Chiseled . Art that works with a chisel and hammer metal plates to turn them into a high or low relief of a figure.


[ hide ]

  • 1 Procedure
  • 2 Chiselling materials
  • 3 Chiseling designs
  • 4 Source


The chiselling is done on a somewhat ductile and not too hard metal plate, a few tenths of a millimeter thick, generally copper (0.8mm), nickel silver (0.3mm) and in quality work, silver (0.5mm) (measurements are examples). To be worked, the metal is cut into plates of approximately the desired size, and glued in a preparation of vegetable resin or sealing wax with which the container has been completely covered. In this way the resin will cushion shocks that would otherwise greatly damage the material, in addition to allowing the piece to be moved comfortably.

Chiseling is not a craft that requires a lot of space. In specially shaped pieces, such as knives, mattes and others, the sheet is bent and welded before being chiselled, and once given the final shape it is glued onto the resin. The chiselling is worked “from above”, that is to say that, unlike the embossing, the craftsman works on the surface that will be visible when the piece is finished.

Once the piece is glued to the sealing, the figure to be chiselled is marked. There are many ways to do this, such as tracing a drawing or drawing with a pencil on metal, and then marking on material with a punch, burin, or anything sharp. Then the real work of chiseling begins. With a straight or slightly curved chisel (resercador or uñete according to the jargon) depending on the shape of the drawing, the figure is definitely marked. The hammer blows on the chisel head must be followed and even to produce a clean line. From this results a groove the width of the point of the chisel and whose depth varies according to the force with which the blows were given.

When all the drawing is marked, proceed to sink the sunken parts with a flat-head chisel, in the manner of a bas-relief. In this way, the upper part stands out from the rest. In general, the piece is marked again several times, according to the depth you want to give it. Finally the piece is detached from the resin. If what you want is a bas-relief or you are working on an object with a special shape (knife, etc.), all that remains is to clean it and polish it.

Chiseled jobs are typically acid-cleaned upon completion to shine.

Chiselling materials

To carry out a chiselling, you need:

  • A metal sheet molded and cut at will.
  • A set of chisels that meet the needs of drawing.
  • A container, preferably hemispherical in shape, filled to the brim with the resin preparation.
  • A resin or sealing preparation brought to the desired ductility by adding chalk to harden and grease to soften.
  • A flat, broad-tipped hammer.

Chiseling designs

The chiselled, especially the River Plate, takes the French and Spanish baroque designs, already traditional in Argentine silverware. You can, of course, make a very wide variety of figures in chiseled, and in the work of plates or wall decorations, figures of birds and flowers are common. In general, designs are sought that allow the style to express its advantages in the ability to reproduce textures and depths. Chisels are usually combined with bronze castings in bodies such as cups, and engraving, which is used for fine textures or legends incorporated into the design, is also very close to chiseled.


Leave a Comment