Several of you commented, asking if the Big Shot could be used with other materials...brass design plates, found objects, etc. My curiosity sufficiently aroused, I have since been playing around here and there with using other things besides the suggested embossing folders to create texture on metal with it. So, I thought I would share my findings with you today!
As a standard procedure before running a piece through the Big Shot, I anneal my metal with my torch (I used my Lenk butane, but any torch will do), so they would be as soft as possible.
First up, I wanted to try some design plates I found a while back on the cheap at Michael's. I bought them to try and hammer the texture into the metal, and put them away...I actually forgot I had them!
I experimented with 3 different textures, to varying degrees of success. At the top of the photos are the plate I used, and the bottom is the outcome. The plates were 2-sided, opposites...indented on 1 side, raised on the other. I used the raise side on all 3 tries.
It worked, but it didn't really give me a clean impression...sort of hazy, whch of course could work, depending on your design.
Next, I decided to try some burlap fabric that I had. I have hammered fabric and screen wire textures in before to mixed success, so I thought I would give it a go.
Again, not a terribly clean impression, but I sort of like it.
The next pieces used a couple of steel components I just got. The filigree rectangle actually made one of my favorite textures. Doesn't really look like the filigree design, but it is a cool texture...sort of like concrete block! The leaf only gave an outline, but it works!
Tracy over at Cinnamon Jewellery (I absolutely love her work!!) commented that she was etching pieces to use as texture plates, so I decided to try that as well. I used a piece I etched a couple of weeks ago. I think it needs to be a deeper etch though. As you can see, it is pretty, but not very prominent.
Well, there you have it. In my humble opinion, while these worked to a certain extent, it was pretty hard on the Big Shot. I had to add more layers to get enough pressure to impress the design and it took more muscle. I may have warped the top plastic layer of my cutting/embossing pad. The embossing folders that are designed to work with this machine, since they have 2 sides with an interlocking design, tend to give a more defined impression. I will probably stick to using a hammer and my bench block with the metal texture plates.
But wait, last minute light bulb...what about using a wire design? I found a copper wire free-form reject in my scrap bin, and decided to give it a go.
Hmm, this actually worked pretty well. Bonus, like the embossing folders, you get an inverted design on the other side. I like them both...this is something I will definitely incorporate!
Well, there you have it! It is possible to use the Big Shot with design plates and other texturing materials, but make sure to anneal the metal really well, tape the materials and the metal blank to the machine, so that it doesn't slip around, be mindful to make sure you aren't abusing your machine with too much force, and have fun!
Let me know if you have been experimenting with the Big Shot or something similar since my last post...I would love to hear about your results and opinions!
Melismatic Art Jewelry
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