Metal stamping turns metal blanks into design elements for jewellery pieces. You can stamp metal charms for into pendants or to incorporate into linked bracelets, necklaces, earrings and belts. Larger metal pieces can be stamped and then formed into bracelets such as cuffs or other three-dimensional jewellery forms.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Safety eyewear
- Steel stamps
- Steel block or anvil
- Marker, semi-permanent
- Charm blanks
Decide what type of jewellery you want to make and how you want to stamp the design. Consider how the stamped jewellery's shape and the stamped design will interrelate, whether the stamped elements are one or two or several in number. Sketch the design for your jewellery item and measure it to determine the size of charm blanks needed.
Make or purchase charm blanks for your project. Measure the charm blanks to be sure your stamped design will fit.
Find the centre of the design you plan to stamp on the charm blank. Mark the design's centre on the centre of the charm blank with a semi-permanent marker. Mark the beginning and end---as well as the top and bottom, if needed---of your design on the blank.
Place the charm blank on a steel block or anvil.
Depending on your design, you may want to copy the sketch and cut that into four sections. Each section corresponds to a portion of the charm blank. This is similar to sketching an image on graph paper, for use as a guide for correct sizing and placement of the image's elements when transferring the image to another surface such as a wall or floor. You may also want to divide the charm blank into four sections with a marker as a quick reference aid.
Use a hammer to hit the steel stamps you'll use to stamp your design. Strike the stamp with the hammer only once. Use a firm stroke. Repeat with the next stamp until the stamped design is complete. If you are using letters, it is easiest to work from left to right.
Tips and warnings
- You can use any hammer to hammer the steel stamp, but a brass hammer has give that makes it much easier to stamp metal jewellery.
- Safety eyewear should always be worn when stamping metal, to protect you from metal bits or mis-strikes during stamping.
- Do not use a planishing, bordering or other forming hammer for stamping steel stamps or you will damage the hammer.
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