Join Helen Driggs, Senior Editor for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and an experienced metalsmith, in a free video tutorial on metal stamping jewelry. Helen’s jewelry-making focus is fabrication, especially metal forming and forging. Using basic metal stamping techniques on metal stamps for jewelry can take your jewelry to the next level. Add a personal touch to your metalsmith jewelry pieces with unique and original designs using affordable or homemade metal stamping tools.
Whether you’re new to metal stamping or just need stamping ideas, this free video tutorial is sure to teach you something. If you’re stamping metal for the first time, you’ll discover the importance of practice and proper positioning, as well as the essential metal stamping tools needed to get started. Metal stamping requires some hardware, but once you’ve acquired your stamping tools, they’ll last you years. Learn how to make use of everyday hardware like nails, chisels and a metal hole punch as metal stamp tools. Access your free video tutorial; grab your steel hammer and metal to start metal stamping jewelry today!
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You’ll learn just how beautiful your etched jewelry designs can be when you download this informative and illustrated tutorial.
How to make a metal stamp and prepare it for use
Custom metal stamps can be purchased or made. Purchase them at any jewelry supply house, or online – they are very easy to find. If you wish to make your own stamps for texturing metal, you can create them using everyday hardware like chisels or nails from any hardware store. Improvising from materials you already own or making your own could save you money in the long run and could last you years. Once you have gathered your supplies and have your safety equipment ready, you can begin. To ensure you stamp in a straight line, Helen demonstrates the use of an L-shape ruler or a flexible ruler and a Sharpie marker for small markings along your grid to stamp over once you have marked your letter or design you’d like to stamp. On sterling silver and copper, you can darken your stampwork beautifully by oxidizing the piece, then cleaning most of the oxidization off of everything but the letters or numbers. On other types of metal, you can use fine-tip Sharpie markers to color your stamping in any color you wish.
How to Hold a Metal Stamp
Helen demonstrates by standing and firmly grasping her hammer while holding the metal stamp with the notch against her thumb. Hammer directly on top of the metal firmly. It also makes it easier for you to stay in your rhythm of hitting each stamp uniformly with the same amount of force. Hit each stamp only once with your hammer striking it hard enough to create a strong mark in the metal. If you hit it more than once, you may get a blurred or double image. To keep your stamped message in more of a straight line as you work, you can use one of these methods before you start: use a ruler and fine-point Sharpie marker to draw a "baseline" on your metal, so you’ll know where to set each stamp.
Using the proper metals for stamping jewelry
Helen explains the importance of using a strong metal block under whatever metal you’re stamping so the metal you want to stamp gives and receives the impression, not the support underneath it. She demonstrates what happens if you were to use a wooden block behind your stamp. A strong metal block is essential in marking metal. Other helpful items to have handy are a small piece of non-skid, rubberized shelf liner, masking tape, blue painter’s tape, or post-it notes. Fine-tip Sharpie markers, in black or any other colors you wish, are also great tools for creating a perfect metal stamp. After coloring your stamping with Sharpies, you can easily wipe off the excess ink using a small piece of paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Use what you learn in this video to make personalized jewelry for yourself, clients and friends.
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