A beginners tutorial
Our first Open Art session, we chose metal stamping.
I love painting, but there's something really special about working with metal.
We choose basic zinc coated washers that you get from the hardware store. I also had some blank dog tags and copper squares that were left over from a previous jewelry project. The thinner squares and dog tags didn't stamp as well as the washers.
The metal stamps that we have in the studio are from Harbor Freight and Hobby Lobby. They are relatively inexpensive (under $15) and come in a variety of sizes and scripts.
The double-sided tape is optional but it really helped to stabilize the washer on the block; the process was tricky enough without having to worry about the washer sliding around on the block.
Step one: Pick out your washer and secure it to the bench block using the tape. We used our bench blocks on the floor. I felt like the kids had a better success rate working on their knees verses sitting in a chair.
Wider base of support and better core stability = more likely to hit the target.
Step two: Decide what you're going to spell and pick out your letters. You can get really technical on how to space your letters and do the math to make sure that your word is perfectly centered on the washer.
With the kids, we were just happy to get the letters stamped clearly!
The instructors here found that our artist were most successful at striking the post if someone else was holding it. We had them hammer it more than once in order to really make the letter "stick."
Holding a metal post next to a metal block and giving a child a hammer sounds more dangerous than it really is. Keep your fingertips curled under and it doesn't smart when they miss.
Really, my fingers are just fine.