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Copper Pipe and Impressed Blanks

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart

It’s time to take some poorly stamped blanks and make slightly better looking copper pipe pendants out of them! Are you ready? If you don’t remember the whole ordeal that was my first experience with metal stamping, you can find that here. TL;DR – if there wasn’t such a thing as a “rage pendant” before, it exists now because I made one. 

Setting aside the dramatic process of rage jewelry making, sometimes things work out beautifully! It just so happens that those little blanks are the PERFECT size to dangle inside a slice of copper pipe. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Why does my mat look so dirty? 🙁

I started out with the Tree of Life piece since it came out the closest to some sort of reasonably good usable impressed upon metal. What do you call a stamped blank anyway? Is there a word for it? Or is it just a stamped blank and that’s it? Well the tree was kinda good and I like the design, so I snipped a bit (too much) of black wire. I thought it would look good with the design, and it does, but there’s one problem with black craft wire. It is SO easy to get tool marks on it and then you’re left with very noticeable copper spots. It also makes me wonder how long the black will last on the wire, but this was an experiment, so perfection was not necessary. I kept the natural curve of the wire after the loop to go with the design. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
It wouldn’t focus!

I took a slice of copper pipe with a hole drilled in it and threaded the wire through. A quick loop and a wrap later and it became a pendant! I like how this wrap looks, but it doesn’t prevent the pipe from spinning around the blank. I think that might be okay (like a “feature”) for some pieces, but in this case I’m not wild about it. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Pliers make a great prop for stubborn jewelry that won’t sit still.

Round two! This time I wanted to fix the spinny pipe problem, so I started this piece the same way as the first, but finished the wrap a little differently. I gave it a little “tail” to bend down over the back of the pipe. At first I tried to bend the wire on itself to give it a more finished look and to keep it from having a cut wire sitting against the wearer. The only problem is that it rarely ever occurs to me to measure things when it comes to wire wrapping. No big deal, right? Eyeballing it is totally fine! 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Measuring is for chumps!

Eyeballing it did not work this time around and my tail was waaaaay too long. Since you can’t really unbend a wire that’s bent in half (well, you CAN, but it will most likely break), I had no choice but to cut it. By the way, eyeballing it totally worked that time and that tail did its job. No more spinny pipe pendant!

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Ok, maybe measuring can be helpful… (*grumble grumble*)

 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Mission accomplished!

Are you ready for the finale? The rage piece got a little extra experimentation. Instead of drilling a hole for the wire, I decided to wrap the blank onto the pipe. That way it saves me from drilling a hole and the pipe won’t spin. It’s also because I thought I drilled three pieces of pipe, but apparently only did two. Oops!

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
The question now is: leather or chain?

It might need a little tweaking, but it’s not too bad! The wrap also gives the rage stamps the subtle air of suffocating angst. (Was that too much?) This might be the one I wear myself! 

All in all these were a lot of fun to make! If I can get my stamping technique on point this could be a whole other line for my shop. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
But what do I call them??

There will definitely be more of these coming with more precision and less frustration! If you have an idea that you want me to try, let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

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Impressart! Metal Stamping is Hard!

impressart metal stamping jewelry making kit blanks block hammer stamps

**Before we get started – this post contains affiliate links!**

Ok, metal stamping isn’t THAT tough – but it’s harder than it looks. This week I picked up a metal stamping kit by Impressart to try my hand at it. I have some ideas about how I can use it with my copper pipe jewelry so now you get to read all about my test run! I also thought that maybe, just, maybe, I could use the stamps on the copper pipe itself, but NOPE. Good thing that wasn’t the only plan I had…

impressart metal stamping jewelry making kit blanks block hammer stamps
Side note – I got this because I totally needed another project. Side side note – I’ve had the materials to make a sketchbook from scratch for two months. Somebody please yell at me about that.

The Impressart kit includes the metal block, a special little hammer, practice blanks, and an upper case alphabet stamp set. I also picked up some handy little sticker guides to keep things  nice and neat. Full disclosure: this isn’t actually the first run, but since I’m not going to put the names of people I know on the internet you get to see my second try. Let’s just say the first one, which also used a sticker, was pretty bad. Crooked, poorly spaced, stamp not hit evenly – you name it. But don’t worry – I have other fails for you!

This practice run is for a tag for my dog. His name is Chewy and he doesn’t mind if you know that. You see, Chewy has a bad habit of chewing his dog tags. All it takes is a few minutes of leaving him hime alone with his tags on and they will be unrecognizable. He also ate lights off the Christmas tree one year and he loves to eat paper. We named him Chewy for other reasons, but clearly lives up to the name!

dog piggy snuggle impressart
He likes to snuggle his piggy. <3

The tag started off great! By great I mean I got the very first letter crooked. It became more apparent as I kept stamping. It’s also off center. Not by too much, but on such a small piece any mistakes are WAY more obvious! 

Impressart metal stamping blank fail dog tag
I don’t know if I can live with that E…

When it was all done it didn’t look too bad. Then I took the sticker off… 

impressart blank tag mistake fail metal stamping stamp
It’s too high!

Definitely not customer quality, but I don’t think Chewy will mind. Pro tip: measure the blank and put the sticker in the right place to start with. I just eyeballed it and for customer-ready pieces that won’t fly. It was at this point that I realized I can’t stamp the back with our phone number. Why? I don’t have number stamps! 

impressart metal stamping stamp blank dog tag enamel pen
This thing also leaked all over my table! I wish I had a pic, but at least it doesn’t leak anymore…

To make the letters stand out I used the Impressart enamel pen. Just scribble the stuff on, let it dry for a couple of minutes, and wipe it off. It also makes those pesky mistakes stand out even more. Pro tip: don’t forget about the stuff after you put it on. If it dries completely, it’s a pain to wipe off and rubbing too hard can take it out of the impression. 

impressart enamel pen blank dog tag metal stamp stamping
It kinda hard to see because all my close ups came out blurry. Trust me, it’s totally more defined!

I picked up a few tiny blanks and extra stamps to play with and let’s just say that the smaller you go, the more precise you need to be. The first one was supposed to be a single heart. Easy enough, right?? No. Not even a little bit. I scrutinized the placement of that stamp. Agonized over it! Contemplated the meaning of my existence until I was absolutely POSITIVE that stamp was dead center of that blank. It wasn’t. But adding another heart to it would hide that, right? RIGHT?? My very existence depended on it! 

No. It didn’t do that at all. It doesn’t look awful, but it’s still off. So I tried again. The heart was much closer to center, BUT… I wasn’t holding the stamp evenly. Augh! So I did what any normal person would do and pounded hearts into that tiny little blank until I felt better. It looks kinda cool… sorta… not really… Ok, third time’s a charm! I have this cute little tree stamp and it came out *almost* in the center. Pretty darn close actually! The impression still wasn’t totally even either, but at this point I’m not sure if I need more practice or if I just suck at this. 

impressart metal stamping stamp blanks enamel fail
I’m still going to try these with some copper pipe. I love experiments!

Is there a market for intentionally bad stamped jewelry? It might be time to find out! Stay tuned to see how these look with some copper pipe. See you then! Thanks for reading!

P.S. This was not a paid promotion, just my own experience. 

P.P.S. I’m totally ok with being sent stuff to try out. 🙂