Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal
by Judy Larson
If you are like me, you have lots of texture hammers, a few being favorites. Texture adds so much dimension to metal pieces, but how to keep the texture in one place and not another has always been a problem for me. When recently working on a pair of mitten earrings, I wanted to make a ribbed cuff and a knit-like texture on the body. But how to make a neat separation between the two textures was alluding me. After a week of not coming up with the answer to the problem, while staring at all the tools I had on my work surface for a different project, it hit me. The bench block was my answer. 
Instructions
Check the edges of all the surfaces you hammer on. Are they straight? The standard square bench block will work for most of your projects but sometimes a longer one is desired for things like bracelets. Check your local machine shop. They may have scraps they can cut and polish a bit for you. Are the edges curved, and if so, how much? Thanks to Kim St. Jean, I now use one of my old sad iron bases as a bench block. Tighter curves can be achieved with a small round bench block, and points can be made with an anvil. 
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Decide where the demarcation line between textures will be. Use an ultra fine point retractable Sharpie to draw a line to help with positioning. Another option would be to draw the bench block curve on a piece of paper to use as a design starting point. 
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Place the metal piece on a bench block, lining up the drawn line with the block edge. Use a rawhide, rubber, nylon, or plastic non-marring mallet to tap the metal in a shallow bend over the edge of the bench block.            
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Holding it in place so the bend in the metal edge stays on the edge of the block, texture one side of the metal piece. 
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Turn the piece around. Hold the bend in place against the bench block and texture. With a curved bench block, turn the piece on the block to follow the metal curve as you are texturing. 
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Place the textured piece face up on the bench block and hammer flat using a rawhide, rubber, nylon, or plastic non-marring mallet. 
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece
Judy Larson's Separating Distinct Textures on a Single Piece of Metal - , Wire Jewelry Design, Texturing, separating textures on a single piece

Materials

No materials listed

Tools

Bench Block Helper with Steel and Nylon Blocks
DAP-500.30
  • DAP-500.30
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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Premium Steel Bench Block 2 1/2 X 2 1/2
G17-9
  • G17-9
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.98
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Sandbag, Round, 7 Inches
DAP-570.08
  • DAP-570.08
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
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7 Piece Mini TruStrike Hammer Set with Stand
HAM-520.70
  • HAM-520.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $140.54
  • Gold Club Price: $105.40
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Texturing