When Mistakes Work

11 10 2010

Do What I Say…. Not What I Do!

This weekend I taught a fun new class which combined basic metal work with stamping and soldering, to create a personalized heavy gauge ring. I don’t always get to create a complete project in class, because I am focused on working with my students, but for this project, I had to demo every step, so I was able to make a ring of my own.

Caffeine.... Sorta!

So I decided that the chemical compound for CAFFEINE  (C8H10N4O2) would be kinda cool. I showed the class how to line up the letters, and I even told them that they need to watch for the direction of the stamp, so that no letters were upside down. So what do I do?! I proceed to stamp the “O” sideways… obviously I needed a little bit more coffee before class started!

So this became a lesson in “organic design” – sometimes you just need to accept your design, flaws and all, and love the uniqueness of what you create. And… the class decided that my representation showed a quirkiness that works!

Letter Stamps

Some letter stamps come with a scratch, or a mark on them, indicating the side that faces you when stamping, so that the letters line up correctly (example above left). The stamp set I used for my C8H10N4O2 ring didn’t have any markings, so basically you need to check each letter before stamping. Obviously, I got it wrong!

A simple tip… if your letter set does not have any directional indicators on them, then I suggest marking it yourself. I use a little nail polish (example above center) which shows up and withstands a bit of abuse. Because if you leave your stamps plain, like the one in the photo above right, you will surely create some “organic” designs yourself!



4 responses

12 10 2010
Sherry Ball Schoenfeldt

I am extremely new to stamping so all my work is organic!! I don’t even TRY to line up the letters. I do the same with rubber stamping. I figure if it looks like I deliberately make it cock-eyed then no one will criticize!
PS – I never knew the chemical compound for my drug of choice so I will be appropriating that into my work somehow!!

25 02 2011
Sister of Perpetual Caffeination

The Sisters all agree–this is a beautiful “organic” design! We might be tad biased since we ♥ all things C₈H₁₀N₄O₂… but we love your style and raise our mugs to your artistic endeavors. Please stay caffeinated and keep at it! c[_]

25 02 2011

Thanks much! I love all things caffeine too!

25 04 2012
Love Wire Rings

It is wonderful when ‘mistakes’ turn out so well. I’ve had the same kind of experience, only in wire. Sometimes those designs turn out to be real gems.

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