Before we continue, a word about safety: metal etching involves working with chemicals that can do a lot of damage.
|This is what a splash of etchant did to concrete. Now imagine what it could do to your skin!|
The lovely Gail Stouffer walked us through marking up our metal sheet with resist.
|The lovely Gail is not actually teaching in this photo. Use your imagination!|
|I loved the wood-grain stamp, but couldn't find on at my local stamp store|
Once we'd played around with some designs and the ink on our sheets were dry, we headed outside to mix up some chemicals and start the etching process.
|Note the gloves and safety glasses!|
The etchant started out clear, but as it ate away the copper in the metal sheet, it began to turn green.
|Not lime jello!|
|Before and after|
|Woodgrain etch (left) and music sheet etch (right)|
|Neutralized but uncleaned sand dollar etch (left); cleaned and patina'd sand dollar etch (right)|
So while the process is a little involved and I don't love having all those chemicals around, the result is totally worth it. As a matter of process, I think it probably makes sense to mark up a bunch of metal sheet and spend an afternoon once or twice a month just etching it all. Then I'll have lots of custom-patterned metal to make components with when the mood strikes me. This is the first pair of earrings I made with the patterned brass (and also my first attempt at this stirrup-style bail, which kicked my butt).
|The stirrup bail/tops on these earrings kicked my butt - I need more practice on that technique!|
Until next time!