Saturday, April 14, 2012

Learning about Metal Tooling and Embossing

Metal tooling is a traditional art form made with soft metal and a rounded tool to create a low relief design.  This method of making art is referred to as repajado, repousse or embossing. Various cultures use repetitive patterns and rhythmic lines incorporated into a design.  Historical examples include plates, jewelry, masks, amour, shields, swords, and picture frames. 

Repajado (ray-poo-ha-dough) is the working of metal foil (aluminum, tin, silver) to provide volume and relief to the engraved design on the metal.  Artists in Mexico and South America use metal to create beautiful designs.  

Mexican saddle - Tacoma Art Museum

Repousse (re-poo-say) is French and means "pushed up."  It is a a metal working technique in which metal is shaped by hammering on the reverse side to create a low relief design.  A famous example from antiquity is the mummy mask of Tutankhamen of the late Eighteenth Dynasty in Egypt.  

The Mummy Mask of King Tutankhamen

Metalworking is a science, art and trade and there are several metalwork decoration techniques such as embossing, stamping, engraving, piercing, and colourng.  Embossing is the creation of an impression in a design to create a low relief.  Many surfaces can be used such as print or engraving plates, paper, cloth or metal to create a design. 

Lesson Plans: 
Repujado Art Tutorial @
Mexican Metal Tooling @ KinderArt

Metal Tooling with Coloured Pencils
How to Make a Foil Repousse @5 MinLife Videopedia

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