I often use drawings and images to create a great starting base for doing chasing and repousse. For adding my designs to metal, I use the carbon paper transfer method. This technique is an oldie but a goodie as it is low tech.
Desired design on printer paper or tracing paper
Carbon transfer paper
Sharpie (red is best)
Sheet metal (copper, brass, silver, gold)
To start, prep your metal by annealing and cleaning it with scotch bright and/or acetone. Make sure there is no finger grease on the metal. It helps to tape your design to the worktable so it won't slide around. Next, slide the sheet metal underneath and line up the metal with the design. Place the carbon paper between the metal and the design. Remember to make sure the carbon is paper is face down onto the metal. Use a sharp, hard pencil (No. 2 is great) and trace your design while pressing firmly down onto the paper. Try to rub the pencil into the design for a good transfer. After tracing the design, the carbon should show up on the surface of the metal.
It is important to go over the carbon design on the metal with something more permanent, such as a sharpie. Red sharpie is best; the ink does not rub off as easily with finger grease while you work.
Now your metal is ready for chasing and repousse! Happy Hammering!
Learn more about Avery Lucas and her upcoming Chasing and Repousse workshop here!