Ahhhh....to sign or not to sign, that's the question.
It's always a good idea to sign your work. To help with that, we have a new section on our website for beaver tails, or as some call them sig, or signature tags. Soon we'll have a more expanded selection to offer, including raw brass that you can antique and seal, yourself.
I get asked this about once a day----I want to sign my work, how can I do it?
My first response to this is don't be obtuse about it. ;-) In other words, don't make it hard. If you anticipate being a large-production artisan and will be making a veritable boatload of charm bracelets, necklaces, etc, well, you'll want to explore the possibility of having a die made to sign your work. I cannot make these arrangements for you and you'll need to do the research. I *can* tell you that you will have to have tooling cut which will cost you about 250-450.00 depending on your design, and that you will have to purchase a minimum of 10 to 25 gross of raw brass tags and let them run them for you. THAT'S ALOT OF TAGS, BABY! But, if you need them, and have the investment money at hand, then that's what you will want to do.
Most of the designers who visit us at bsueboutiques.com are NOT volume crafters. They do alot of one of a kind pieces, or limited runs. Many would indeed like to sign their work, but most would not want to lay out this sort of cash. So.....if that's you, what do you do?
You CAN have a simple stamp made for a smaller investment of money. It's a hand stamp, so you would have to do the work, but, you'd have the tool. Again, this is not what we do at B'sue, but two places that DO are harpermanufacturing.com and microstamp.com. You can purchase a stamp for well under $100 that will work and probably be the only thing you'll ever need besides the sig tags, which you can buy here and there as needed.
What do *I* do?
NONE OF THE ABOVE. I purchased a simple 30.00 Dremel brand engraver tool at Walmart and I learned to wield it handily---in other words, I taught myself to free-hand engrave with it. I am a calligrapher as well as a jewelry designer, so it was not terribly hard. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A A CALLIGRAPHER...oh my no! Just get some old lost metal pieces, or purchase a cheap piece of brass sheet....and practice. Within a half an hour, you'll be able to engrave your mark in YOUR OWN HAND---which is such a nice touch! AND you will also be able to DATE your pieces, which those who will come to collect your work, will LOVE.
It also gives you alot of freedom. Say you like to collage brooches on brass blanks. You're not going to use a sig tag to sign that sort of thing! The Dremel engraver can do it. Just take it in your hand and go for it.
Wendy Gell, who in my opinion, is the righteous queen of collage jewelry, signed all her early work this way. My hand-signed Wendy pieces are precious to me, as it captures HER in the moment of her work. That's how I have always thought of it. My hand-signed pieces capture ME at the moment of my work. Handmade artisan-designed pieces are extremely special, because they are a part of the artisan. The signature done this way makes it even more so.
If you need to purchase blank sig tags in bulk, and would like to save money and have them plated to your specifics, let me know. I require an order of three gross to special order and have them special plated for you. That may or may not work for you, but sig tags can be used for many purposes, they work well as connectors and up eyes, too, so three gross may not really be so many even if you are a kitchen-table top designer who doesn't work at jewelry craft every day. Anyway, get in touch and we can discuss your needs.
Best to one and all,