Texturing metal with hammers and stamps is a fun, relatively easy and inexpensive way of adding interest to a jewellery piece. I’m a big fan of textured pieces, finding most smooth mirror finished pieces a bit of a bore, as well as being impractical since the finish is so easily ruined in everyday wear. There is a misconception that we need to hit metal hard in order to texture and stamp it. In fact, you only really control where the hammer lands as gravity pulls it down, you just control the fall. A well textured piece should not be haphazard or poorly finished. Plan out your texture, make it intentional and be sure to finish your piece to a high standard, finish the edges and polish the highs and you will have a quality textured piece. Adding a patina can really bring out a nice texture as well.
Texturing Hammers are available HERE
Texturing hammers are like large stamps. They are easy to use and great for covering large areas, creating a more random or abstract look since they are less precise than hand stamps. The Ball peen hammer or the Ball on a Chasing Hammer gives a classic texture, but always test the texture on a scrap piece first since the smooth surface on the ball can become scratched and marred. Refinish the smooth surface of the ball with sand papers and/or a buffing wheel. The back of a riveting hammer creates nice lines.
Workingsilver has a variety of specialized texture hammers in stock to create lines, square, diamond, spirals… on your metal – like the textures in the pictures just above.
Another place to find great hammer textures is your grandfathers shed. Old beat up hammers, nails, screwdrivers or anything made of steel that can mark metal is a possibility, just be sure he doesn’t need it back!
Hand stamps on a Bench Block
Hand stamps provide more control as you place the stamp directly where you want the mark and tap it with a hammer. This process can be very precise and time consuming especially if trying to write out words in a strait line, or if covering a large area. However, the results can be fantastic and there are so many choices available. They can also be used sparingly on top of a hammered texture as well.