Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Etched Metal Jewelry

Creating metal jewelry is incredibly liberating--forming the metal with your hands, using hammers and drill presses, using both brute force and precision. 
My favorite contrast is creating a piece with a jewelers' saw, the tiny teeth cutting an intricate design, and then applying my 2 lb. hammer to it to add textures, words, or rivets.The juxtaposition is delicious. 
During the holiday rush, I added a new tool to my arsenal: ferric chloride. It etches away the top layer of cooper and copper alloys. It allows a level of design difficult to achieve with different mediums. 
So in addition to my safety glasses, I have added rubber gloves to my metalworking uniform.
While teaching an etching class at Beads and Beyond recently, a student who is also a scrapbooker brought in some stamps and ink to try it as a resist. Since the pieces are suspended in an acid bath, a pigment ink is necessary. We tested Versafine Archival Pigment Ink.

It worked beautifully! I was jealous that I hadn't figured it out on my own, but that didn't stop me from buying ink and stocking up on stamps.

A gorgeous stamp that reminds me of a tin ceiling.
I think it will look fabulous as wearable art.

A variety of old and new stamps and ink.
Testing multiple shapes and types of alloys.

Stamped and drying...which takes forever!
They will go in the acid bath on Friday,
be incorporated into jewelry over the weekend,
and will be posted Monday.
Stay tuned!!

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