top of page
David Huang Pre-Conference Workshop: Vessel Raising & Chasing
David Huang Pre-Conference Workshop: Vessel Raising & Chasing

David Huang Pre-Conference Workshop: Vessel Raising & Chasing

This two-part workshop will focus on traditional techniques of angle raising to create vessels forms, using 6 inch copper disks we will explore how to form both single and multi-node vessels by hammering over various forming stakes.

Registration Opening Soon
See other events

Time & Location

Jul 09, 2023, 9:00 AM – Jul 13, 2023, 4:00 PM

Arapahoe Community College, Art & Design Center, 2400 W Alamo Ave, Littleton, CO 80120


About The Event


Raising and Chasing Vessel Forms

This will be a two-part workshop.  During the initial days we will focus on traditional techniques of angle raising to create vessels forms.  We’ll explore both single and multi-node vessels Utilizing 6-inch copper disks as the initial starting point, we will explore how to form both single and multi-node vessels by hammering over various forming stakes.

Typically, the middle day of the workshop becomes the crossover day where we utilize one of the vessels raised as a form to further embellish with designs and textures created using the technique known as chasing.  In place of traditional pitch we will be using a microcrystalline wax, one commonly used in bronze casting.  During the workshop, we will also cover the basics of making one’s own chasing tools, and participants will have the opportunity to make some if they wish to.  Also covered will be how to make and solder on a wire rim to finish the edge of a vessel.

This workshop will be technique and information oriented rather than project oriented, meaning very few participants finish a piece during the time we have.  However, everyone should get lots of information about the processes.  Considerable time will be spent practicing the techniques while working on our pieces, but due to the labor-intensive nature of both the raising and chasing techniques you shouldn’t expect to complete a piece in class.

This workshop is intended for all skill levels.

All attendees must bring with them the following supplies:

·  18-gauge copper.  I would recommend enough for at least two 6-inch diameter disks (a 6” x 12” piece).  If you wish you can buy precut 6-inch disks, but personally I find it much more economical to buy the sheet and cut the disks with a shear.  For raising we don’t need the perfect circle of a precut disk.

·  Raising hammers, planishing, and chasing hammers.  Often for workshops the students will need to have their own hammers because most studios just don’t have enough of each type of hammer for a whole class and sharing the primary hammers just doesn’t work.  You may wish to check with the hosting studio to see if students do need to have their own hammers.  Usually everyone wants to know what hammers I recommend regardless, so here it is.  For the raising hammer I recommend one like Rio Grande’s #112-424 ( Peddinghaus raising hammer 14 oz. or 400 g head weight).  Of course, the raising hammer I'd really recommend is my signature “Huang Raising Hammer” made by Saign Charlestein.  You can find out more about it on my website here.  These are premium hammers for those who love tools or know they will be doing a lot of raising and can invest the money.  Here is a link to Saign's site where they can be purchased.  There are 3 sizes, if you are just getting one I would recommend the middle 375g size.  It is the most versatile one that will work well for most jobs.  If you use the discount code DH10 at checkout Saign will give you 10% off your whole order.  (Saign does have some beautiful planishing hammers too!)  All that said the lower cost Peddinghaus grade hammers will work fine.  I used mine for decades before upgrading.

For planishing hammers I recommend one like Rio Grande’s #112-402 (Peddinghaus planishing hammer 6 oz or 170g head weight).  For a chasing hammer  I’ve found various types should work fine.  What I have seems to be similar to Rio Grande’s  item #112-227, a 4 oz chasing hammer.  Mind you, I’m not pushing Rio Grande.  I’m just using them for easy reference since most of us already have the Rio catalogs.  Other suppliers certainly have these type hammers and prices do seem to vary.  If you KNOW you are really into chasing and want to invest significantly more money into a premium chasing hammer, the best chasing hammers I know of for sale are those made by Saign Charlstein.  I suggest his 4.5 ounce size.  I wrote a review of his chasing hammers on my website that can be found here:

Also, if you have something like a Fretz #9 hammer already you might want to bring that along.  I'm going to show something I call hammer chasing that uses small hammers like this.  I don't know that I'd go and buy one first though as you may not be interested in the technique though I have to admit based on past workshops many students do really like the hammer chasing technique.  I'll have a few such hammers with me that students can use. I'm happy to say there is now an even better option for hammer chasing than the Fretz hammer.  Working with Saign Charlestein on this we've developed a couple new hammers specifically for this sort of work, the “Huang Embossing Hammers”.  Like his other hammers, they are an investment in a premium tool so you may well want to KNOW you are really interested in this technique before investing in them.  I am planning to bring mine with me to the workshop to let everyone try them out if you wish.

I've also got my more detailed write up about them on my website here:  If you are interested in getting one before class you can order them directly from Saign on his website here:   The DH10 discount code would get you 10% off these as well.  It will get you 10% off anything on his site!

·  Chasing tools - I will bring very basic sets I'm making for the workshops so each student will have a set to use during the workshop.  If you wish to keep the set you can purchase it, if not I’ll just use them again in another workshop.  Beyond this any other chasing tools you have would be handy to bring, but there shouldn’t be any need to buy them special for the workshop.  If you do wish to purchase the chasing tools the current cost for the set of 15 tools is $260.  I offer a $50 discount for workshop attendees, making the price $210.  I will also sell the tools individually if desired, since many students find they already have many of the shapes in other sets they own.  Individual tool prices will vary based on the tool.

·  Forming stakes.   You do NOT need to buy these for the workshop.  I have made sets of 5 stakes that we will be using.  There should be enough for everyone to have a set for the class.  They are free to use in class.  If you'd like to keep them, they will be available for sale afterward.  The set of 5 normally cost $750.  Because you are taking the class with me, I offer a workshop discount of $100 bringing the price down to just $650.  If you don't wish to purchase the stakes that is just fine.  I'll clean them up as needed use them again in another class.  More information about my stake set can be found on my website here:

·  Gloves.  You will want a pair of gloves, in particular a glove for the hand that will be holding the vessel while hammering.  I recommend some type of heavy leather work glove.  Insulated leather work gloves can be even nicer in that they offer a bit more padding.  However, it is hotter to wear these.  I wouldn’t get anything super nice or expensive.  They will get trashed over time if you continue raising.

·  Safety glasses.  One should always have a pair of safety glasses in a studio!

·  Hearing protection.  It will get quite loud and noisy in the room!

·  Round wire.  This is for making wire rims that would be soldered on the raised vessel.  If you don’t want to do this, then don’t worry about having the wire.  If you do then I find I use 8, 10, or 12 gauge most often.  These thicknesses seem to work well visually with a vessel raised from a 6” disk.  I like fine silver round wire, but copper, brass, or bronze would work just fine as well.  One foot of length per vessel should be more than enough.

·  Medium silver wire solder.  Again, one foot of length per vessel should be more than enough.  If you don’t already have medium silver wire solder, please don’t make a special order just to get the little bit needed for this workshop.  I will have extra with me that I’ll sell on an as needed basis at whatever my cost was.

·  Files and abrasive paper.  Various files and a range of grits of abrasive paper would be good for making a chasing tool or two, along with cleaning up excess solder after soldering on a rim if you get that far.  I’ll talk more about just what I use to finish my rims at the workshop.  This includes micro finishing film, sanding sponges, polishing papers, and radial bristle brushes.  However, don’t worry about having all this rim polishing stuff for the workshop.  Honestly, not too many people get to the rim polishing stage during a workshop, and I should have what I use with me that I’ll be happy to let everyone use.

·  A pencil - I prefer a mechanical pencil with .5mm lead, but any pencil should do fine.  This will be used for drawing your initial design on the vessel.

·  Vessel holder (I've been calling it a chasing nest) - DON’T worry about having this!  I’m listing it just so you know.  I will be bringing along some spun wood  thingies I have made for holding the vessel while we chase.  They will be free to use during the workshop.  If you wish to keep it afterward, I will sell them for $25 each.  They were patterned after a rubber base I got with my pitch bowl.  If you have that sort of rubber base and it’s convenient to bring it along go ahead, but again, don’t worry about if you don’t.

·  Microcrystalline wax - again, DON’T worry about having this for the workshop.  We will have some there at the studio since it’s just not convenient for everybody to find and buy some on their own.  How this is worked out may vary from workshop host to workshop host.  I’m providing information about it here since I know most students want this info for potential future use.  I find a vessel  formed from a 6” disk, as the spun copper vessels will be, takes just under ½ pound of wax to fill.  I have been using #2AB56 Brown Art Bronze Wax made by  J.F. McCaughin company.  There are various types of this microcrystalline wax, and all have seemed to work fine so far.  It is a common supply for bronze casting.  A web search should turn up potential suppliers.  Lately I've been getting it from Arizona Sculpture Supply.  For future reference here's a link to the page it is on.

Workshop takes place at Arapahoe Community College, Art & Design Center, 2400 W Alamo Ave, Littleton, CO 80120 - Room AD3200

Free visitor parking will be available in LOT J, which is adjacent to the Art & Design Center. You can also reach the ACC via public transport on the RTD lightrail.

Maps here:


  • Regular

    Sold Out

This event is sold out

Share This Event

bottom of page