New Jeweler’s Tools Metal Stamps, Plus Top Metal Stamping Tips
We jewelry makers love our tools, don’t we? I’m especially attached to my hammers and pliers, with a few preferred files as well. Being attached to our tools is “a thing” with us jewelry makers, isn’t it? So everyone on the Interweave Jewelry Team is excited about our fun new jewelry tool metal stamps! That’s right, they’re metal stamps with designs of jewelry tools on them.
Imagine having metal stamps that show off the tools of your trade, like a saw, anvil, hammer, pliers, calipers, torch, rolling mill, shears, and more. We’ve partnered with ImpressArt to bring them to you! Use them to make jewelry for other makers or to show off your hobby/profession on your own jewelry. And many other ways, I’m sure!
Jeweler’s Tools Metal Stamps for Jewelry Makers
We sent a set of our fun new jewelry tools metal stamps to jewelry artist and instructor Jeff Fulkerson. Here’s what he thought about them, along with some metal stamping tips and advice.
Making Impressions and Metal Stamps
by Jeff Fulkerson
Impressions. We all make them, some better than others . . . I want to make a positive, even a strong impression on the people I meet and interact with daily. Impressions. I want to do the same thing when I’m making jewelry, especially when I’m stamping. It’s amazing how life can imitate art.
Recently, I got some of the jewelry tool stamps from Interweave and ImpressArt, stamps of pliers, rolling mill, anvil, etc. They got me thinking about stamps and stamping and the progress in the field.
When I started silversmithing, if you wanted a stamp, you had to make it yourself. While I made a few stamps, a couple of which were kind of intricate, they are nothing compared to the incredible precision of the stamps available today.
Because of the precision of modern stamps, you can get just about any shape, pattern, or design you want. And this allows you to express your own individuality however you want, too! As I said, I want to make a positive and strong impression with my jewelry, and especially when stamping. So before you go to the bench and start pounding away, let’s get a few stamping basics out of the way.
- You need a good, solid hammer to start with.
- You have to have a good bench block upon which to stamp.
- I HIGHLY recommend a pad of some sort under your block, because every time you strike a blow with the hammer, you get a rebound which, if not accounted for, will cause you to get a double strike and mess up your piece. For every action (hammer blow on top of stamp) there is an opposite and equal reaction (bouncing back at you) which can cause the double strike. By controlling that reaction with a pad, you eliminate the rebound.
- You also want to have a solid surface to stamp on. A big stump is great, but the corner of a sturdy table works as well.
Once these basics are out of the way, you need a little technique. The most prevalent problems I see people having while stamping are:
- They hold the stamp crooked and don’t get a good impression. This can also cause the hammer to glance off the stamp and smack your fingers.
- They hold the stamp straight, but they bring the hammer down at an angle and get a bad impression. The hammer can also glance off the stamp, injuring pinkies.
- People are afraid they’re going to hit their fingers, so they don’t strike the stamp hard enough to get a good impression.
All of these problems are solved by having a good stamp holder while you’re stamping. It will hold the stamp perpendicular to your metal and allow your fingers to be away from the action.
Now you’re ready to create! What I like about the jewelry tool stamps is incorporating them into a piece with sayings or words that are meaningful to you. You can use them as the focal point or as embellishments for your message. By mixing and matching the various pattern stamps, letter stamps, and designs, your palette is literally limitless and you can create your own unique “impression.” —Jeff
More Metal Stamping Tips: Perfecting Use of Jewelry Tool Metal Stamps
Like any other metal stamps, the jewelry tool stamps perform best with good stamping technique. Here are some helpful reminders to make metal stamping easier, more fun, and more successful.
Hold Metal Stamps in Place
Do you have trouble with metal blanks flying off your table or hammering your fingers trying to hold them down? Use painter’s tape to secure metal stamping blanks to your steel block or other stamping surface. Alternately, if you’re good at making good hard impressions when stamping, you can cover the entire blank with painter’s tape. Press the tape onto and around the blank well and rub with your finger to ensure a snug fit. Make sure you can see the outline of the blank. The tape will hold the blank in place while you stamp. You can draw lines on the tape to help with alignment, if you’d like. After stamping, just peel off the tape and admire your work. No flying blanks, no randoms scratches, no hammered fingers!
Similarly, you can use clear wrapping tape as a see-through liner on your blanks to help you stamp in a straight line. Fortunately our jewelry tool metal stamps don’t require the careful placement that stamping words and letters sometimes do, so the pressure is off! Random patterns are a fun way to show off these design metal stamps.
3 Metal Stamping Tips for Proper Placement and No Backward Letters
To avoid upside down or backward letters, ensure proper placement, and never ruin a metal stamping blank again:
- Keep a blob of poster tack (similar to clay but it never dries out) on your bench when stamping. Before hammering, press each letter into the tack like a rubber stamp to make sure it’s not upside down or backward.
- Speaking of rubber stamps, here’s a similar process: Have an inexpensive ink pad and scrap paper on hand when metal stamping. Before stamping each letter, press the stamp in the ink and test it on paper to verify that your stamp is oriented properly.
- Hold your alphabet metal stamps in your hand the way they should be for stamping. Once you’re sure, draw an arrow with a marker, paint, or nail polish facing up (or down, if that makes more sense to you) on the side of the stamp that should be facing you when you’re holding it properly.
Get Your Exclusive Jewelry Tools Stamps
The new jewelry tool metal stamps from Interweave and Impress Art are incredibly fun and can be bundled with eBooks and other instructional resources to help you stamp your best! Get your metal stamp sets and build your own bundle today!
These are a limited edition and available exclusively through the Interweave Store!
Want to keep going? Here’s five more metal stamping tips!
Learn more about metal stamping jewelry with these expert resources!