Chasing metal is defined as The techniques of repoussé and chasing use the plasticity of metal, forming shapes by degrees. There is no loss of metal in the process as it is stretched locally and the surface remains continuous. The process is relatively slow but a maximum of form is achieved, with one continuous surface of sheet metal of essentially the same thickness. Direct contact of the tools used is usually visible in the result, a condition not always apparent in other techniques, where all evidence of the working method is eliminated.
This photo is an elephant from Nepal in 1640. Thank You Rubin Museum! http://rubinmuseum.org/
Pretty cool place to visit if you are in NYC.
Thailand is one of my favorite countries to visit. I suggest you travel there some time yourself, cause yes, the smiles are plenty and genuine, and eat anything from a cart or from a stick. Yum. The other reason I love Thailand are for its' drop dead beautiful temples with art that never stops. On a trip to Chiang Man (now my favorite city), imagine me, a metalsmith, seeing an entire temple made of metal. What Srisuphan or the “Silver Temple” is not actually silver, but aluminum which is raised from large panels by mostly monks, to high relief, of sometimes up to 5 inches high. Quite impressive if you have ever tried this yourself.
Local Artist working on a 6 ft long by 3 ft wide panel.
David Huang is a quiet and gentle soul who discovered chasing and repousse. He lives in Michigan and works out of a small studio he built himself. He creates vessels of raised copper bowls, lined with silver with an interior of 24K gold leaf. I was honored to hold one of these precious objects with both hands and goosebumps tickled my arm. For me, metal has three qualities. It is visual, and when one is good at their profession, it is an eyeful of wonder. Metal is audible and has its own sounds when struck. Metal is tactile, and for me, one of David Huang’s pieces filled with bumps and curves and to hold with your eyes closed is simply luscious.
David states "I don’t think of my vessels as being an expression of my voice alone. Rather I see them as the product of a conversation among the tools, materials, and myself in search of beauty. As my real desire is to achieve a timeless beauty, one individuals from any point in history might connect to, it makes sense to be listening to the voices of simple but timeless tools. The humble hammer is my prime tool. I supply the power and it bends, stretches, compresses, and moves the metal according to the particular shape, weight, and hardness of it’s head. The forming stakes I work upon offer their strength to resist the hammer, and their curves to impart a controlled form. The voices of the hammer and stake are a harmony that work best together.”