Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today's Vintage Jewelry Word - Repoussé

Todays vintage jewelry word is repoussé (prounounced ray poose ay). The term is used when a piece of jewelry is made with a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is detailed or shaped by hammering from the reverse side of the metal.

None of the metal is lost in the process, since the metal is basically stretched, so the surface of the metals remains continuous. The is a slow process, since everything has to be hammered individually. Once the hammering is finished, the metal is polished up on the front and this produces a three-dimensional bas-relief surface.

Repousse' designs were very popular during the Art Nouveau period. The terms repoussé and chasing are sometimes confused, justifiably so. In both techniques, the metal is designed by hammering. However, in Repousse' the hammering is done from behind, and in chasing, the design is formed from the top with special metal punches.

Here are some examples of repoussé designs:

All of these pieces are available on my Vintage Jewelry Lane website. Just click the pictures to go to those listings or type in repousse in the search box to find all the styles that are available.

No comments:

Post a Comment