What is Handstamping?
Handstamping….what is it really all about?
The name itself –handstamping – doesn’t really reflect the process by which we make your personalised jewellery or gifts.
Yes, we make it by hand but there really isn’t any ‘stamping’ involved. There’s no ink, or rubber and no little square paper we need to lick the back of– so what is handstamping?
‘Hand hammering’ would be a more accurate description. We literally use a hammer to make the impressions on your keepsake.
Ok I’m following so far….but how?
Every letter, number or design stamp comes on an individual metal shank. (We have hundreds of them!) They come in different sizes and different fonts.
The quality of the metal shank is SO important – they are not all created equal. A more expensive, and thus better-quality shank makes a crisper, clearer impression and will last for years.
We use a metal block as our main work surface to hammer on.
Your piece is fixed to the metal block and then we can begin the personalisation of your piece. We select the corresponding metal shank to your chosen selections where we then use our naked eye to line up on the piece where we need to stamp the letter. We then hammer the top of the shank, creating an impression into the piece. We continue, one letter at time, until all of the wording, dates and quotes are complete.
It takes a keen eye and steady hand to align the wording as straight and evenly as possible.
No two pieces will ever be the same as the depth, alignment and spacing is unique to every piece.
Once an impression has been made, it cannot be undone. No wording will be absolutely perfect (because we are not machines) and we love this organic, free flowing feel of handstamping.
Now you might think that’s the hard bit out the way…..but we are a long way from having a final keepsake. In fact the hammering of wording can be the quickest part of the whole process. Next is cleaning, and we all know that type of work is never finished!
The pieces are then put through a professional tumbler. A barrel filled with tiny metal pieces that spins around and as the tiny pieces of metal rub against your piece it removes imperfections on the surface and brings it to a brighter shine. This process takes a few hours.
Once complete we then finish by hand.
For natural lettering we wax and polish, then photograph and package and it's ready to go. For black lettering, another step is required.
Each letter is ‘painted’ with an enamel paint turning the wording black. It is then set to dry and then the final wax and polish can be completed.
As blackened lettering is painted on, over time this colour will fade (especially if you wear your piece in the shower or pool) but don't worry it is so easy to touch up and we can even talk you through how to do this yourself at home.
At the end of the day, we walk away with sore arms and black fingernails, jewellery making is certainly not an elegant profession!
We love seeing your selections and wording coming to life, we love how each piece tells it's own story and has unique characteristics as a result of the process of ‘hand hammering’. We hope that you will love it too.