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Stamped Metal Valentine Hearts and the book "Stamped Metal Jewelry" by Lisa Niven Kelley

 My most recent interest has been metal. I love embossing metal foil and, I suppose, stamping metal was a logical progression.  I want to learn some wire wrapping techniques (thanks to a necklace that I fell in love with on a jaunt to Roslyn, Washington last Fall). I am fighting to restrain myself from becoming enamored with jewelry making, but I wanted a book that would teach me a bit about the ins and outs of stamping metal to use in my mixed media work. I happened upon the most excellent website called Beaducation. Lisa Niven Kelly is the owner of the site and I found that she had recently published this little treasure of a book called "Stamped Metal Jewelry". You know I had to have it!

 This book is exactly what I needed. It comes completed with a nifty instructional DVD. The book covers all of the basics about tools, gauges of metal and metal wire, dapping, riveting, applying patinas, hole punching and drilling, oxidizing, annealing and polishing metals. That's just the beginning! The projects in the book follow a logical progression - an easy introduction to the basics and then moving on to more involved concepts. The book is very well illustrated with clear, concise photographs and written instruction that follows along with the photos. I dislike books that have photo instruction separated from the written instructions - making you flip back and forth to correlate the written instructions with the photographs. This book is really well done in that area. The projects are not only instructive but they are also things that you will enjoy making and wearing. The author does suggest that your first attempts at stamping be done on less expensive metals like copper before moving on to precious metal work. That is good advice because there is, most definitely, a bit of "stamping" curve to learn - since things like pressure, tilt (no!)  and hammer weight can all affect the quality of your finished impression.

This is one of those ah-ha! kind of books that would be a really good addition to the library of any artistically minded person - because who knows where this path could lead you! I love this book - and Lisa's website is one of the best I have ever been on. No matter what your artistic medium is you should do yourself a favor and check it out !

 These are just a few of the projects in the book. The pendant is among the first. Nice!
 If I wore bracelets this would be a joy. I think making it would be more fun than wearing it !
The project below is among my favorites - and is one of the techniques I want to learn.
 In the photographs below  you'll see some of my own "first impressions" - stamping that is! I made this set of Stamped Valentine Hearts for an "Inchie" swap that I am in over on Roses. Once again the dank rainy weather precluded my ability to take a photo in flat light and my laziness prevented me from dragging out my photo cube - so the lighting could be better! I am really enjoying this metallic journey. It's another one of those things that I thought I would never do - I've never been into bling and I don't wear much jewelry. Imagine my surprise and delight as I become more and more fascinated by metal work.
Stamped Meta Valentine Hearts.
Painted chipboard back, embossed metal, stamped brass heart with ink and paint

In this photo you can see the embossed copper colored aluminum metal layer that was torch grazed and painted with metal paints. The brass heart was textured with a hammer, slightly colored with metallic rub on paints and sealed with acrylic spray.
One thing I found was that holding a small piece of metal and hammering could become mutually exclusive! I found that using a small "pop-up foam square" solved the problem handily.I used one square per heart and found that having the metal stabilized like this gave me more confidence to give the metal a solid whack without fear for my fingers!
These are the 3M foam squares I used. My small bench block is becoming well used and, although I I did get a larger block, I find the smaller size well suited to small piece work. The heart in the center has a foam square underneath it. The torch grazed aluminum copper colored foil was well embossed over a sheet of alligator glass (an architectural glass that has a significant pattern of raised dots - like an alligator's skin!)


  1. It does look like a good book.

  2. You always give me ideas for altered art and tempt me to wander along with you.


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