Real Primates Make Tools...A Primer on Chasing Tools and Stamps

Making your own tools will cut costs and give you absolute control over quality.  Many metalsmiths make their own chasing tools for personal use and/or to sell, and these tools tend to be much higher in quality than mass produced tools. They're easier to use, leave a better mark, and are aesthetically pleasing. 

While I can usually nudge my college students into making their own chasing and repousse tools, some are more reluctant to delve into the world of tool-making.  This is understandable. Making these tools is not necessarily a quick process, and it takes practice to make a great tool, so if you are scrounging for time more than money, tool-making may not be your cup of tea. 

Tim Lazure, who teaches workshops on tool making taught me how to make chasing tools in graduate school. His tools are not only incredibly well crafted, but they are also beautiful because he takes the time to really clean them up. I always appreciated the scrutiny he used when evaluating my liners and curved liners because precision in layout, tapering, and finishing is absolutely key to making a good chasing tool. Without that scrutiny, I would never have learned to see the tiny differences that differentiated an excellent liner from a mediocre one.

 

Tool steel is relatively inexpensive, costing about $1-2 per tool.  I’ve seen handmade chasing tools sell between $18-28 a piece, well worth it considering the time, care, and skill involved in making them.  Compare these to the short, round, stumpy mass-produced jewelry stamps that rarely leave a complete impression, and you’ll see what I mean. Whether you make them or buy them, you’ll appreciate the value of a finely crafted tool.  

Views: 2186

Replies to This Discussion

Making one's tools has many benefits well beyond anything financial.  The tools you make for yourself can have special aspects that fit your work more exactly.  I make my own clay modelling tools and love using them.  

Attachments:

Those are lovely, Tom!

RSS

Latest Activity

The Justified Sinner posted a blog post

New Materials And Old

This last week has been taken up by exploring a fairly new material with the pleasingly forthright Ronda Coryell, a delightful Amercian woman who is an expert in the use of…See More
2 hours ago
Profile IconSusan Amador, Leisa Rich and 5 other members joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

Crafthaus Project Grant 2016

Every other year, crafthaus awards a micro grant to a craft artist regardless of their location, professional background, or chosen craft field.The grant is unrestricted and intended to provide assistance for an interesting new personal or group…See More
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Every other year, crafthaus awards a micro grant to a craft artist regardless of their location, professional background, or chosen craft field. The grant is unrestricted and intended to provide assistance for an interesting new personal…"
yesterday
Brigitte Martin posted a blog post
yesterday
Leisa Rich commented on Heba Barazi's group Seven Days at Arrowmont...oh and nights too!
"Leaving tomorrow. You will LOVE it. The dynamics this week between everyone were amazing!"
yesterday
Heba Barazi commented on Heba Barazi's group Seven Days at Arrowmont...oh and nights too!
"Thanks Lorena, Leisa and Sandra, I am really looking forward to it. Leisa I will be arriving on the 31st. Will you still be there?"
Friday
Heba Barazi replied to Heba Barazi's discussion A little about me... in the group Seven Days at Arrowmont...oh and nights too!
"Thank you Roxy. I too wish I could have brought my kids to see it before the war. If I enter the country now, I would most likely not be heard from again :("
Friday
Brigitte Martin posted a group
Thumbnail

Crafthaus Project Grant 2016

Every other year, crafthaus awards a micro grant to a craft artist regardless of their location, professional background, or chosen craft field.The grant is unrestricted and intended to provide assistance for an interesting new personal or group…See More
Friday
Heba Barazi and Carol Palmer Huntington are now friends
Friday
Sandra Murray commented on Heba Barazi's group Seven Days at Arrowmont...oh and nights too!
"It's very interesting to hear your story. I look forward to reading more."
Friday
Profile IconSandra Murray, The Justified Sinner and 6 other members joined Heba Barazi's group
Thumbnail

Seven Days at Arrowmont...oh and nights too!

I'm writing this blog because I won a bit of a jackpot you see. I received the 2016 Crafthaus/Arrowmont scholarship and I get to spend one week at Arrowmont learning from the masters. And as if this is not enough, I also get to blog about it too!See More
Friday
Leisa Rich commented on Heba Barazi's group Seven Days at Arrowmont...oh and nights too!
"Welcome! If you are already here, come and find me! I have been teaching this week and it has been amazing- my first time! Good luck- it is extraordinary and you will LOVE everything, and especially the talented and wonderful staff, instructors,…"
Thursday

Masthead Credits

Harriete Estel Berman

"The Cost of Gun Violence"

Artwork for the exhibition "Imagine Peace Now" organized by Boris Bally
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


View background info and more images of "Vision of the Artist, Vision of the Photographer" at http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2016/06/vision-of-the-a...

© 2016   Created by Brigitte Martin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service