Materials & Techniques

Repoussé and Chasing

Repoussé is the process of decorating with a blunt tool by raising the surface of the metal from the back, leaving the ornament in relief. Sheet metal can be punched, scored, scratched, formed, or hammered against a yielding surface. Chasing is similar, but is done from the front of the sheet. On fairly soft metal sheets such as gold-alloy, a design could be produced with a number of materials — bone, hardwood, metal, and stone.

Adapted from

  • Kevin Tucker, DMA unpublished material, Gallery text.

  • Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, with contributions from Anne R. Bromberg and John Dennis, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art, (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 21.

Web Resources

  • Khan Academy
    Watch a short video that demonstrates the creation of an ancient Roman silver cup, including the processes of repoussé, chasing, and lost-wax casting.

  • YouTube
    Watch an artisan create artwork using chasing and repoussé methods.