Friday, August 27, 2010

Misadventures in metal stamping

I'm fairly new to metal stamping and still learning, mostly by trial and error. I've found that letters are pretty easy for me but designs on the other hand take some serious practice. After receiving some great design stamps, I started hammering away with terrible results. When I struck the stamp, the steel hammer I was using would bounce like crazy. The tag would go flying across the room. After chasing them down, I saw that most of the stamps weren't showing up and the ones that did were awful.

I started researching my particular problem. I found out that achieving a proper dead blow is essential to stamping designs. I was clearly using the wrong type of hammer for these stamps. I ordered a 1 pound brass mallet immediately. Here's the one I ordered: Beaducation: 1 lb Brass Head Mallet [HAM1]

I noticed a significant difference right away. After a few practice strikes, the designs were coming out much better. Now, I'm busy practicing a confident, straight on swing. I've mastered 3 of the 4 designs now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You Can Sell It Guild

The You Can Sell It Guild, YCSI for short, is a great group of artisans on Artfire committed to finding ways to sell our items and get the word out about fellow artisans.  With our GuildMaster (FantasyClay) leading the way, we have access to helpful information on a forum and a blog.  Being fairly new to the social networking world, I've found it quite helpful to have a place where I can ask questions and get support. 

Here's a fantastic YCSI collection curated by FantasyClay.  I think it really shows the diversity within our guild.

Here's the YCSI blog, always great information to be found.  Be sure to check out our challenges as well.