November 16, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect!

Isn't that true? Mastering a new skill just takes work and practice, practice, practice, and making Stamped Metal Jewelry is no exception!

Surfing around on Pinterest the other day I came across a nice picture of an antique cross stitch sampler. I have always liked the look of samplers. All of those tiny stitches in the quest of perfecting stitching techniques.

Fast forward to modern day, I thought making a sampler would be a good way to practice perfecting my stamping techniques and to make a cool piece of display art at the same time.
The alphabet is often the subject of stitched samplers, so I started by selecting the Beaducation Original Kismet Font in upper and lowercase in both 3.2mm and 2mm. (And right now the 2mm uppercase and lowercase are on SALE through November 23.)

I studied a few cross stitched samplers online and made my plan. I began by cutting a 4"x 3" piece of 22 gauge copper sheet with French Shears. I used a fine-tipped Sharpie marker to mark lines across the sheet every half inch. (To learn more on how Beaducation Originals line up for perfect stamping here is a PDF, or here is a video.) I chose my favorite design stamps that had an "old fashioned" feel, got out my 1 lb Brass Head Mallet and Bench Block and got to work.

Starting at the top of the sheet, I stamped from left to right, choosing stamps that caught my fancy. I separated each segment of alphabet text with a repetitive line of stamping to create a border.

After stamping about 1/3 of the sheet, the metal was getting pretty stiff and curled up and hard to stamp. I annealed and then flattened the sheet with a Plastic Mallet. I repeated that process again 2/3 of the way through. Annealing made it much easier to stamp.

Here is the result.

I kind of love it. It has a few imperfections and mistakes. I just forged ahead and worked through them. After all this is practice, remember?

 Click on pictures to enlarge.

I thought it would make a nice adornment for the Beaducation offices, so I mounted it in a shadowbox frame that I backed with a nice polka dot fabric.

Just in case you are wondering, here is a complete list of the design stamps that I used in my sampler.
Spiral Hand, Tiny Heart, Mama Partridge, Partridge, Large Heart with Spiral, Heart Border, Wave with Dots, Branches Set of 3, Vine, Squiggle, Bristly Flower, Ornate Key, Tree Stump, Heart Spiral, Bird, House, Basic Flower Face 1/8"and Bird House.

I hope you try it out. I know I am a better stamper with all the practice I got on this piece. Enjoy!

P.S. For more tips on stamping, check out my Top Ten Tips for Stamping post from earlier this year!


BahamaDawn said...

that is such an awesome piece of artwork and great practice too! thanks for sharing!

CS said...

What a great idea! This is beautiful and full of meaning.

Mary Harding said...

Totally adorable. And so like a sampler even though everything is new. Just love it.

somethingunique said...

Hey Kate, what an awesome idea...i was planning on making a sampler for a Xmas show and what a perfect idea...thanks..i'm off to stamp
take care ttfn Lana :)

kat said...

Wow this is a great idea I love it. I especially love it since I also cross stitch.