New Repousse’ Piece

by bethwicker on May 5, 2011

One semester ended, another is getting ready to begin, so I had a bit of a break to jump in the studio and work on some more repousse’.  I love repousse’!  Moving the metal into three dimensions, creating shape and form and texture, seeing something flat come to life – what could be more fun than that????

This week’s piece was a dogwood blossom with leaves.  I originally meant it to be a brooch, but somewhere along the line decided it would work better as a pendant.

It is solid sterling silver, and is about 4 1/2″ long.  I use Northwestern Pitchworks pitch, and an industrial hot air gun and a traditional pitch pot.

I work on one side, heat, clean, anneal, then work on the other side… and back again… and again… and again.  I started with a thicker gauge on this one than I often use, and I’m really pleased with the way it held up to the repousse’ and the depth I was able to get.  I suspect I could have pushed it farther, but I got impatient 😉

The fine silver came up beautifully as I worked it, and I decided to try and keep that as part of the finish.

I had originally picked out a nice sapphire to go in the middle of the blossom, but after I had soldered in the prong setting realized the sapphire I had picked out was my daughter’s – woops!  So I had to go through my stones to find something else the right size that would still look good.  Fortunately I had this very nice Mystic Topaz, just the right size, and I think it works well with the white silver look.

I used the 3M bristles on my flex shaft to give some texture to the leaves, and help set them apart from the blossom.  I was worried about marring the finish on the blossom as I set the topaz, and got the bright idea to use some painter’s tape to completely cover the blossom.  Worked beautifully, and since it is designed to remove easily it came right off afterwards with no problem.

I’m very pleased with how this turned out.

dogwood blossom in solid sterling silver with Mystic Topaz

dogwood blossom in solid sterling silver with Mystic Topaz

back view of the dogwood blossom

back view of the dogwood blossom

another view of the finished pendant

another view of the finished pendant

I always have trouble photographing Mystic Topaz… this piece is about as good as I have managed to get that stone to look.  If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Wicker May 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

There are some wonderful books available, and some good videos too. Check out Bench Tube videos on, and see if you can find something. Good luck!

Anna Chow May 6, 2011 at 8:34 am

I love this piece and love to learn how to do repusse too bad no one around here can teach me.

Georgette May 6, 2011 at 3:18 am

Beautiful piece! You are quite accomplished. I hope to try repousse one day.

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