Copper Repousse Wall Sculpture

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Copper Repousse Wall Sculpture

This 25" wall sculpture was hammer formed from 16 gauge copper sheet metal. This is one of a series of wall relief sculptures I have made based on coral formations, using the process of repousse and chasing. I used pitch as a backing for this one but switched to wet clay for the others. I found I was spending 2 hours or more each workday just heating and cooling the pitch,burning and chipping it off and setting it up again.

Rich Waugh's picture

Very nice piece, Jeremy!

Very nice piece, Jeremy! You really captured the essence of that particular coral type perfectly.

Do you think that the 16 gauge was necessary to achieve the relief you wanted, or could it have been done as well with something more like 22 gauge? I'm just curious, since I have a fair amount of 22 gauge and no 16 gauge. :-)


SteelyJan's picture

Excellent piece

Hi Jeremy!!

Your wall piece is incredible! Something new and totally awesome here on Art Metal. amazing craftsmanship, innovative and a refreshing change...lets see more of your work! SteelyJan.

Jeremy maronpot's picture

16 gauge repousse

Thanks! I learned to use 18-22 gauge for repousse but I broke through the material a lot. I started using the thicker stuff for that reason but found it was much easier to work with when I got into TIG welding too. It is also nice to have a little material to sand or grind away and it works easily with pneumatic tools. The relief is a good 2 12 or 3 inches in places - I'm not sure the thinner stuff would stretch that far

Jeremy maronpot's picture

repousse wall art detail

Heres a close up of the repousse work repousse detailRepousse wall sculpture detail: repousse detail

KevinW's picture

Hey Jeremy, This is a really

Hey Jeremy,

This is a really beautiefull piece. I went over to your site a wile back and saw more of your work, very nice, I particularly like these nature study / corals. I wonder what folks think about them w/o the title and a background in metalsmithing?

You mentioned your working on clay. Could you outline its differience from pitch? I've done just a little repp and only on oil based clay.


Jeremy maronpot's picture

repousse with clay backing

Pitch is more versatile since you can use it soft (hot) or hard (cold) or anything in between. Sometimes it is nice to have that control especially for the last rounds of refinement. Planishing over clay ,for example, would be as effective as planishing over mashed potatoes. Pitch will also hold the sheet really firmly, which is helpful for shaping, since the energy of your hammer blows won't get lost on a bouncy piece of metal. You have to reposition the piece a lot on clay. I would recommend using pitch if you have not tried it. It just gets to be a hassle to clean it up.
Clay is cheap and easy,but harder to get good results with. I used water based clay to make the clean-up even easier. Wax is also a possibility for repousse, since you can heat and cool it. It does shrink when it cools which can be a problem. I have also mixed wax 50/50 with dry plaster to make it firmer.
Give pitch a try. I learned a lot about moving metal by working on pitch. Its a real eye opener.