So, I took a class. I mean that’s where it starts right? That’s where you take action, show up and learn how to do something.
One big reason I even started this website is because I don’t have a hobby. Way too many years spent earning instead of learning a new skill for my free time.
So, I took a class.
Finding a Place
Driving down Northwest Highway in Dallas, my honey spotted a store in a strip mall called Maker’s Connect ~ Local Handmade Crafts. Interesting name that let us know that they serve artists and supporters of artists.
I immediately looked them up on my phone to check them out.
Makers Connect is a consignment store for artists, crafters, DIYers who are interested in making money from their creations.
Art for Keeping
Now there are plenty of artists out there who want to keep all of their creations. My Aunt Irene loved to paint and her walls were filled with her work. She gave away a few pieces but they mostly served to decorate her home.
Art for Selling
Makers Connect is for those who want to profit from their original work.
But not only that, this business is there to help others learn. They offer classes to those of us wannabes still searching for our passion.
Begin with an Interest
I was drawn to the Metal Stamping page on Hobsess since I found this hobby and knew that at some point I wanted to try it. Fortunately, this class was offered at Makers Connect.
I showed up ready to learn. Greeted by Chris Unruh, the owner and instructor, I knew immediately it was going to be a fun night. AND IT WAS!
The class was small – just how I like it. In a small setting it is very easy to get your questions answered and talk to others about real time learning.
As a former educator, I know how important access to key information is. Equally important, she served drinks!
Learning About the Materials
Each student had a metal block, a mallet, various sized pieces for stamping and access to uppercase and lowercase letters, decorative stamps for special effects, and other charms. We could make key chains or pieces ready for a bracelet or necklace.
Let me tell you from a closet creative, it was a little intimidating.
I should have perused my Pinterest board on Stamping on Metal before leaving and snagged a few meaningful sayings to copy but I didn’t think of it until just now. So I had a brief moment of “duh” until I remembered a quote on a bracelet that my sister Venessa gave me many years ago – Be Brave.
I was ready to pound it out!
Learning the Technique
I was encouraged to draw it out first so I did.
I tend to want to do first and then plan later because I don’t want anything to slow me down. Not always the best approach, I know!
As I am pounding out Be Brave, I decided that I will actually give my creation to Venessa. I know she will be so excited about this! As excited as receiving a finger painting from a 4 year old! Similar skill level.
A Challenge for a Perfectionist
I taped down the round piece so it wouldn’t wiggle during the whacking but what I found challenging was getting the letters lined up and spaced perfectly. Some letters seemed dark and some light and all seemed a little off.
Even though I have given up the illusion of perfectionism that haunted me as a young person, sometimes it creeps back in. I had to give these ideas a few whackings along with my brass plate.
You cannot expect your first attempt at trying something new to be perfect. Get over it.
It takes practice to become good at anything.
A Beautiful Butterfly
I have to tell you that there was a lot of love and aggression happening in this next step. Somehow, I couldn’t get a good whacking on the stamp to the metal.
Consequently, the décor is more body parts of butterflies rather than lovely flying creatures that I had envisioned.
But it was made with love.
Best Mom Ever
My next piece I decided to make for my mom. Very easy to find a statement for her: BEST MOM EVER
I know now why I got pieces instead of the whole.
Stamping metal takes patience. I was whacking butterflies and hearts like I was playing whack-a-mole.
I think I will do much better next time just by slowing down.
My Starry Starry Key Chain
I pounded out “rev” and added a star.
I have an attachment to stars. I keep reaching for them. I keep trying to be one. I keep trying to shine that brightly. I love them.
Go To Makers Connect
I want to encourage anyone living in the Dallas area to get to Makers Connect and take a class. You can find them here.
If you are like me and not used to creating anything, this is a fantastic place to learn.
If you cannot make it to a class and are ready to try Stamping on Metal yourself, you can click here to get started.
- Metal Bench Block
- Letters and Numbers
- Design Stamps
- Jeweler’s Hammer or mallet or regular hammer
- Metal Stamping Blanks
- Masking tape to hold the piece down on the block while you whack it
- Sharpie to darken the design (see How to video here for these instructions)
- Rubbing Alcohol to wipe off extra Sharpie
- Keychains or Key Rings
Three Four Lessons Learned
- Stamping on Metal takes practice so be patient with yourself while learning.
- It’s important to find a good teacher, resources or training to find early success.
- Personalizing pieces makes whatever you make more meaningful. I was constantly reminded of what a great sister and mom I have as I was creating their key chains.
- Wine makes learning fun!
What About You?
Have you ever tried stamping on metal? Is this your hobby or business? Are you willing to try?
Let me know below.
Hey, before you go. This article contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the link I get a commission. Just so you know. 🙂