PREFACE

The initial impetus for creating this textbook came while giving a workshop in  Oakland, California. One of the students had an ancient book, written in England, on  the subject of Chasing which consisted mostly of text with a few faded illustrations and photos. There was, however, one four-panel plate illustrating a Nouveau-style tree at four stages of completion. The first panel showed the outlined, chased image  on the metal. Next to that was the raised, rounded repousséd image followed by the pushed down areas around the tree. The final panel showed the finished tree design with crisp undercut areas characteristic of good chasing. Those four simple panels did a better job of showing a student what the metal should look like at each stage of development than anything I had ever seen. And I had seen some fine efforts in the past, such as the chapters contained in the two books by Oppi Untracht (listed  in the bibliography).

This is not a book on universal beginning techniques in metal fabrication. I  assume the student using this book has had some elementry introduction to fabrication and soldering. Art students are often visually oriented and get more out of watching a demonstration or looking at photos and illustrations. I intend this book to concentrate on chasing and related techniques and act as a compendium of information non-reading students can learn enough from visually to be able to achieve their desired results. By bringing in the work of five contemporary artists, I hope to motivate students to read and thereby gather many more helpful hints and suggestions that will make their efforts just that much more rewarding. I made no attempt to write the most comprehensive volume on the subject ever produced. I hope it will not find its place on a coffee table but rather will be all dog-eared and dirty, laid out on a student's bench.