The first thing I had to do was decide what picture I wanted to reproduce in Pewter. I borrowed some design books from my friend Jamie which include CD's so you can size the picture to fit what you are doing. This is the picture I choose. It has some birds and flowers so it just seemed to say "Spring is coming" when I saw it.
Once it was printed out to size, I had to transfer the design to the pewter sheet. I just tape the design to the metal and use an embossing stylus to trace my lines. Using a ruler is a must to get straight lines. There is nothing worse than putting a design on a box and then seeing that the lines don't match up with the lines of the box.
I use tools and supplies that I purchase from http://www.mercartusa.com/icat/icat.htm
They specialize in repousse' supplies and have everything I need in one place. That saves on the shipping costs. Plus, their prices are good overall.
It is really important to transfer your design carefully. If your lines are wavey and uneven at this point, that is probably how they will look when you are done!
These are the basic tools I use to begin: the stylus embossing tool and the refiner tool (plastic tipped tool). The Refiner deepens the design. You constantly work on both sides of the metal sheet (flipping back and forth) to bring the design into focus. I use an artist's paper stump to flatten areas or add depth. To flatten, use on a hard smooth surface. To add depth, use on a piece of suede. You can round at this point with the suede underneath and even add more details.
Here is the top side of the pewter showing my lightly pressed-in design as well as the areas that I have pressed out already. I work little by little in one area and move along as I finish each detail. I find that the easiest way to work. I go back at the very end and add any finer details that I feel are needed. But overall, I finish each design before moving on to the next element.
Stay tuned for the next blog to see the final steps...