Aug 292010
 

I’m starting a new venture with the Starving Jewelry Artists…a “blog carnival” where we will all discuss a specific topic each month.  This month’s topic/question was “How does texture play into your work?”

Obviously, texture is a metal-worker’s best friend.  Combining stamping, hammering, patinas, and other texturizing techniques is a basic component of working with metals.  But I’ll address another reason for using texture in my work.

Cover Up.

Yep…using texture is sometimes an easy way to “hide” those little imperfections and OOPS! moments one has with a tool that mars the surface of pretty, shiny metal.

It’s sort of like putting on make up, however…a little goes a long way.  Putting on a thick coat of foundation or powder makes my face look like a mask, while a light swipe will do a great job at covering up that tiny scar on my forehead or scratch on my nose.

While I have a plethora of fancy texturing hammers, sometimes I prefer to just use a small ballpeen hammer to create tiny dents that look great shiny OR with a nice patina (see my articles on patina for more details on how to add color and depth to your metal work).  Either way, if I’ve made a boo-boo while working on a piece, like a scratch or dent, the texture added by hammering lightly will help to disguise the flaw.

When I started adding texture to my pieces, I made a common mistake of whacking the tar out of my pieces.  Not always necessary!  Especially with lighter gauge wire or sheet metal, a modest tap is all that’s really needed.  And hammering on a softer surface (like wood or rubber) will create a different result from hammering on a steel block.  Remember, you can always add more texture…harder to smooth it out if you’ve done too much!!

Experiment with different surfaces and hammers, and remember…texture can be your friend, especially when “covering up” those flaws!