Copper Repousse or “tooling” is the technique of creating a decorative low-relief by pressing and stretching the metal from the reverse side to make the design raised on the front. “Chasing” is the opposite technique of refining details on the front by sinking the metal in. Students used popsicle sticks, barbecue skewers, and a variety of wooden clay tools to smooth, stretch, and define the copper foil on both sides.
These repousse designs represent symbols of Hawaii that students first drew with pencil on paper and then transferred to the copper. Above, Cambria Miles created the native and endangered Monk Seal and Tristen Mahuiki chose a Taro plant. Below, 8th grader Heather Faretta fashioned a red-tailed tropic bird (Phaethon Rubricauda) that can be seen on the North Shore of Kauai.
7th grader Isabella Kotsol designed a humpback whale, pictured below on display at Kapa’a Middle School’s Elective Night Art exhibit. You can also see how the projects were embellished and hung with colorful beads made from strips of rolled magazine pages.