28 May 2005

Shopping and Making Stuff - Bezants

I had a quick run over town this morning. First stop was the Embroiderers Guild Exhibition at the Town Hall. Quite a few nice things, interesting to see a few historically inspired pieces my favourite was the reticella piece.

When I'd finished there, I stopped off at Frontline Hobbies to pick up some soft brass sheet. I came across some instructions for making bezants and thought I'd give it a go. I was inspired partly by some scrapbooking accessories that I'd come across. I thought I could use these as my dies. The ony problem was that I couldn't find the right weight of brass. I ended up getting a mixed pack of 4 different weights of shim.

The instructions called for using a hammer. I was worried about being able to spread the pressure evenly across the whole of the die. Then I had a though, my Sizzix machine is bascially just a press, that would be perfect. So I put down a few pieces of leather onto the cutting matt. Put the brass sheet down and then put the die on top. This was then slide under the body of the Sizzix machine and I pushed the handle down. Success!!

They came out pretty well. The heaviest weight in the pack was too thick and didn't take the shape of the die. I used the next two thicknesses and they worked really well. But even using this thin a shim, the pressure still collapsed part of the dies. Unfortunately, they weren't solid metal, so they collapse. But there was still enough of the pattern to make an impression. The thinnest shim, which took the pattern the best (see last image in the bottom right of the picture below), but is really too thin to be useable.

After cutting around the edges, I used my smallest holepunch to put in sewing holes in one of the round bezants. It worked really well and will be easier than using a needle.

So now all I have to do is come up with a project to use them on. One of the categories for WCOB next year is Beading...hhmm.


I'm not sure if you are still monitoring this at all given it's age, but if you are can you advise what type of punch you used? I'm interested in the cross fleury looking bezants specifically and thus far having a hard time finding something that would make them. Thanks you from a fellow Scadian. lygertily@hotmail.com Alays de Gant