Chasing and repousse lining tools

I would like to introduce you to the lining tool first as this is the tool you will most likely be using to start with.

I was very inspired by the work of Victoria Lansford

If you have not seen her awesome work please follow the link or just Google her name. Her very raised style appealed to my love of three dimensional sculptural objects, her work really did, and still does blow me away. Her tool profiles made me re think the way I approached the craft of chasing and repousse. She has very progressive and innovative modern approaches whilst still being mindful of past masters. Looking at her signature lining tools shows the versatility and ease of use, especially for a beginner. I made my own versions shown on the left. In the next picture I hope I can convey the advantages I feel this tool has over the traditional style shown on the right.

In the second picture you can see that as the flats of the lining tool extend further up and end in a waist, this creates a natural ledge for your third finger to rest upon. This helps you to feel the direction of the tool, also helped by the removal of more material making the line of sight to the line being chased more visible. Whichever style you use the anchoring of your little finger against the work helps to make the tool more stable as it is struck making deviation from the line less likely. You could perhaps modify a screwdriver to create your own version of the Lansford design if you wished to see which style you prefer.

By angling the lining tool slightly backwards you can describe an arc. However if the turn is  a very tight radius curved liners are preferred as shown. These tools are made to the size required as you need them, both the radius and thickness, just like all liners as you chance upon challenges met by new designs forcing you to adapt using existing tools or make a new one.

The final picture shows ‘special liners’ I made for specific projects. The first tool, number 1,  I used for a bowl to raise the design above the surrounding area. I did this by using this as a liner, pushing the surrounding material down and creating a ‘wall’ of the design border. Number 2 and 3 show a similar effect but the surrounding material was made to taper towards the design border rather than the abrupt stop of number 1.

The last two I used to make the lines rounded by pushing the tool in towards the raised design. The half circle in the punch forced the material to conform to this shape as the punch was struck giving me a kind of beaded effect.

I hope this is helping and look forward to your comments. Next time I will show a Chasing and Repousse hammer, also showing some other types of punches.

Welcome to this silversmithing and jewellery blog


Thank you for visiting, with luck you may find something of use here to enable you to advance in our chosen craft. Inspired to start a blog by looking at others, only to find that few in this field either exist, or keep up to date. For sure, many more will contribute as time goes, hopefully this is a place that, perhaps, you may still reference back to from time to time.

The attached PDF is to introduce myself, showing what I display with some of my work to inform potential customers browsing in a shop or gallery.

I made a commitment to keep this blog going for a year to see if I could contribute something of interest, or perhaps some examples of work missing that people, such as yourself, may like to see more of, even ask questions perhaps.

Over the coming weeks and months, some personal content as well as more craft specific topics will be presented. It is a hope that you will feel more inclined to interact if you know a little more about me and my approaches to solving the many and varied challenges presented when attempting to ‘communicate’ in an unfamiliar, three dimensional craft.

My outlook mirrors my approach to making. I started out on this path as an escape from everyday, negative, workplace experiences taking the decision that I wanted to be a craftsman first and foremost, hoping the making money equation would work itself out afterwards. This is not a very smart approach for a person who wishes to make a living in a short time. Practice takes away earning potential, a fair profit can be made making very simple things, what is it that drives you? I have no desire to appeal to everyone. A low boredom threshold and a fear of being a ‘success’ making things that become tedious, too profitable to stop making due to high demand and very low margins, making volume necessary to the exclusion of new ideas, directions and adventures. The methods I choose, and time it takes to create makes many of my pieces unsuitable for mass production, they are as unique as you are as a result. I may have to swallow the reality of the market and compromise, wait and see eh.

Later on I will introduce you to Chasing and Repousse, some forging, and a particular favourite, sinking and hand raising of vessels. I will give examples of raising, making and finishing stakes, as well as tool making to enable you to realise your own beautiful results.

For the ones among you who are poor at communicating your ideas on paper, we are kindred spirits. I am constantly practicing my art skills, when I post a picture you will understand that I am no natural talant. However I am continually striving to improve. I mention it here as it has been a real hinderance in an educational setting. The work I have made is in spite of not being a natural, so now you can go for it as well, safe in this example that you do not neccessarly need to be great with a pencil or brush to make good quality work in metal.

Please do not think this a celebration of ignorance, I have to work harder as a result and I am pushing harder to be better. I mention it here only to give some encouragement to someone who thinks they are handicapped and unnable have one without the other, please just go for it.

It is my belief that through a disciplined and structured approach to the craft, truly awesome results can and do happen. It is my sincere hope that you are able to experience something of the feelings I get when I have completed a piece that may have taken many hours, both in conception and completion to make. I still get such a thrill as I turn the completed work in my hand all the while giggling to myself thinking, I did that. Truly a fantastic, life enhancing feeling that is yours for the taking if you spend the time realising your ideas in glorious three dimensional creations.

You know you want to, you can and will, just apply yourself. I look forward to sharing with you.

Very best wishes.