Sep 302010

From way back I’ve been a “texture girl”. It affects a lot of things for me – from the food I eat to the clothes I wear, and yes, to the jewelry I make. 🙂 Texture can make or break things for me. I don’t like scratchy clothes, gritty foods, smooth dishcloths. I don’t like corn tortillas, instead I favor flour ones, because I don’t like the texture of corn tortillas. You get the idea.

While I make do make jewelry that is ‘smooth’ and more sleek – I LOVE texture! Texture can add so much to a piece – character, depth, visual interest. And there are so many ways to GET texture. From expensive rolling mills, to inexpensive options like a nail and hammer.

I surfed back through my blog and pulled some photos of pieces with textures:

This piece was textured by hammering the sterling onto concrete – in the driveway. LOVE the effect. 🙂

The rolling mill was used to texture the sterling in these earrings. The metal was run through the mill with window screening.

More window screening

This pendant was given texture with a quasi-fold forming technique. The granules also add a layer of texture.

Corrugation was used here to provide texture to the sterling – a nice offset to the smooth copper.

This pendant shows some chasing all around the bezel, on the wire.

Stamping with a chasing tool. LOTS of repetition

This was done using nails and screws, etc. I did a tutorial showing how to modify nails etc to complete this pendant.

Etching can provide texture either in terms of a ‘scene’ or just a random pattern.

The two pieces below are samples of reticulation. (using heat – torch – to create texture) The earrings have an added layer of texture as holes were drilled and then the metal was run through the mill to elongate the holes.

These final earrings combine reticulation, chasing, and roller mill printing.

These are just some of the things I do with texture.

I’m interested in hearing other people’s favorite texture techniques – what do you like to do?



 Posted by at 3:28 pm

  15 Responses to “Texture on Metal”

  1. Hey kid, I LIKE texture!
    Nubs, ribs, oh, too much FB and drink! never mind. That’s not what you mean, is it?

  2. Love the example, always good to see all the possibilities and combos. Nice article.

    • I textured some brass and copper using my iguana’s shed skin and the rolling mill! Came out great. I love love texture and love what you have done here.

      • That sounds completely awesome Gloria! would love to see pictures – if you have a link or want to send us a picture. We’ll either visit your link or post it here for you!

  3. Awesome article…thanks for sharing…I’ve been dying to use my rolling mill! gotta find some old window screen. love it.

    • I look forward to seeing what you make Stacy! I bought a HUGE roll of window screening (the really flexible soft kind) at Home Depot a while back, it wasn’t terribly expensive and it will last me for a lifetime almost!

  4. Love this, Janice. How do I get the tutorial?

    • Kit – Thanks for catching the ‘bad’ link – I have fixed it. But if you email me, I’ll gladly send it to you free for picking up on the error!!!

  5. I’ve been taking metal fabrication classes. Learning about the endless technical possibilities has the potential to paralyze me so I’m working hard to free up the imagination. What you’ve shared helps get me out of my mental lockdown. I took a figure drawing class a few years ago where the teacher had us do one, three and five minute warmup sketches before we started a longer 15 minute pose. Those warmups were so helpful to me because they plunged me quickly into the mindset. Wish I could come up with a warmup exercise for metalwork…like maybe i could solder my doorknobs to my stove burners or something! Thanks for putting your work out there for inspiration.

    • Hi there Suzanne!
      You are welcome!

      I wonder if you could try doing something like making headpins or earwires or sketching to help get you ‘warmed up’…

  6. How would you make a typical “hammered” texture, like on an Arts and Crafts era lamp or other item?

    • Hi Laura, I use the round end of a ballpein hammer for that hammered look. If your item is hollow you are going to want to fill it with pitch or wax to keep it from caving in. When I work on flat metal for a hammered texture, I sometimes work on a hard surface, but sometimes will put a mousepad under the work. Experiment!

  7. You are a texture genius! Love the creativity in every piece, keep up the great work!

    Best wishes,

  8. Very nice textures. Your patina definitely gives a nice finish too!