Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ah, metal stamping...

I am one of those people who sees something and has that (sometimes idiotic) thought "I could do that". Okay, most times it pans out okay for me. Other times I finally figure out that I might actually benefit from some instruction or guidance. Yeah.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had purchased a metal letter stamping set and some sterling silver stamping blanks. I know, I know "buy some inexpensive copper sheet or aluminum to practice with first instead of ruining more expensive sterling silver". I can't tell you how many times I've read that! Well, I mean, who needs practice metal, right? As you can see below, I needed it. Badly.

WISH. Right. I wish I was able to pull this off. WISH I had purchased a cheap sheet of copper. You know what they say about hindsight. So these were my first couple attempts. I ended up experimenting with my hammer, too, for texture, and stamping both sides of these. May as well, right?

Then last weekend, I went to the Intergalactic Bead Show which comes to town 2 or 3 times a year. I love it. There are so many great vendors and I usually find something I've been 'needing', so that's always cool. Well, as luck would have it, there was a lady there selling various tools for use in metal stamping (and actually cutting the discs as well)! I was very excited. She did a stamping demo for me, so I found out some of the secrets to success.

First, I found out I was using a hammer that was way too light-weight for the task. It was some cheapy I picked up at Michael's – I didn't want to ruin my good hammer on the metal stamps. (See, sometimes I do think ahead!) She also had her bench block set up on top of a sand bag to absorb some of the force. I believe she said it helps keep the stamps from jumping around so much too. I wasn't really in the market to make a large investment that day (after all, I was there for the beads!) so I asked her some questions, watched a couple demos and ended up buying some polishing cloths and a metal hole punch.

So, this weekend, I finally got a chance to test out what I had learned. I ended up using a household hammer and I set my bench block on top of a phone book. (Yea! Finally a use for a phone book! lol) I'm certainly not an expert yet, but I had much better luck after picking up some tips from that nice lady! I really like the hammered texture on the pieces too. Soon, you may just see some pieces show up in my Etsy shop. Maybe even ones with something other than WISH on them!


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