A short while ago, I decided to try my hand at metal stamping. It looks so easy, but I found very early on that it really required patience and skill. I have been practicing now for some time and have acquired some tools to help me get into this aspect of jewelry making. I thought I would share a few thoughts here for those of you who may have been toying with the idea of trying it yourself! Stamping itself is a very basic technique. Combined with your jewelry designs, you can add some personalization and make your jewelry really special. There are a few basic tools that you will need to get started.
· You can start with an inexpensive letter set in either lower or higher case. There are many of them on the market and you can broaden your font choices as you gain more knowledge and skill.
· A few design stamps will get you on your way. Try some simple designs to start and expand your collection once you get the hang of it.
· A steel bench block ensures a sharp impression. These can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes.
· Safety goggles should always be work to protect your eyes from injury.
· A stamping hammer should weigh at least one pound. Ideally, a brass hammer prevents bounceback.
· Prefabricated shapes in either copper, brass or sterling silver can be found online in many metal stamping shops. When you improve your skill and decide that this is something you want to continue exploring, you can purchase sheet metal and disc cutters to make your own.
Of course, there are lots of other things which you can add to your repertoire down the road. Center punches, table vises, ring clamps, bench pins and cutters will all come in handy.
The key to a successful result is a firm, steady strike with your hammer. Place your disc on the steel bench block secured by a small piece of painters tape. Hold the stamp in your stabilizing hand and the hammer in your dominant hand. Make sure the hammer comes down straight, striking the stamp dead center. Sounds easy right! NOT. Lots of practice using scrap metal in copper or brass will help you determine just how hard you need to strike the stamp to get the desired impression.
There are many books out there and some contain videos as well as online websites with free tutorials, so take advantage of all the advice and knowledge you can obtain.
Here’s to a fun and personalized jewelry style!!!