Mixed media jewelry making just got a lot more fun for me. Enter my newest jewelry making toy, er, tool: the Vintaj Big Kick embossing machine.
A few months ago, my friend Amy Blevins at Bead & Glass Boutique in Pittman, New Jersey announced that she was taking pre-orders for this machine, and being a sucker for a new jewelry making toy, I decided to order one. I've always been a little nervous about the idea of working with metals in my jewelry-making projects, and this seemed like the perfect way to get comfortable with using metals and learning some new jewelry-making techniques at the same time.
|Dirty fingers after making embossed brass jewelry components with the Big Kick. If you're not getting dirty, you're not doing it right!|
Within minutes of unpacking the Big Kick from its box and setting it up on my dining room table, I had enough embossed brass jewelry blanks to make a dozen pairs of earrings! The fun really started later that night when, along with my five-year-old son, we used my Vintaj Patina Inks to color all of the embossed metal pieces. (I even taught my son how to use my hole punch pliers, but that's a story for another blog.)
Like I wasn't excited enough after using the Big Kick to emboss brass jewelry making blanks, but then Amy told me that I could use it to emboss leather and paper! Suddenly, I found myself tearing through my crafting supplies for leather scraps and card stock to run through the machine. That's when I realized that making my own mixed media jewelry with the Big Kick was going to become my newest jewelry-making addiction.
|I used the Big Kick to emboss leather, Ultrasuede, and a piece of card stock. All three can be used to make gorgeous mixed media jewelry!|
After I cut out and embossed a few leather shapes with the Big Kick, I grabbed a little scrap of Ultrasuede and ran it through the machine. Wow! The pattern from the embossing folder showed up beautifully on the Ultrasuede, and all I could think about was how beautiful it would look if I used this leather to back a bead embroidered cabochon.
Someone else suggested that I emboss a larger piece of leather or Ultrasuede, then leave certain parts of it unbeaded to let the pattern show through. Brilliant!
Embossing leather and Ultrasuede with the Big Kick has so many possibilities for mixed media jewelry projects. I'm thinking about leather cuff bracelets, more leather earrings, pendants, and maybe even connectors and clasps for beaded necklaces!
I found that when using the Big Kick to emboss leather, softer leather works best. Darker colored leather often is stiffer and more difficult to run through the machine, so stick to light colored, pliable leather scraps, and if you want some color, add it later using paints or inks.
|Closeup of embossed card stock made with the Big Kick machine.|
I used basic card stock in several colors to create some beautiful patterns using the embossing folders. Now, if you like using resin to make mixed media jewelry, these embossed papers are perfect for cutting out and inserting into a bezel before filling it with resin.
In my stash of bezels, I found a great bracelet with seven bezels linked together. My plan for this is to use different colors of card stock to create a rainbow of embossed papers, and then seal them under resin.
Just like the leather, don't use heavy cardboard or card stock in the Big Kick. You can add color to the embossed papers using paints or markers, but make sure that you seal your embossed papers with something like Mod Podge before encasing them in resin.
Explore More with Mixed Media Jewelry
Now, even if you don't know how to use resin for mixed media jewelry making, it's really a lot easier than you might think, and it opens up a whole world of possibilities for your handmade jewelry. Check out Exploring Resin Jewelry-Making with Susan Lenart Kazmer. You'll learn everything you need to know about making beautiful and unique mixed media jewelry with resin from a top mixed media jewelry artist.
Get your copy of Exploring Resin Jewelry-Making with Susan Lenart Kazmer on DVD now during the Season of Savings in the Beading Daily Shop, and save big!
Have you tried using the Vintaj Big Kick yet? So far, I've made earrings, pendants, and even some tiny bead caps using the pre-cut brass blanks and my wood dapping block. Who knows what I'll do next? (Tammy Jones of Jewelry Making Daily will be so proud of me when she sees these!)