Jewelry & Fashion | 12 January 2016Jewelry Making: Patterns with Letter Stamps Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Etching is a way to leave a print on something without requiring force. This technique for letter stamp jewelry from Jewelry Lab: 52 Experiments, Investigations, and Explorations in Metal shows you how to create intricate and unique designs from letters! Believe it or not, ordinary letter stamps make great, out-of-the-ordinary patterns. Think in terms of symmetry and asymmetry, and use repetition to your advantage. Or stamp with punches over wood or leather from the backside of the metal to produce interesting bumps. Try not to think of the stamps as letters but as designs, and turn them sideways and upside down. • metal • wet/dry sandpaper • steel letter stamps • liver-of-sulfur patina • buffing pad or extra-fine steel wool • commercial ear wires or chain • saw • snips, optional • disc cutter, optional • file • steel bench block • center punch • chasing hammer • drill • pin vise with drill bit • rawhide mallet, optional Instructions: 1. Shape two pieces of metal using a saw, or cut the metal with snips, or punch out discs with a disc cutter. 2. File and sand the edges. 3. Mark a divot using a center punch to drill a small hole in each metal shape. 4. Stamp in patterns with the letter stamps and your chasing hammer. 5. Drill an ear wire hole, and using the bigger drill bit in the pin vise, clean off the remaining burr. 6. Repeat until you have your desired patterns. 7. Patina the metal with liver-of-sulfur and buff off the high spots. 8. Attach to ear wires or chain for a necklace. Experiment Flip over your metal shape and hammer using the center punch from the backside. Do this on a block of wood to create little raised bumps on the front. This (or simply flattening it with a rawhide mallet) will also counteract the cupping effect that occurs when you stamp too much on one side. Tip When you use a letter stamp, hold it down with one hand and strike it once with your hammer. Don’t lift up the stamp yet! Instead, while holding it in place, tilt or angle the stamp toward you and strike again. This should get a good impression, hopefully without creating a double impression. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Jewelry Lab uses brevity to ignite a passion for working the metals processes and learning about all the ways metal can be used. It provides aspiring metalsmiths and jewelry makers a way to learn fundamental techniques that is quick and fun. In addition to the basic skills such as sawing, drilling, soldering, and finishing, the book covers texturing, etching, rolling, coloring, patinas, forming, connections, findings, solders, bezels, rivets, and other experimental techniques. This is not a project book; rather, it is an approachable, unintimidating workbook that breaks metals processes down into very specific experiments, such as texturing or plastic deformation of metal, with no goal in mind other than to experience how metal moves. Readers learn to understand more about metal, how to master it, and gain a deep, thoughtful underlying appreciation for process and method, becoming entranced with finely crafting objects with great care. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.