As promised, here are some photos and instructions on how to use brass texture plates to transfer beautiful patterns – pebbles, waves, flowers and more – onto other metal. With just a hammer, you can easily (but not quietly!) transfer the patterns from the brass sheets onto copper, aluminum, silver or even … brass. Transferring from brass to brass sounds silly – why not just cut up the texture sheet and use that? – but to texture pre-cut shapes, like these brass fairy door and window cutouts, it makes total sense.
I love hammering metal because it is cheap, fast and fun. The results are similar to what you can achieve with a rolling mill (not cheap!) and etching (not fast!). Those techniques are fun though – we will post a tutorial on etching soon. But today, we hammer:
Tape your piece face-down onto the texture plate. Cover the entire piece with tape to avoid transferring a tape-seam along with your pattern.
Place the piece on a steel block and hammer away! Make sure to hit every little bit of your piece.
When using a long strip of metal, like these pre-cut copper and brass bracelet strips, I just tape down one edge, texture up to the tape line and then turn the piece around to texture the other side. The strip will curl upwards as you work, but it is easy to flatten out.
To really bring out the high and low points in the texture, apply a patina such as liver of sulfur or Win-Ox and buff the high points with steel wool (note: these patinas do not work on aluminum).
Annealing (heating) your metal piece beforehand will make it easier to transfer the pattern, but as you can see, it isn’t necessary. Have fun hammering!