We all know that most well-made bead-weaving projects can tell a story, but sometimes, it's nice to let your jewelry-making projects speak for themselves. When I decided to make beading my career instead of just a hobby, I bought myself a
sweet little stamped bracelet that says, "Follow your bliss". Whenever times got tough or I experienced a setback (which is bound to happen when you're starting your own jewelry business), I would look down at that little bracelet with the words of inspiration and remember why I was doing this.
There's no doubt about it, words are powerful. Even a single word can be an expression of many complex thoughts and ideas. As a further example of the power of words, some of you may know that this fall, I'll be entering into a yoga teacher training program here in upstate New York. As I deepen my personal yoga practice, I've thought about designing some simple but beautiful jewelry-making projects using some of my favorite Sanskrit words. Learning some simple metal stamping techniques has been a wonderful way for me to remind myself of the power and intention behind these words, and I enjoy wearing them not just during my yoga practice times, but whenever I need a gentle reminder that, hey, life really is beautiful.
If you're something of a wordsmith who also happens to love jewelry making, why not think about learning some basic metal stamping techniques? I've gathered a few tips to get you started, courtesy of my friends over at ImpressArt.
1. Easy does it. You don't necessarily need to strike the stamp with a lot of force to get a nice, clean impression. Before you start stamping on precious metals like sterling silver and gold, try your stamps on metals like brass and copper, or even on leather and clay to get a feel for how much force is necessary for each different stamp.
Be aware that different stamps will need a different amount of force to make a clear impression. The letter stamps I used needed far less force with the hammer than did the beautiful little designs.
2. Line it all up. Electric tape or stamping tape was a fantastic idea for getting my letters to all line up properly. I got the spacing between letters right, but it was a little more of a challenge to get them all in a straight line! Not to worry, I'm sure that with a little practice, I'll be a stamping fool.
3. Have a plan. Whether you're making components for a cool bracelet or a single pendant, it helps to have a little sketch or a plan for your design before you start stamping. Use your Sharpie to mark the places where you want to punch holes or place a design element. It'll save time and money in supplies, especially if you're using precious metals.
Anyone want to take a guess what all my yoga friends are getting for the holidays this year? With a little bit of practice, I think I'm hooked on these stamped metal jewelry-making projects!
If you're ready to branch out and learn more about metal jewelry-making and stamping projects, check out New Directions in Punched Metal Jewelry. You'll learn basic metal skills step-by-step from a metal jewelry-making master. Did you know that you can use stamped metal jewelry techniques with cold connections and riveting to make bangle bracelets, unique necklaces, even hoop earrings! Pre-order your copy of New Directions in Punched Metal Jewelry, be brave, and branch out into a new jewelry-making art form.
For a limited time when you pre-order your copy of Punched Metal Jewelry, you'll get the eBook for free! It's a great way to get started learning about metal stamping and jewelry-making techniques.
Have you tried metal stamping? What tips and advice do you have for someone like me who's just getting started? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your tips and techniques with us!