Reviews: Chasing & Repoussé

Hephaistos magazine

Few techniques in metal forming are as versatile as chasing and repousse. Typically the two techniques are used in combination, with bold forming blows from the back and more delicate refining blows on the front. Nearly all metals can be worked with these methods, from finely worked jewelry to monumental sculptures.

Nancy Megan Corwin combines tools, materials, fundamental techniques, background knowledge and much more in the nine chapters in her English-language encyclopedic work "Chasing and Repousse." Though these are ancient techniques, they are being used by contemporary artists to create a language the author describes as "filled with humor, drama, and power." The truth of her statement is demonstrated throughout the book with many examples that enrich this outstanding textbook.

Numerous color photographs of the processes described support the text and facilitate understanding each single step. The author is a teacher as well as a practicing artist whose work is represented in private collections, in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum in the U.S. and the Victorian and Albert Museum in London.

Lapidary Journal, Jewelry Artist
December 2009 by Helen Driggs, Managing Editor

This is a treasure trove of information about chasing and repousse -- one of the most underrated, yet versatile, accessible, and immediate metalworking technique there is. With minimal equipment, thousand of fantastic forms, designs, and textures are available to an artist with noting more than a sheet of metal, some punches, a hammer, and a pitch pot.

In nine chapters, author Nancy Megan Corwin discusses materials, tools, studio setups, pitch and its uses, technique basics and beyond. Full color photography illustrates examples of artists' works and step by step techniques, which are also accompanied with drawings and diagrams for clearer understanding. I particularly appreciated the appendix on tool making, plus the encyclopedia of example of Japanese chasing tools, how to make them, and what they are called. Very helpful is the photograph of an actual strip of tempered steel which accurately illustrates the important color change of the tool steel for proper tempering when making punches in the studio. Also covered are techniques for creating hollowforms for readers who are ready to move toward advanced techniques.

Inspiring artist profiles and a generous gallery of works show the broad range of possibilities of chasing and repousse. With the exception of a few typographic errors, I found this book to be perfectly inspiring -- so much so that after I browsed through it the first time, I pulled out my pitch pot and returned to a technique I hadn't thought of in years. It was a joy.

Art Jewelry Magazine
March 2010

The latest book from Brynmorgen Press is a true treasure, packed with valuable instruction from a highly respected and incredibly knowledgeable source, and overflowing with image that are sure to keep you turning pages with delight. Nancy Megan Corwin is a master of both her metals craft and of teaching; there's enough here to introduce beginners yet satisfy advanced students. The photography throughout is consistently superb, from the clearly understandable gallery images that provide inspiration. The only drawback to Chasing and Repousse' is the time you'll spend trying to decide whether this book should live in your workroom or on your coffee table.