Ironwork Processes

Repoussé Tools for the “Pitch Method”

There is not very much in print regarding repoussé, especially in any great detail. That said, I am not going to produce a treatise, but rather show the more common tools of repoussé, and how some of them are used. I will also try to address some commonly asked questions. This segment will deal...

Colnik Grille Restoration

In 2008, I had the privilege to restore a very large window grille made by master blacksmith Cyril Colnik. The grille belongs to the “Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion” and is situated on the northern exterior of the building. It measures 66″ x 99″. The approximate age of the grille is 100 years old, and...

Copper Repoussé, Using the “Pitch” Method

“Jacob Marley“; 4″ x 5”, 16 gauge copper, wax finish. The above image is of a copper face that I completed yesterday, using the “pitch” method of repoussé. Some folks refer to this process as “high relief chasing.” In April of this year, Tom Latané of T+C Latané, Pepin, WI, came to my shop...

Behind The Scenes II

This piece, entitled “Escutcheon”, by master blacksmith Cyril Colnik (1871-1958) is one of the finest examples of repoussé that I have ever seen. It is made from 16 gauge (1/16″ thick) iron, demonstrating the elastic nature of iron. This piece, with it’s cherubs, laurels, ribbons, along with a crown with precious stones, fruit of...

Cyril Colnik: Unusual Joint

These are images from a repair job for a client whose iron fence had been struck by a car. The fence was made by Cyril Colnik. Repairing and restoring vintage ironwork has many rewards and also some surprises. In this case, the surprise was how Colnik solved a joint problem on a post. The...

Evolution of a Chandelier

“Reproduction Chandelier” , 2004, mild steel, black Gilders paste finish Two of the installations in this blog have dealt with repoussé elements applied to a reproduction of a Cyril Colnik chandelier, made for the “Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion” back in 2004. (See above image.) In this installment, I would like to share some images...

Repoussé….The Process of “Sinking”

  “Candlestick 2005.” 6 1/2″ x 12″, mild steel, black Gilders Paste finish. Photo by George Lottermoser. There are different processes of repoussé, as explained in an earlier discussion here. Today we will take a closer look at the process of sinking. The below-story board shows the development of a bobeche, the pattern of...

French Repoussé: Leaf Development

French repoussé, also called “hammer and stake raising”, is one of several repoussé processes. This method utilizes several small raising hammers, that lightly strike the sheet metal over various stake forms held in a vise. Another process involves “sinking”, by using various punch-like forms to force the sheet metal into iron or wood stakes...