"Can you make the letters perfectly lined up on that pendant?" a client asked me at an artisan gift show. All of us (now 30 reps) get great joy in pleasing clients and putting together original charm combination and stamping custom words.
I wanted to say yes.
But, the truth is, I love hand-stamping's hand-made/uneven quality.
Hand stamping, with a hammer and steel nails, is done, by hand, one letter and number at a time. It looks easy...it is not (ask all those who have insisted they can do it too. Just look at the pile of ruined silver accumulated then recycled over 10 years). I love the old fashioned typewriter look. I love that it's old but timeless. I love it's imperfection. I love that each letter is stamped with a hammer and that it makes a big satisfying bang when the hammer strikes the steel letter and makes an impression (my kids don't even hear it any more and it is loud!).
Perfection, to me, is mass produced.
It would be easier to get an engraving machine (yes, I admit that I have looked into it) and be done with the discussion. But, hand stamping each piece, with all it's imperfections, reminds us that some things were meant to be simple, old world, unique and not mass produced.
Personalized jewelry is meant to be just that -- personal, one-of-a kind, hand made with the words WE select.