"We don’t want to push our ideas on to customers,
we simply want to make what they want."
Recently I dropped off some of my handmade jewelry at a local shop. The clerk opened the box tentatively, as if she was expecting a clutter of spiders to crawl out. "Oh," she said, sounding surprised. "These are very nice. They should sell fast."
While I can't be certain what caught the shop clerk's attention, I do know that all the jewelry included hand stamped components.
If you haven't tried stamping yet, I'd urge you to give it a try, especially if you sell your work. People love to give (and get) personalized items and items that feature words or phrases that aren't commonly found elsewhere.
No matter what kind of jewelry you make, consider creating your own personalized tags to add to your jewelry. You can have these custom made, but that can be expensive. If you're just starting out, you might do something simple like a single symbol or your initial on a tag that hangs at the back of a necklace or near the clasp of a bracelet. (For initials, I like something in a script font like this set.) This not only marks your jewelry as your original creation but it gives it a collector's feel, similar to a signed painting.
Many metal stamps can be used on other materials such as leather, clay,
or wood, which makes the initial cost of the tools more worthwhile.
In this tutorial I wrote for B'Sue Boutiques I walk through the basics and share some of my stamping tips. (You'll also find a few samples of my work, including the bracelet and earrings pictured on this page. If you've only seen plain metal blanks before, you should check out some of the pretty ones with scalloped edges.)
Stamped Metal Jewelry by Lisa Niven Kelly
This is the book to buy if you want to learn more about stamping metal. It also covers some metalworking basics, including riveting, dapping, and hammering. It comes with a DVD, great for visual learners.
A Stamper's Dozen: 13+ Ideas for Making Personalized Gifts
Tammy Jones at Jewelry Making Daily wrote an excellent list of stamping ideas, including stamping on spoons (great gifts for coffee or tea drinkers). If you think there's no possible good reason to buy a metal stamp set, this list may just change your mind.
Do you have a favorite metal stamping resource to share?
Quotation Source: 99 Legendary Customer Service Quotes. There are a few repeats in the list and not every quote is a gem. You'll recognize many of the names as business leaders at Amazon, Starbucks, McDonalds, and other familiar companies.