August 13, 2015

Made a mistake? Don't throw that blank away!

This is a follow up to our recent blog post about common stamping mistakes. It is inevitable, we’re all going to goof at some point. Don’t fret – it is never a complete waste!   Here are three ways to use that blank in a finished piece: Redo: Stamping over or restamping is tricky, but might be worth a try if you’ve already made a mistake. If you didn't have even pressure on your stamp and only part of letter or design impressed, try carefully lining the stamp back up and stamping it again using the tilt 'n tap method

What about stamping the wrong letter? Depending on the letters and font you're using, you may be able to stamp over it with the correct letter. Check out the sample below. Has this ever happened to you?
Ah man, I stamped a "c" rather than an "o"! 
Oh well, maybe I can just take the "o" and carefully line it up and whack it over the "c".
Success! Hooray!
Resurface: Try using a chasing hammer to give the blank a hammered look. Lightly hammer all over the blank until the stamped mistake is camouflaged and then restamp. 

Below, you can see that my "O" in the word TOM is not lined up properly. By texturing the entire blank, the mistake is covered up and I can align all the letters properly. I love the hammered look!

Another method that definitely works is texturing the top with a texture hammer or with other stamps (for instance, the stamp that you made the mistake with in the first place) and use it as a back plate on something layered, like this.

Repurpose: Incorporate the blank as a component of a more intricate piece via soldering or riveting. You'll find many examples and ideas in our Metalwork& Soldering DIY Designs and Riveting, Nuts & Bolts DIY Designs.   


And here are two more ways to salvage the blank without having to throw it out: Reuse: Keep these blanks handy for testing purposes. Experiment with texture hammers; explore different finishing effects such as sanding, using steel wool, brushing; try out a new design stamp to see how it stamps in that type of metal; play with patinas; or practice riveting.

Recycle: Make sure to save all scraps and pieces of your sterling and fine silver. Keep them in a container and you'll eventually build up enough to sell to a fine metals refinery.
These are all practices we use here at Beaducation. Do you have any ideas that we haven't thought of? Share them in the comments!

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