Sunday, August 23, 2009

Copper etching

Copper cuff bracelet with laser ink transparency resist.

Copper etching is another one of those things that I've read about, sounds interesting...not gonna try it for reason X,Y,Z...but today I took a copper etching class with Candace White & dang is it fun! The class & the process lol :)

Before: Doodles with Sharpie.
Anything black (resist) will be protected from etching action of ferric chloride & end up raised....gotta fill up the blank spaces!!

After - Etched Sharpie doodles.
Yes, my thought is art clay texture haha...

Left: Laser ink image from a transparency.
Right: Paisley stamp with permanent (solvent based) ink.

The fleur de lis turned out interesting, I dipped the piece in ferric chloride, then changed my mind (oops!). Neutralizing the piece with baking soda, trying to clean the sludge off & NOT the resist, then re-submerging the metal caused a neat honeycomb pattern in the "exposed" areas of the copper.

I find the feathery look in the blank areas of the paisly a nice addition. There didn't seem to be as much on the edges of other students' etched brass pieces. Rather interesting.

Though photopolymer plates have their perks & uses, I think making etched copper plates is more fun, & versitile! Too bad the lil bro is on vacation & wasn't able to come to class today, I think he would like it too!


  1. I have no clue what you just said, it sounded like foreign gibberish to me. But it's pretty, and that's all that matters!

  2. Ah, sorry about the Chelle-thought-speak!

    Well, I relate Most things back to metal clay, so class was a good place to make texture plates haha. We used a couple different types of resist (Sharpie pen, laser printer toner, & Stayz-On stamp pad) to protect the parts of the metal we didn't want the mordant (etching solution = ferric chloride)to eat away. Ferric chloride is n acid that can be neutralized with baking soda, so the Ooops texture with the Fleur de Lis was from residual baking soda muck that wasn't completely cleaned off the surface of the metal. :P

    Photopolymer plates are UV sensitive plastic plates that are cured with UV light to give you something like a stamp...a whole 'nother story! but if you're curious:

    It doesn't look quite as nice as a copper plate if your mess up lol.