Another Cool Jewelry Tool!

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I love playing with metal, especially copper.  I do love sterling silver and bronze but can’t afford to play with silver and bronze is a bit hard.  Anyway, this post is about my new machine – a Vintaj Big Kick!!

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Several weeks ago I’d written a post about my new dapping set, which is awesome by the way, and a comment from a lovely reader (Christie M) mentioned she had just gotten one of these machines.  I’d never heard of it.  Christie sent me a link and I had to have one!  It’s so simple, and NO chemicals!

This machine embosses and etches metal blanks using embossing folders and dies.  You are supposed to use Vintaj blanks according to the instructions but I figure a soft metal in a thinner gauge should work just as well.  I already had some copper sheet I had purchased from Rio Grande some years ago in 24ga (I think)  so I made my own blanks and purchased just one die from Michaels stores.

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I loved the results!  The rectangular copper blank below was the experiment, it worked.  I then cut and shaped blanks for the earrings, embossed and oxidized them.  I’m not what dies I can or cannot use with this yet so if you have this machine and experimented with it, please let me know before I go crazy trying everything. I don’t want to wreck my machine.   (I tend to wander from rigid instructions and invent my own through trial and error.)

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I made this pendant the week before using metal sheet, wire, a pen and some Gilders’ Paste to try and satisfy my metal craving.  I didn’t satiate me.  I had to buy a the Sizzik Big Kick!

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About zoraidabros

I'm Zoraida and I design and create handmade, one of a kind jewelry. My work is inspired by the art of ancient world cultures that have endured the shifting trends of fashion. I prefer to work in copper and semi precious gemstones but also appreciate fine lamp work beads, wood and other artistically crafted materials. Please visit my studio at http://zoraida.artfire.com and my website at http://zoraidajewelry.com
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17 Responses to Another Cool Jewelry Tool!

  1. I don’t know. That pendant is pretty awesome. You’re so talented!

  2. fatdogbeads says:

    that’s very cool. I have a rolling mill but this little machine seems much more compact (and I bet a lot less money!)

    • zoraidabros says:

      Thanks Bobbi 🙂 I sure it’s a lot cheaper ($104) than your rolling mill and more limited in its applications, but it’s fun and I’m new to all this so it’s good enough for me now.

  3. Tela Formosa says:

    I have seen those and wondered about them. Looks like you have something new to incorporate into your work. Can’t wait to see what you end up inventing. 🙂

  4. zoraidabros says:

    Thanks, Tela !
    I love learning new jewelry techniques and have been wanting to etch but dislike the chemical mess. It’s limited as far as design goes. I’d like to make my own designs into dies, but how, I have no clue (yet).

  5. Christie M says:

    Oh my gosh- I read this and there was my name 🙂 I haven’t had a lot of time to play with mine but can’t wait to get some time to play more. Someone had mentioned on another post that you could use Hobby Lobby blanks, but they were too thick. Even one of my Vintaj blanks wouldn’t go through properly, so I’m being very careful. My M’s had the embossing and etching plates on clearance so I got a few. Did you cut or punch out your earring blanks? I have 32 gauge here which goes through like butter but want to get some thicker copper. Love reading your blog and the earrings are lovely.

  6. zoraidabros says:

    Thank you Christie! I cut out my blanks with shears from copper sheet which I believe is 24ga, then filed them all around before embossing them. I used a hole puncher for the top hole. It was fun! I just ordered another Vintaj embossing folder and a Sizzix Textured Impressions thing. I’ll see how that works. Let me know whatever works for you 🙂

  7. Catherine O says:

    As long as you don’t use too heavy of sheet metal the possibilities are endless. Even cut open aluminum cans work well. I have the Stampin up big shot and have experimented alot.

  8. Pingback: What I made this week | Art-Z Jewelry

  9. Oma says:

    Hi all…..I just tried Vintaj blanks using my Cuttlebug embosser, and it worked great!!!!

  10. Jess says:

    Just out of curiosity… The beautiful piece you made with Gilders Paste, how did you encorporate the pen into it? Did you simply draw on the copper? What kind of pen did you use? Thanks! Jess

    • zoraidabros says:

      Thanks Jess!
      The pendant portrait was drawn with an ordinary ball point pen. I pressed on it really hard and rubbed the “wrong” side with the pen point sunken in the areas that I wanted to puff out (on the right side). It was an experiment. I wasn’t very thrilled with the way it turned out but I did learn from it anyway.

  11. Margit Schuessler says:

    Hi Zoraida, I am also new to this kind of embossing (just ordered the Sizzix machine 🙂 ) and I also don´t want to ruin it. Do you have any experience with bronze sheet metal? I love to work with bronze and I´d like to emboss little bronze charms and pendants. Is bronze soft enough and suitable to be used with this machine? After all it is much harder than sterling or copper which is recommended for embossing. The Vintaj blanks are brass and this obviously works. Is bronze harder than brass?

    • zoraidabros says:

      I actually have not used my Sizzix all that much. Mostly because I like to etch my own designs. I find the sheet metal for the machine is thinner that I like so I cut out blanks from thicker gauge sheet and etched them instead. Yes, I do believe bronze is the harder metal. I love it for bracelets but mostly texture it with hammers.

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