Saturday, June 4, 2011

Metal Stamping and Vintage Metals

I am really enjoying stamping metals, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy finding vintage metals to upcycle into new stamped jewelry. I actually came across this when I used an old wall hanging to practice stamping on. I noticed how it stamps deeper. The stamp is more clear and metal looks much more rich and ... hmm, yummy LOL.. is that what I'm trying to say?

Let's look at some examples:

This is a custom stamp on a new piece of copper

And this one is done on a 25 year old piece of copper

Can you see the difference in the depth of the stamp and the color of the copper? It makes me think about how old pennies actually have more copper in them than newer pennies. Have you ever noticed when you have a handful of change, the pre 1980 pennies have a beautiful patina and richness that the newer pennies just don't have? They even feel different in your hand.

So, one of my weekend past times now is 'metal hunting'. I go to antique shops in search of old copper and brass that I can upcycle into new jewelry. I like the idea of taking something old and, in many cases obsolete, and giving it a new chance at life. It has such a history behind it. An antique Copper pot that held flowers that children picked for their mother 40 years ago can now be a piece of jewelry stamped with the name of a new mama's children. It inanimate object that set in the corner and watched as children grew up and moved away can now once again take on a new life and watch a new family grow and love.

So, if you see me digging through a pile of old wall hangings with a gleam in my eye, know that I'm on my way to make new treasures out of old history.

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