Lizz Barnes' store gottagetadeal has an amazing array of quality stamping blanks and related supplies. This Illinois based metalsmith and seasoned instructor makes beautiful jewelry as you can see from DesignsbyLizzBarnes.

Her "mission statement" for her supply shop is "We focus on metal stamping supplies that are safe for your skin. I find wonderful prices on supplies and want to share the deals with other struggling artists."  

Gottagetadeal has different grades of aluminum supplies so you get to choose what is applicable for your projects. Their pure 1100 aluminum items are"FOOD SAFE and safe on your skin. A perfect choice for projects that will come in direct contact with your skin." Another alternative is 3300 aluminum is stronger but not as pure. It may cause skin irritation for some people. This metal is fine for designs that do not touch your skin - tie bars, money clips or to cover with fabric or as a base for polymer clay work.

I really like their ring blanks which are shipped flat. Gottagetadeal also sells tools and blanks in other metals - sterling silver, copper, brass, gold filled, pewter and surgical steel. Note that you need strong stamps to be able to stamp on stainless steel. Their texture products like rolling mill texture plates are worth a look, too!

Lizz herself is an inspiration! She explained, "This whole jewelry supply thing started when I was teaching art lessons to a handicapped boy and I couldn't find a nice inexpensive alternative to sterling silver. I wanted his pieces to be just as amazing as any other student, but I knew that in the beginning we didn't want to work in sterling.

I checked into the current aluminum supplies that were available and was not impressed. Everyone was using 3003 aluminum, which is commercially pure, but I was looking for something that would be easy to work with and safe on your skin.

After some investigation I found pure aluminum, 1100. It's soft, takes on texture and is very safe for your skin. And when polished correctly it has an amazing shine."

That last part about polishing aluminum correctly can be found on her blog. If you have ever tried to tumble aluminum, you'll know how awfully matte it looks afterwards. That is because the sharp bits from the typical mixed shaped jewelry shot used marks the soft aluminum.  The key is to use ONLY eclipse shot - no mixes.

Lizz went on from there. She said, "I started selling my new items on ETSY and within a month I had to hire people to help. We spent 2 years in my basement. And then in 2013 we moved to the Warehouse District in Downtown Peoria, IL.

I've hired mostly musicians and artists to help me make this crazy business happen. My team, other than being amazing people, have an eye for detail and are not afraid of hard work.

What a joy to be excited about going to work each day!!!

I love what I do - helping customers make the best jewelry possible and leading a team of very gifted young people."

Stainless Steel

Rolling Mill Texture Plate

 Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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