All of our stampings & etchings are signed original designs.
Stamping is one of the original, ancient forms of decorating metals.
Stamping is accomplished by annealing the metal, (heating it till it becomes soft), so it will more readily receive the design.
Placing the softened silver on a steel block, a hardened steel stamp, with a design engraved on one end, is struck one sharp blow with a hammer.
The silver, being softer than the steel, receives the design from the stamp.
This process is repeated, with the same or various stamps, until the desired design is achieved.
Designs can be simple or traditional patterns as well as moving into a more “art” type form, where scenes are “drawn”, similar to an artists sketch.
When the design is complete, the silver is then left to sit in a liver of sulfur mixture, which blackens the entire piece.
The silver is then polished to remove the blacking from the “high” spots, or non stamped areas, leaving the blackened design to stand out in sharp contrast.
The silver is then “dapped”, (shaped and formed), this hardens the silver again.
With a final polish it is ready to be incorporated as a center piece, or to stand alone.
Some designs have evolved over time to become standardized, and in some cases are mass produced by machines.
Most stampings that are hand worked originals are signed by the artist.
The designs can be repeated, and being hand wrought will contain slight variations.
Etching is the process by which the surface layers of the silver are altered, to create texture and change the reflective ability of the piece.
This can be accomplished using acids, by hand, or using a high speed diamond bur.
The etching can be slight to very heavy and dense.
The designs can cover the full spectrum from simple graphics to intricate drawings of minute detail.
Stamping and etching can be combined to create “3D” pictures, giving shadowy depths and brilliant highlights.
Sand blasting is another tool used to change the surface of silver, this gives an even mat finish that is satiny to the touch.
Designs are not as intricate as in etching, but have a pleasing two tone effect.
Stamping and Etchings
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Squirrel-Eze ™ "A Nutty Idea That Works"
PO Box 817
Pepperell, MA 01463
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