also learn how to shape chasing tools and personalize those that you can purchased.


Projects are suggested so that you learn the method and explore the possibilities of what can be created. These will enable you to gain control over tools and metal, and create unique pieces that can be made into jewelry.

Meet the Instructor

Linda Kindler-Priest

Artist Statement

My work is small scale sculptures that are based on themes from nature, and meant to be worn. Each piece is a statement or an environment about a living thing. They are developed by combining imagery, textures, shapes, colors and chased surfaces. They are made with precious metals and stone. The imagery that is used is sculpted directly into the metal in an ancient process called repoussee and then cut, fabricated and set with crystals or stones. The meaning of each piece is different, some have a more serious comment to make; excess, pollution or historical messages. The majority are environments that use stone and texture to imply different things.

I have always had a strong interest in animals, insects, birds, fish, or plants. These have been the subject of many of my pieces. I truly started using them with a series that I did of birds. They were mostly the wonderful long legged marsh ones. I captured the grace of their movement walking, or the elegant line of their flight. It was not just the form of the image but that, combined with the shape of the metal, that set the tone of each piece.

There is a wild life sanctuary nearby that inspires me, where there are a variety of birds. My yard is another source of material. I have been known to study insects from my yard, dragonflies, bees, wasp, praying mantis even a giant root borer. In order to understand the form of some of the bugs I do precise renderings. All of them have ended up in a piece of jewelry - including a mosquito, which was of course set with a blood red colored stone. Little animals that scamper about have also been used. A squirrel that was sitting on my doorstep was the model, although not a very cooperative one, for a piece.

For instance, I had been in a show at the Aaron Faber gallery and one of the pieces that I sent was of a frog. It was one of a series of what I call "brooches in 2 parts". The top was an image of a squatting frog. I set in the bottom an irregular green druse crystal formation, implying water both with the shape and the metal. What I was saying is that even though things might look beautiful, frogs are endangered because of the pollution in the water which the uneven surface of the bottom stone implied.

I am currently working on a new series which allows me greater space to create with. The top section generally sets the theme with an image in relief done in gold. The bottom part uses color to further develop the feeling that has already been stated. This is done with the pattern, texture and color of stones. A lot of these I have cut myself to acquire the right size, shape and thickness for the design. The 2 pieces are made to compliment each other, but they can be worn alone as strong individual statements.

The necklace that I designed "Honey Bee Progression" is a statement about bees. It is made up of 6 bees, that are in different positions between flight and landing, and honeycomb. I carved and cast the comb so that there was a subtlety of form and shape, then set little honey colored diamonds throughout the open sections. Even the clasp on the back was made in a hexagonal shape and set with another honey colored diamond to complete the piece.

...I strive to create a harmony between the image, stones and metal in my work, and a balance between material and statement.

- Linda Kindler Priest

Materials & Tools 

There is a $15 materials fee, which is payable upon registration. It includes copper and tool steel for fabricating chasing tools. Additional copper will be available for sale as necessary.

Please note: Students are required to have their own pitch pot filled with Red German Pitch for this class. If you already have one, please bring it with you to the workshop. If you do not have one, resources are listed below. Please contact us if you would like assistance. We're happy to help.

Students should bring 
  • Pitch and pitch bowl:
    • Round pitch bowl and stand (different shape is OK if you already have one but a round bottom with rubber stand is ideal for achieving the correct angle while working). These can be found from distributors including Rio Grande, Contenti, AllCraft, and Otto Frei.
    • 2 kilos of Red Pitch - Make sure you get Red German Pitch OR Red California Medium Pitch (these can also be found from the distributors above)
    • Note: Otto Frei sells convenient kits that include a pitch bowl and 2 kilos of Red German Pitch - 8" pitch bowl w/ pitch and 5" pitch bowl with pitch
    • Bowls should be filled before class but if you have questions or would like assistance, please let us know. Watch an instructional video on You Tube



  • Chasing hammer (if you have one, although Metalwerx will have several on hand for use during class) - Click here to see one from Contenti. Allcraft also carries a nice one for around $15.
  • Chasing tools (if you have them, although Metalwerx will have them on hand for use during class) Be sure to label them so they aren't mixed up with the school's!
  • Files & sanding sticks
  • Safety glasses
  • If you wish to work in silver, please bring your own. We suggest 23 gauge sterling silver. You can purchase 22 gauge, and use our rolling mill to thin it out.



Materials Cost



Linda Kindler-Priest


September 14 -16, 2018


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


3 days

Basic and above
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