Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dapping Fool

Isn't it wonderful how new tools can gently help guide our evolution as artists? 

For years the only dapping set I've had was cheap, wooden, and next to useless. It would divot whenever I used it, had way too much "give" when I would hammer, and would chip and flake all over the place. I limped by with it on the few projects where I wanted domed metal discs. Oh, and those metal discs? I was cutting those out by hand and praying to the symmetry gods that everything would turn up roses. I'm all for winging-it in the studio and making do with what you have, but come on, this was complete amateur hour. 

A month or so ago I decided enough was enough--I needed a decent set of graduated metal dapping punches, a dapping block, and a disc cutter. In other words, I was putting my artistic big-girl-panties on and growing up a bit. And the difference has been night and day.

So since I've been DAPPING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT lately, the other week I had a notion to experiment with some half-hollow forms. The idea happened to coincide nicely with a new order of deliciously primitive ceramic cone beads from NadiaTerra. The result: half ceramic, half copper, scrappy little oddities. I'm reminded of excavated ancient pottery and weathered bronze age metalwork. 

I cut, textured, and dapped copper discs into domes, strung them on my own fat-bottomed copper headpins along with the ceramic cones, and connected both halves with a ribbon of blackened silver solder. A dot of solder on top, an oxidation bath, and a good seal with wax, and there you have it. 

The only downside to my new tools--I may have to invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones for my husband, as I'm sure all this hammering is less than acoustically pleasing... 

Happy Wednesday!
LoveRoot on Etsy


  1. Wow. It is always your imagination I envy. These are fabulous. I don't get how the soldering doesn't affect the ceramics. I have soldered with ceramics nearby but never right on. I have so much to learn. And once again, you have widened the scope of my thoughts. Love the earrings. Perfect love. 😊

  2. Oh my goodness, these are amazing Nikki. What a perfect combination. I so love that form. I agree with Norbel...pfff so much to learn. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Fabulous earrings! So pretty.... I never thought about soldering metal to ceramics. So clever! I love the look and feel of your design. Well done! I totally understand about your dapping set & disc cutter. Once I invested in the real deal in both, there was no going back for me either :)

  4. Wow! those are just gorgeous! Looks like the caps and beads are totally made for each other! And how wonderful to find a new creative outlet. You are shining through with it for sure. Have fun! Enjoy that hammering! :-D

  5. Perfection. Exciting. What more can a girl want?

  6. Eveything you have is FAB! I can only hope to create something that emotes the same feeling I get from your designs.... i.e. drool