Keep It Simple: Low-tech Die Forming

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Make your own matrix die and punches, and use them to form metal using chasing and repoussé techniques —  no hydraulic press required!

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I was introduced to low-tech die forming in 2004 as a graduate student at Arizona State University. I was immediately drawn to it because I enjoy making tools as much as I do making finished work. This technique is a cross between die forming with a hydraulic press, which requires an expensive piece of equipment, and  chasing/repousse, which is time intensive and messy. This is a versatile process, and you can create incredible forms with inexpensive handmade tools and equipment. I have taught this technique in classes and workshops, and I continue to use this technique in my jewelry and small-scale sculptural work.

By John Tzelepis

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