The hand stamped jewelry craze is taking over at Halstead! Customized stamped jewelry will be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. Requests for different sizes and shapes in our line of sterling silver blanks have led to an explosion of new supplies in our warehouse. We have been busy adding metal stamps and stamping tools to feed the frenzy.
Stamping is fun and I have dabbled a bit in the studio. I am by no means an expert but for those of you getting started I can offer a few tips.
- Don’t be shy – You really have to whack stamps with a heavy hammer. The heavier the hammer, the easier it is to get a clean hard strike. We recommend a two pound mallet but everyone has their own preference.
- Heavier is easier – It was completely counter-intuitive to me, but it is true; it is much easier to get a clear impression on thicker gauge metal blanks and sheet. Thinner metals tend to just bend around the stamps outer edge and diminish the depth of the stamp design impression. I have the best luck with 22 gauge or thicker. Check out our guide to gauges and tempers.
- Alignment is tricky – It is easier to curve names or words around the inner edge of a circle blank so that slight misalignments are less noticeable. If you need a straight line, the new ImpressArt alignment tape is pretty ingenious. It is basically inexpensive electrical tape that you use as the bottom edge for your word. Just slide your letter stamp down the surface of your piece of metal until you feel the bottom edge of the stamp design catch on the tape. Stop your stamp there and strike with the hammer. Alignment takes a lot of practice so don’t get discouraged.
- You can stamp a lot of things – Don’t feel limited by flat, smooth blanks. With some practice you can stamp bangles, rings, hammered metal and some textured metal too.
- Liver of sulfur is a girl’s best friend – You will be surprised at the number of sins you can correct with liver of sulfur darkening in relief. Many of the stamp impressions that are a tad uneven or shallow will still look great once you treat items with liver of sulfur to blacken the impressions.
We offer a great selection of blanks, hammers, letter font stamps and design stamps for this jewelry trend. We just launched a complete selection of ImpressArt fonts in time for the holidays. Shop jewelry making supplies now at Halstead and happy stamping!