Design Stamps

For anyone wanting good design stamps, there is no one that has more
in quantity and quality than Indian Jewelers Supply in Gallup, New
Mexico. I can’t speak for the IJS Store in Albuquerque, since I’ve
not been in that one. In their catalog there are several hundred,
but in the store there are probably a thousand or more that aren’t
even in the catalog. I was there again this last October and
purchased several from Dan. I probably have over 300 in my collection
and still want more. Years ago, I learned to make them, but there are
some I can’t make because they are so large that you need a forge to
get them hot enough.Especially the concave faced ones which needs a
“male” to make the “female” design stamp. This brings me to the
problem of trying to use those that are made for leather like
Tandy’s. Those that are used for sterling are hardened and then
tempered. In making design stamps, you must take your bar stock,
whatever it is, tool steel, old files, valve stems,etc. and “soften”
the steel for cutting in the design, then harden it and then
tempering it. It is an art form all itself. Many of the Native
peoples of the southwest,especially the Dine’ simply are design
stamp makers as well as die makers such as concho stamp dies.The
leather stamps are not hardened and tempered also the chrome plating
makes the leather stamps impractical.If you are ever near Gallup, you
need to visit IJS even if you don’t make Native American or
Southwestern jewelry.

Indian Jewelers Supply

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John Barton