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Ambacht in Beeld Festival
30 & 31 March 2024
Brussels - Tour & Taxis Gare Maritime

| Copper forging: From a flat plate to a rich relief!

Ben Antrop - Saturday 30 maart & Sunday 31 maart
2 hours
€ 30
Minimum age:
10 years
Saturday 30 maart
Sunday 31 maart

This workshop takes place outside.


Forge your initials or house number into copper.


Copper can be forged into the richest relief under a light hand with small, frequent blows of a forging hammer and chisel.


You start with a drawing! Nicely align what you want to forge in your copper plate. You will engrave your drawing into your picture with a chisel. You will learn how to engrave beautiful lines without repeating. Then, little by little, use other chisels to emboss the copper between the engraved lines. It takes quite some time and skill to do this well, you have to slowly master this technique. Now just polish the copper plate a bit and you will return home with a plate on which your initials or a few numbers (your house number, your age, etc.) are embossed in beautiful relief.


Copper is a warm and soft, almost noble metal that can be forged into the richest relief under a light hand and with a lot of patience. You start off with a piece of flat, lifeless slab. Little by little, under the small, frequent blows of the driving hammer and chisel, the piece takes its shape. The workpiece is further brought into deeper relief on the soft surface of a sand-filled leather cushion. Finesse, not brute force, is the order of the day. Patience and sensitivity are involved.


Fire is also involved: under the wonderful alchemy of water and fire, the copper, which has become hard and brittle due to the many hammer blows, becomes willing and workable again. The result achieved: sun and soul in a noble material!


Instructor Ben Antrop has been professionally active as a blacksmith since 2007. “As a child, I couldn’t stay away from my father’s clockmaker’s studio. That’s where I was fascinated by art and craft, I think. My oeuvre mainly consists of ideas and thoughts that are part of my self-portrait. In dialogue with craft and nature these thoughts become installations and sculptures with pure raw materials.”

This workshop is made possible by Erfgoedcel Brussel.

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