About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Copper Etching

So, last night I decided to try my hand at copper etching. I really like working with copper and have been wanting to try this technique for a while. I had some design ideas and gave them a whirl. I don't have any kind of free-hand drawing skills at all (I mean none whatsoever...just ask Dave who painfully watched my attempts in high school art class!) so I used a template for one design, and an acrylic stamp for the other. For the design using the template, I used a red Sharpie marker and it was basically one large heart with a smaller heart inside of it. The area between the two hearts is what would etch so I thought this would look pretty cool. For the design using the acrylic stamp, I chose a flower design and used red Stayzon ink. After putting the designs on the copper discs and letting the inks dry, I traced the outer edge of the discs with the marker so they would not be etched, and then put packing tape on the back of the discs, also so they would not be etched. So far, so good. The actual etching part was also pretty easy. I suspended the discs on a piece of masking tape stretched across both sides of a small Rubbermaid container so that the pieces would be submerged in the etching solution, but easy to retrieve. I poured enough solution into the container to just cover the discs. I could actually see the effect of the etching solution on the disc within seconds! I set the timer for 10 minute intervals and would check the discs and agitate the container slightly. I did this for about 90 minutes. When the 90 minutes was up I dunked the discs in a combination of water and baking soda to stop the effect of the etching solution, then rinsed with plain water. I could see the etching, but my resists (the Sharpie marker and the Stayzon ink) didn't hold up as well as I had hoped. Some of the lines were thinner than intended and it looked like in some places the resist had dissolved. Not bad for a first try, but definitely not the quality I was hoping for. I'll be back at it tonight with different resists. The first one I am going to try is a paint pen instead of the Sharpie. The second one is to add embossing powder on top of the Stayzon ink and heat it with a heat gun. I'll let you know how the second attempt goes!!!

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