Tiny Stamps, Homemade

Tiny Stamps

One day I was playing in the studio. Playing with Mega Mold and wire and syringe and …. Well, I made tiny metal clay stamps. I will show you what I did, then YOU can decide if and how you could use them. Or modify my process into something that works for you.

Sometimes I plunge ahead, not really knowing if I am going to make a design that is an impression in the clay or a domed piece. I use both, so it didn’t matter to me. Also, I was making textures from Mega Mold at this same time, so literally I was just playing, not knowing the outcome. I will try to stay focused here and narrate how I made Tiny Stamps.

Captions tell the story.

These tiny stamps are what the rest of photos illustrate.

Tiny Stamp Jar

Out of PMC3, I made tiny designs, some are imprints and some are domed.
These are sitting on my brick, and I fired them with a butane torch.

The spiral tiny stamp was made either with syringe on a disc of PMC3, as above, OR
by bending wire into a spiral and soldering that directly to the post (see below). 
Different gauges of wire yield different sizes of spirals.

After they were fired I polished the backs to prepare them for soldering.
This smoothed down the backside surface so that the solder stayed on the surface where it was supposed to be,
instead of being absorbed into the PMC3 through cracks, crevices, and pores on the surface of freshly fired PMC3.

I selected sterling silver earring posts that matched the size of my pieces.

The PMC3 pieces could be larger than the posts but not smaller (unless you wanted to incorporate that effect into your stamp).

I use Easy Solder or Paste Solder for small jobs like this. I’ve put my solder into a syringe;
although you can purchase it in a syringe just as well.

Here is the earring post in a clamp, and I am about to apply a dab of solder.

Applying solder . . . 

Solder on post

I apply a flame from a butane torch pretty fast and watch the solder kinda boil.
I place the PMC3 piece on this with a tweezers then continue to heat until I see the first bit of black or smoke. 
If I heat too long, the sterling silver post melts.

After it is cooled, I brass brush it.

Here are my tiny stamps. Be sure to clean them up prior to use.

I held a stamp with a bent nose pliers or tweezers. I put a little Cool Slip on it and pressed it into the clay.

The closer my grip, the more control.
The first stamp on the left was made with a tiny stamp that was an impression.
Obviouslly, it didn’t work. Too tiny?

I used some more of my tiny stamps.

I grabbed a brass “O” with a tweezers and centered my impression. I cut out the impressions.

Impressions waiting to have the remainder clay peeled away.

Impressions ready to dry

I dry my tiny pieces and may or may not clean up their edges before I store them in a little jar.
Then, when I make earrings such as these, I go to my jar of dry, tiny pieces and find the ones I want to use.

As you can see, some of these pieces or earring components are impressions but most of them are domed.
I’ll show you how I make lots of domed tiny pieces in the next PMC Tidbits and Tricks, called Molds and Tiny Domed Pieces, Homemade.

For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2019