About The ArtistAbout MichaelAbout CarolynThe Art of Repousse


Baltimore is the home of extraordinary silver traditions, particularly the repousse craft found in flatware, table pieces, vanity items and jewelry. Carolyn O'Keefe grew up using - and admiring - her family's lovely Stieff Rose patterned flatware. She later learned repousse is a difficult process which has endured over centuries, including use in the creation of the Statue of Liberty and the 18th Dynasty Mummy Mask of Tutankamen. In King Tut's mask, lapis lazuli and other precious stones were placed into hand-chased areas for adornment.

Repousse is an ancient metal working technique in which a malleable metal is first formed with a specially created three-dimensional mold and then ornamented by precise hammering from the reverse side, "pushed from the back." Hand chasing is the opposite technique; metal is worked on the front to refine and define repousse images, with groves, indentation and channeling. Each work is then carefully polished for an overall embossed piece of one-of-a-kind artistry.

For wonderful information on the art of repousse, please visit www.thestieffcompany.com. Interestingly, it was James Stieff, whose ancestors founded The Stieff Company, who introduced Carolyn to Michael Galmer. The rest is history!

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