The Etching Process & New Designs!
Hi There Beautiful Being ~
WHAT'S been going on this week in the Fashionably Adorned Studio!?
Well, copper cuffs of course ;)
Some of the etched cuff ideas I have need a bigger stamp-able surface and I've been having a hard time finding a supplier who offers copper inch to 1.5 inch width cuffs.. so I've started fabricating them myself.
An intention for this year was to get better at metal sawing and finishing work so this will help me in both areas!!
A peak at the process..
I buy 20 Gauge copper sheet 6x6 and I can get FOUR 1.5" Cuffs out of that. I scribe them and then I saw them out with the protective backing still on them. Once sawed I then take off the protective backing and then the filing starts.. I use my big metal hand file to do the majority of the work then I finish it with my Dremel to smooth the edges and corners.
Then I sand the front and back with a couple different grits of sand paper..
starting out with a green scotch Brite pad, then move on to 220 grit, 320 grit, then finish with a triple 000 steel wool than last 0000 steel wool.. by this time all my scratches should be smoothed out and ready for the design.
A few new stamp designs I'm excited about.
Once all the designs are stamped and to my liking then it's ready for the etching bath.. thats the last picture in this row. Ferric Chloride is what I use for my copper etching. its fairly safe and has minimal disposal steps.
I leave them for about an hr.
once out they look like this ..........
The left picture is fresh out of the etch bath...
The right picture is where I've already started to sand off the residue to expose a beautifully etched design.
Once it's all cleaned up, it's time for the patina. I use Liver of Sulfur gel and hot water to patina my pieces.
Then comes the fun part... COLOR which is another intention I set for this yr..
Once the color is on and dried depending on what I've used there is usually a sealing and/or tumbling finishing step to harden everything up and give it a good shine.
I hope you found my etching process interesting. This is a great way to share the process with my customers so people know the value of handmade jewelry. There is a lot that goes into it and I'm a one woman show, as are most entrepreneur crafters. So this is way I do a HAPPY DANCE every time I sell a piece!
Hope your day is treating you well,