Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's that time of year.

This is my annual post around this time of year.  As mentioned in previous posts, my college roommate and I get together over the Labor day holiday and catch up on the past year.  I'm not sure how long we've been doing this but it's been a long time.

We shop, go out to eat, watch movies, play games and of course do art.  The first year I taught her how to do metal clay.  Subsequent years we've done such things as kumihimo beading, polymer clay pens, combining beach glass with metal clay, and this year we are etching copper sheets.  I've never etched metal before.  (Strange that I never came across etching in all my college art classes.)

So we both were beginners.  Armed with my latest book purchase (and my latest Rio Grande purchase) we set out to teach ourselves etching.

Our choice of metal was copper as it is cost effective for experimentation.   We started working on Thursday but found that there were still some basic supplies we were missing like, rubber gloves, duct tape, a funnel, and a brown glass container..... so it was off to the Dollar Store.   It's hard to find anything in glass anymore, but A-1 Sauce is still in a brown glass bottle and luckily I had an almost empty bottle in the fridge.  The brown glass container is to hold the used etching mordant. (That's what I needed the funnel for too.)

The basic procedure is to clean the copper, apply a resist (we used permanent black marker), soak in an acid bath and stop the etching reaction with baking soda.  That's a "nutshell" explanation.

Top design is Cindi's 

Soaking in the acid for 30 - 60 minutes.  We did 40 minutes and will probably do longer the next time.
The longer the metal sits in the acid, the deeper the etching.

We plan on cutting the pieces into smaller pieces.  Then combining them with other copper shapes that have a green patina and turning them into jewelry.  We will play with some cold connection techniques when we combine the pieces.

Thursday we had to do more shopping.  Today we got a little more done, but since it was Second Saturday at the studios we had lots of visitors and didn't accomplish as much as we wanted.  So, it's back to the studio tomorrow to complete our jewelry.

As usual, I'll post the finished pictures when we are done.  Then it's off to the camper to do more shopping, eating, movie watching and game playing.  (Combined with looking for beach glass on the shores of Lake Erie..... now that I know how to drill it!)

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