Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday...

Hello all!  I'm not disciplined enough to make work in process Wednesday a regular feature.  
It just happened to work out that I had a wip to share on a Wednesday.  
The title has a nice ring, so I decided to just go with it.... :)

I kinda like to share the back story to stuff, if I have one.  And I do have one for this project.

I'd tried acid etching for the first time almost a year ago.  It really is a cool technique, and the possibilities are truly awesome.  But just because I threw some metal into some acid doesn't mean that I got a happy result!  So I knew it would take some experimentation at some point.

I prefer to figure out new techniques on my own.  Pass or fail, I like figuring it out.  That, and I have issues with taking classes.  But that's really another story unto itself...

Well, I have one real live friend who is a metal smith who specializes in chasing and repousse.  She is an active member for the Dallas Craft Guild, and has taken oodles of classes and workshops in all sorts of techniques.  

Her name is Diana, and she makes really cool stuff.  You can find her here (isn't she just the cutest?) and
here go give her some love!  :)

So, I was visiting with her recently at an exhibition and sale, and she showed me some pieces she had made in an acid etching workshop.

And thanks to Diana, I gleaned a little more information that might help me in my efforts to figure it all out.

So this was my first experiment on sterling.  I slathered the resist on the silver, and after it was dry, I used a hand held etching tool to draw a pattern that removed the resist and exposed the metal.  

If you look closely, esp on the right, you'll notice a little spot that is sort of fuzzier than the rest. 
My acid solution was too strong and ate into the resist.  

But it was a learning moment!  (I just can't afford to experiment with silver though)

So this is round two in copper.  I did the same technique here.  Slathered on the resist, allowed it to dry and then hand etched the pattern.  

I am happier with this etching.  Although from my experiments in the past, copper has always been easier for me to get a decent result than silver. 

I used a weaker acid solution than I had used in the first experiment.  This gave a good result in the way that the acid didn't eat into my resist, and I have a nice etch.  The one thing I did like in the first etching was the way the acid ate into the metal in such a way that it widened my drawing lines.  Making them a little beefier.  The weaker solution gave me a nice etch, but I kinda like the thicker lines better....

Round 3.  I used Sharpie as a resist on these feathers.  I have not had luck with Sharpie as a resist in the past, but Diana had a beautiful piece that she used sharpie as a resist, and it encouraged me to try again.  It's all about the strength of the acid solution!!!!

 Under the bottom feather, you can see some weird lines.  I'm pretty sure I know how these got there so I hope to be able to prevent that in the future.

So that's what I've been working on lately!  Thanks for stopping by, and have a super duper day!  :)


  1. Super cool!! Love how it all turned out!!

  2. Super cool! I have been wanting to try etching but I am a little scared of the chemicals.. Maybe I should give it a go anyway. You make it look so easy!

  3. I so admire how you just jump in and try these techniques...bravo! Your etchings look great - I love the earrings with the turquoise beads around them.

  4. Wow, good friend to know, huh? I love having a gaggle of art girls with different media backgrounds to learn from! It looks like you've had some fun experimenting with the etching! Good luck, and I can't wait to see more!