Last week, it was good to have William Rogers here at the Blacksmith shop to teach. This year his choice was “Repoussé”. Pronounced reh-poo-say, the French word meaning “pushed up”, the technique includes working a malleable metal such as copper from both the front and back sides to raise very detailed designs into the sheet such as faces or animal and plant forms.
The class started by making many of the tools needed for the week such as punches and vice held stake tools, and then spent the rest of the class making some really impressive designs. I think that the octopus was my favorite, although it was hard to choose. The neat thing about the class was that students not only got to learn this ancient technique, but also got to learn some forging of iron and tool making to boot. Really like two classes in one.
William is a great teacher that lives nearby in Cullowhee, NC, and has taught here every year since I can remember. I think next year he will do his ”Forging Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals” class again. This is where students learn to combine ferrous (or magnetic) metals like steel, with non-ferrous metals like copper, silver, or bronze in multi-media pieces.