Fifth-grade students at Lakeville School are working on a Radial Design art project using the metalworking technique known as Repoussé. Radial designs are created by arranging a repeated image around a central point. The word repoussé comes from the French verb pousser, which means “to push.”
The students created their raised designs by pushing into the back of a piece of metal. Some added details by engraving into the front of the metal. Their artwork is finished by adding a layer of black ink which is partially removed using steel wool, creating areas of contrast, with highlights and accents.
This method for creating artwork with metal has been used throughout history by many cultures. The mask on the Mummy of Tutankhamun, ancient Greek Armor, and the copper panels used to create the Statue of Liberty are some examples of Repoussé.
This project introduced the students to the ancient art of Repoussé, and the techniques to create their raised designs using a new medium.