Creating textures on metal is an exciting part of jewellery making and creating unique designs. When it comes to texturing metal, the possibilities are endless, it all comes down to your imagination and practising with what works for you.
Below, we share our favourite tools for creating textures and interest to your handmade jewellery. For more top tips, take a look at our advice pages on texturing and polishing.
A ball pein hammer has a domed end and a flat round head. Use the domed end to create a beautiful, traditional hammered effect on your jewellery designs. Don't forget to place your piece on a steel block while hammering for a sturdy surface.
A cross pein hammer has a flat end and a wedge-shaped end which can be used to create a rich, bark-like texture on metal. It is also a great hammer for using with punches and stamps.
A repousse hammer (also known as a chasing hammer) has a flat side and a domed side - using the domed side of the hammer will produce an extremely popular dramatic hammered metal effect.
If you're looking to create dips and rises in your designs, consider using doming punches. If these are used on different surfaces, it will produce distinct effects. For example, using a doming punch to texture your metal against a bench block will create an even depth hammered effect, but hammering against a rolled up piece of leather will create a deeper and more uneven texture. Experimenting will produce new creative ideas and unique styles. To create clean spherical shapes in your piece, you can use the punches in combination with the doming block.
Available in different shapes, these gravers can be used for engraving patterns, marks and textures into metals. Make them more comfortable to hold with a wooden graver handle.
Liver of sulphur is a popular product for achieving an antique, black or iridescent coloured patina on your metal designs.
While useful for cleaning and preparing metals before polishing, a glass fibre brush is also great for applying a matt or brushed finish to metals to give your pieces extra interest.
You can use your gas torch to apply heat to the surface of the metal you're working with, and you'll see a different effect depending on what metal you're using and how much heat you apply to it.
A good quality scriber is an essential tool for all silversmiths making score marks on sheet metal, but it is also great for making a dotted texture on metal when hammered gently. Marks can be emphasised by applying a patina using liver of sulphur.
A charcoal block is great for granulation (creating metal spheres) because of its super smooth surface - meaning the little balls of metal you make won't stick to the block.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you advice over email or on the phone.
You can learn more and find inspiration by visiting our Jewellery Making Tutorials, Jewellery Making Kits and YouTube Channel. Don't forget to follow us on social media and tag us in your designs on Instagram & Facebook, we would love to see!