Friday, February 26, 2016

Practice in Action .....

by MaryAnn Carroll

So..... I tend to be the type of person who loves to experiment. I am also the type of person that LOVES to find unique deals, which is why auctionzip is one of my favorite websites. You can search for all of the live or online (not my thing) auctions that are in your area. Most include pictures, so you will have a good idea about what will be there.

I keep an ongoing list in my head of what I would like to have one day. When we go, I am MUCH better than my husband with money limits. If I don't get what I set out for, the hunt continues. It's fun. If you haven't tried it yet, you should!

So, I have wanted a letter punch set for a long time and just haven't purchased one. It's not one of those "must haves" for me, but more like an "I would like to own one someday" kind of thing.

Last weekend, I found this cool punch set! Some people like the look of new things; I prefer the look of something that has been used and passed down over the years. This one definitely is old. There isn't a top with it, but I'm not sure it every had one...... and it is a full set (including numbers). I managed to get it for $30.

Now, it was time to try it. I've watched a few tutorials and liked the one that used masking tape. Keep in mind, I am clueless when it comes to doing this.

The pictures below show my steel block that I've purchased in a bead shop. The one I prefer and use most often is my antique iron (directly below). I purchased from an estate sale before I realized that auctions were much more entertaining! This picture is for no reason at all other than I wanted you to see it!

After taping the disc to my block, I wrote out the letters to help me with my spacing. Then I moved the punch ever so lightly until I could feel it touch the masking tape.

That's all good and well until I faced this..... Just one big hit they say...... yup and I could picture my fingers becoming part of the steel iron! This took some major concentration and I had to let go of the fear of losing my fingers!

I read that the best thing to use was this heavy duty two pound mallet that I use for disc cutting.
You need one good hit (a little scary).

So I practiced and practiced....

Am I good at it yet?


And I've learned not to get too wordy!

Then I tried doming, but could not find my wooden doming block. I wonder why???

Don't judge.

I'm pretty sure my metal block is not the one to use! The letters stayed, but they were definitely different and I was afraid to keep rounding it. What the heck? It's just practice.

 And then what? Let's try some enamel..... hmmmmmm..... not sure.

I've read that using lower case letters softens the words..... I won't be running out too soon to get those since I am not positive that this is my thing. I like it and I might try using them in clay. If I find an antique set with lower letters, I will definitely try them out though.

In the meantime, this was a good way to find out if I liked doing this? I think we all have to find what types of things are natural for us. This didn't come naturally for me like it is for mary jane dodd.....
or Barbara Betchel.....

We will see. It was fun trying and if nothing else, I have another antique piece!

Have you tried something that was a challenge and ended up working out or not working out?

Thanks for reading!



Cindy Pack said...

Your work bench looks just like mine! Ha! Great stamping! I loved what you made! Also- the set is lovely! I greatly admire that worn, used look. Maire's bowls are amazing! That sort of precision and perfectly placed letters takes so much focus and intention. Really amazing. <3 best to you MaryAnn Have fun! :-)

stacilouise said...

Mary Jane's letting is inspirational. I struggle wtih lining things up and such too. It's not my strong point nor something I love!

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