Brass laurel wreath plaques. Part one, the matrix.

I set out to make stamped laurel wreath plaques for future embellishments. I’ll be using brass for cost reasons, though gold is period and lovely. Thanks again to William Beornson for advice and studio time.

William and I decided to have the matrix be the harder surface, since the design would be smaller pieces of relief.

Ryabkov discusses bronze matrices for kolty, with lead sheets used as the other half. This process is similar, though my matrix will be lower relief, and I will use leather rather than lead as the backing.

The first step was to make a leaf punch in the right size by filing down a tool blank.

The new punch. I then started a trial run on copper. Half a wreath.

Checking the impression.

Its a wreath! Kinda wonky, I did another version in a circle. The circle was scribed with a divider and outlined with an existing dot punch.

I checked trial two with clay. That one was closer.

Next, starting on the real thing. Again the base circle was scribed into the block with a divider. This is aircraft aluminum, chosen purely for availability. I learned how to move and smooth out mis-stamps, after filing down the matrix and starting over once.

The finished block.

Impression check.

First try with the brass sheet.

Part two

Sources:

Rybakov, B. A. Remeslo drevneĭ Rusi, Moskva: Izdatel’stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, 1948.

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