“Work Book of Patterns” (For Repoussé)


In continuing with my tribute to the late repoussé artisan Nahum Hersom, I am including some of his repoussé patterns in this blog.  I do this as Nahum, as well as his mentors Steven Molnar and Valentin Goelz, wanted this process to be carried on.  Here is Nahum’s dedication statement (I will both type this, as well as provide a photo of his actual hand-written statement):
“In fond memory and much appreciation I dedicate this book to these two men who dedicated their lives to this great art of repoussé.  Mr. Steven Molnar   Mr. Valentin Goelz.  Both were European Craftsmen of the highest caliber, and the most patient of teachers.  Their motto “If we don’t teach the young craftsmen who will carry on.”  Sincerely,  Nahum Hersom.”

This dedication was contained in a loose-leaf “book” that I bought from Nahum for fifty bucks back in 1994 when I was under his tutelage.  I believe that Nahum, as well as Mister’s Molnar and Goelz, would wish these patterns, and Nahum’s instruction, saved for posterity…and for all those young craftsmen Nahum spoke of in his dedication.  As I have stated before, I wish to continue in their tradition of sharing and teaching the processes of French repoussé through this blog.
Please note:  This loose-leaf book was printed at a Kinko’s in Boise, Idaho in 1993 on 8-1/2″ x 17″ paper.  Since my scanner cannot copy anything over 8-1/2 x 11″, some of the patterns may be cut-off.  I will try to provide as many complete copies of those patterns that were cut-off as possible.
This next entry is on the backside of the dedication page, and reads:
“To the Craftsmen”
This “Work Book of Patterns” is a compiling “as not yet complete” of patterns which I have in my shop.  Some of these patterns are approx. 80 years old, others not that old, and a few as new as a month ago. However the design behind these patterns is hundreds of years old going back to Jean Tijou 1690-1710 a French Ironworker, repousse seems to have been developed in France, where it spread throughout Europe.  These patterns are representative of architectural styles and periods of history, and those Craftsmen I have known.  The style of the tools herein lend themselves to making, fine jewelry, to the largest of architectural embellishments or ornaments.  After all all metal work started with the hammer and anvil or stake.  Perhaps ornamental decoration is now in a revival, beauty in iron is a work of art, I for one hope it grows and lasts for a long, long, time.  “Nahum Hersom””   (Circa 1993).

I will finish this post with a few more patterns.
…Dan Nauman

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  1. Pat Roy - February 8, 2015 Reply

    Dan, It’s been a few years but your introduction to repoussee was a significant event in my metal working career. Still tapping and experimenting with copper and steel.

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