Impressed Technique

  • Step 1

    The motif is carved in intaglio (‘negative’) on a wooden, stone or metal die.

  • Step 2

    A sheet of gold is hammered or pressed onto the die; an intermediate layer of yielding material (wool, leather, wax or lead) helps the metal to dilate and take the shape of the motif.

  • Step 3

    Details are finished with fine wooden or bone tools (or even by pressing with the fingers).

  • A variation of the technique

    Sometimes, a more complex form of double die was used for embossing gold.