Etching

Hi y'all!

I finally tried etching and I'm hooked. I've been researching on the internet for a while on how to do it so I gathered the materials together and took the acid bath plunge! It takes several steps and you have to be clean and meticulous on the prep, but the payoffs are fabulous. Wanna see?  Hee hee, here we go!

It starts with some brass blanks. The ones pictured are dirty and grimy, but polished up like bright, new pennies with a little steel wool

It starts with some brass blanks. The ones pictured are dirty and grimy, but polished up like bright, new pennies with a little steel wool

The next step was to find designs to etch.  I tried three different types to test how each would work. The dark bits of the image act as a resist to the etching solution, so the brass parts exposed will be slightly eaten away leaving a raised image. 

The next step was to find designs to etch.  I tried three different types to test how each would work. The dark bits of the image act as a resist to the etching solution, so the brass parts exposed will be slightly eaten away leaving a raised image. 

The three techniques used were freehand doodles drawn with a Sharpee, a stamp using a specific ink that works as a good resist (StazOn Ink) and photocopied image transfer.  I was a bit anxious on the photocopy ones as my images weren't the best.  I'll try a different heat technique and hopefully will have a better result. Some helpful tutorials and details on how to do this can be found here, here and here.

Now comes the fun! After making little tape hammocks to suspend the brass disks, I poured Ferric Chloride (Science!) into the tub and gave the pieces a little acid bath. 

Now comes the fun! After making little tape hammocks to suspend the brass disks, I poured Ferric Chloride (Science!) into the tub and gave the pieces a little acid bath. 

I was intending to take pictures of the next steps, but acid, rubber gloves, baking soda and water baths is a messy business.  Picking up a camera in the middle of all that wasn't in the cards.  But after neutralizing the acid and a little scrubbing, LOOK!

For my first try, I was psyched how they came out.  I was especially happy about the photocopy transfer. Now that I know how it works, I'm planning a lot more fun stuff to use as images. Check out the cool effect on the TARDIS (bottom right).  That edge is totally done by the acid!  Cool, huh? 

For my first try, I was psyched how they came out.  I was especially happy about the photocopy transfer. Now that I know how it works, I'm planning a lot more fun stuff to use as images. Check out the cool effect on the TARDIS (bottom right).  That edge is totally done by the acid!  Cool, huh? 

A little antiquing and Voila!  Etched brass components ready to be turned into something wonderful. 

A little antiquing and Voila!  Etched brass components ready to be turned into something wonderful. 

I'll keep you posted on the new projects bouncing around in my head. I have one portrait etching I'm ready to tackle and will show my results.  Stay tuned!