August 25, 2020

Tuesdays Tip, Creating Dimension without a Press

By Laura Jane Bouton
Metalsmithing and how to create dimension

I have always loved adding dimension to my jewelry creations. Hollow forms and creating dimension in my jewelry is my all time favorite thing to do. I also have always dreamed of buying a press to easily create domes and shapes for my designs. I am sure we all know how expensive they are so I course I wanted to find a way to create textured domes without spending a lot of money. I found these silhouette dies at the Tool Cottage on Etsy and Melissa Muir also has a video tutorial on You Tube. I must say I was quite impressed at how high the domes are without using a press.  These domes can be used in so many different ways and they offer endless design possibilities. Below is a video demonstrating how I use the silhouette dies to create domes. 

Material and Tools Needed:

Silhouette dies

rubber sheets

metal plates

rubber mallet

metal (practice first with base metals)

big honking vise

The Tool Cottage also sold the metal plates and rubber square sheets.

If you are wondering how I make hollow forms you can find my tutorial HERE

If you want to learn how to texture your metal to then use with the silhouette dies you can find my texturing tutorial HERE

You can find all my tutorials HERE

I hope you enjoy the video and it gets your creativity flowing!!

P.S. I still want a press but these will do in the meantime;-))

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  • kim on January 04, 2023

    so happy i found this as i have been wanting to learn how to use silhouette dies…i am a long time admirer of your work, i even have a couple of your virtual tutorials (which are fantastic!), and i am looking forward to what creations, thoughts, etc. you have waiting to unleash for us!

  • Sally on January 04, 2023

    Great tutorial, Lara. I purchased several of these dies earlier this year but haven’t used them. I now feel confident and will give them a go!!!

  • Martha Lorantos on December 31, 2021

    Love your work. I wish I’d known you when I lived in Cotuit! I moved to western MA in 2011. I’m going to give this vice method a try with some dies I have that I’ve been hammering into. No hydraulic press here either!

  • Doe Coshway on December 31, 2021

    Thank you the tutorial and information on where to purchase the dies Good job

  • Orly - Ora Burg on December 31, 2021

    Thank you Laura
    I love your work and I’m following your posts, it’s My inspiration.
    Thank you

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