Yesterday morning was spent making a very nice stash of new copper etched components. I’ve had several people request a tutorial for this process. However, I do not feel nearly competent to a) explain it thoroughly enough or b) do an equal or better job that many already out there on the internet. I searched many jewelry sites, like Rio Grande, for tutorials on the method I wanted to try. And did a search with “etching with ferric chloride tutorial”. You’ll get some for computer uses, but keep digging. And watch as many as you can before trying this…it does use a hazardous waste material…and one needs to be savvy about precautions. That said, it is addictive…No, not to the chemical, silly…the gorgeous things it does to copper.
I thought today I would give you a quick run down of the steps in the process. So you’ll know why my hands and nails are trashed, mostly from all the sanding and filing. Plus, I’ll admit I don’t usually use gloves for the LOS. I’m too embarrassed to even go get a manicure. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?? I’m not even going to show you a picture of my hands.
So how do I get from this…
Copper sheet metal I buy by the pound at an industrial metal supply. This is about half of what I purchased. It’s maybe 12×12 inches.
Punch out circles or hand cut shapes.
File, file, file, sand.
Punch and file holes for ear wires or attaching dangles.
Apply stamped design with StazOn ink.
Etch…this is where you might view/read tutorials.
After neutralizing in baking soda solution, clean off ink.
Sand lightly with 0000 steel wool.
Clean and buff with wet/dry sand paper and steel wool.
Use dapping block to create nice curves.
Tumble for two hours.
Apply two coats of Renaissance Wax.
Then, here is what you get…
I also threw in a couple of pairs of hammered pendants.
Here’s a peek at a few earrings I made with some components
last week for the new shop in Hillcrest.
So, that’s how I get from this to that.
If you haven’t already given etching metal a try,
I hope you are encouraged to at least add it to your jewelry bucket list!
This weekend is one of my favorite holiday markets. Even better that it is at our church and helps support several non profits. Friendly, festive, fabulous “church lady made” baked goods, and fantastic artisan wares…including my dessert pedestals and jewelry.
Yesterday, I decided I needed a few more etched pieces…
hand cut from copper sheet metal.
Some with recycled glass.
And one hit with a texture hammer.
(oops…my camera caught some dents in these…
I need to put these back on the dapping block
and give them a few whacks with the rubber mallet again.
Gotta love that ‘third eye’.)
And just because I’m in love with these glass drops…
I’m in awe that there are 330 subscribers to this blog…and very grateful.
Not sure where you all live, but if anyone is near downtown San Diego
on Friday or Saturday, it would be a real pleasure to meet you.
Spoiler alert! This is a rather long post…but please stay tuned for the surprise ending!
First up. A milestone reached… I’ve finally graduated from bezel setting stones in a classroom environment to my own home. This required the purchase of a couple of helpful tools…a bezel rocker( also known as a bezel pusher) and a burnisher. Both inexpensive, but necessary for this work. And both were available at a downtown jewelry supply store…San Diego has a historic eight story jewelry building with a couple of supply stores open to the public, watch repair, showrooms of diamond and pearls suppliers, wax casting services…so fun exploring each floor. Very sparkly.
This latest piece went together pretty easily. So excited for find an inexpensive strand of turquoise chunks at a local bead store that went perfectly with this pendant stone.
I was able to solder the three bails quickly with my new Sterno torch.
And here’s a little side story…I purchased a Sterno Candlelamp culinary torch about a year ago because I wanted something with a little more fire power for copper and larger pieces of metal. It worked great…loved its ease. Then one day it wouldn’t light. After searching the web for troubleshooting ideas, I contacted Sterno directly and was nicely referred to their company communications manager and executive chef Thad Smith. What a wonderful experience…not only did he offer to replace my torch, but when he found out I have a jewelry blog, Thad sent two additional torches for me to give away! Wow!
So, blogger friends, here’s the fun for you…I’m giving away two Sterno torches. A few things to consider before you throw your name into the hat…
And I am holding off until Monday, April 13, for the giveaway, so folks have time to do a little research and thinking about it. May or may not be what would fit your needs and desires in a torch. Sadly, due to unruly foreign postage, I am sorry to limit this to U.S. readers.
First this giveaway is just the torch. You will need to purchase a canister of Sterno butane that fits the torch. I’m not brave enough to send this through the mail. There happens to be a Costco in my city that caters to restaurants and cooking needs…amazing, I know…so I was able to purchase a 4 pack. Cheap. This will last me a loooong time. Also saw that it was available at my local Sam’s Club…4 pack for under six dollars.
You might also wish to watch this little video with Thad Smith demoing the torch.
Remember the giveaway of the torches will start with on a new post on Monday. I’ll leave it open for one week and then draw two names on Tuesday, April 21st, so be sure you leave an email contact with your comment. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer as best I can.
Thanks again to Thad Smith and the Sterno company
for this wonderful opportunity to share with you all!
Not doing much in the way of jewelry making these days, but definitely need to pick it up again…another crafty affair on March 28th. Since I live in a very large urban-suburban area, I am trying out a couple of different locations to see who’s buying. This one is about 20 miles away on the coast and will benefit a high school’s athletic program.
We shall see…
The one project I did follow through on was finally finished up today. I knew it would involve some leather. Pretty happy that I didn’t scrap the project, even though I came close a couple of times. It’s all about the learning. And sometimes things just don’t end up how you thought they would, but they are still fine and dandy.
Here’s a look…
I like the fact that the beading and leather slide strap compliment a rather large (for me) bezel setting. Enough details to keep it interesting, but not a distraction.
And that it is adjustable! Full length is 32 inches, but can be almost any length you wish.
So on to the next one… here’s a peek. It may involve copper or sterling leaves.
This month marks the first anniversary of one of the best monthly jewelry challenges around…WE’RE ALL EARS over at the Earrings Everyday blog. I’ve missed out the last few months, but am excited to join in today and help celebrate their first year of earring joy. Love that the sponsors come up with such unique inspirations each month…textiles, photos, paintings, architecture… And for busy people, each monthly challenge has a quick turn around time. The inspiration is posted the first Friday of the month and the blog hop is the third Friday. And who doesn’t l-o-v-e earrings!
This month is no exception. Lim Zhi Wei combines her lovely paintings with real flowers, especially roses, to create something special. View more of her work here.
You could say that people are waiting impatiently for Spring to arrive!
I decided to create a couple of pairs of Trailing Roses earrings using 24 gauge annealed steel wire and tiny glass pearls in pink and white.
The wire, when cleaned with steel wool, was an antique silver-gray that I thought went well with the pearls. It is also stiff enough to add needed structure to the earrings while maintaining a delicate look.
Finished with oxidized sterling ear wires.
When you want to give yourself a little treat, hop over to see what other jewelry artists were inspired to create from this lovely inspiration piece.
This piece has been in process for many weeks…and today, it is finished. Last step was three hours in the tumbler…after oxidizing and hand polishing. My nails are a total mess, but I’m happy-hearted.
This is by far my most challenging piece of jewelry.
And on to the next project…another pendant necklace. This time I wanted to use an etched copper back plate. The ocean jasper will first be soldered to a sterling silver back plate. Trimmed to leave a bit of silver edge showing around the stone. I’m going for a layered look. The small green agate will hang below the pendant.
In my mind at least, this is how it will look. We shall see…
Could hardly wait to start working with some new recycled glass beads from Lima Beads. This on-line shop has one of the best selections of this type of bead. For these large drop beads, I decided to play with some wire wrapping…mostly on the long brass ear wires I love. Not too much, just enough to play off of the pretty opaque colors of the glass. The hardest part was wrangling the stiff brass wire for the wraps. Oh, my thumbs!
Lima calls this last bead ‘vintage turquoise recycled glass’…
I’m still getting components and finished jewelry ready for the February 7th event…
With over 60 crafters, really feeling like I really need to bring my A game.
Just finished up this butterfly necklace with some lovely pearls.
Next are just a few earrings…
I hope that what sets my jewelry apart is that most all the components,
ear wires and headpins are hand made with lots of love and care.
And finally, a little progress report on my bezel setting work with this lapis agate. I used a the sweat soldering technique to attach the ball details and bail. Which means melting tiny pieces of solder on the back of each piece first. Then hitting the setting from underneath with the flame to ‘remelt’ the solder to attach these pieces to the backing. Last steps were to set the stone and then a good polish and tumble. My plan is to make a wire wrapped beaded chain with these beautiful little lapis lazuli stones I purchased at Lost Cities.
I am beginning the new year with some challenging work. And although there are some definite frustrations going on, it feels really good to try something hard. Before Christmas, I took a class on tinning pendants with a soldering iron…Always wanted to give this a try. It seemed pretty easy under the watchful eye of the instructor, so I sent in a last-minute request to Santa for a soldering iron and jewelry quality silver solder. And just in case Santa heard my plea, I mailed away for some glass slides.
Super excited to give this a try. However, neglected to read up on tinning the soldering tip before tinning a piece and think I ruined the tip. Luckily there was an extra couple of tips in the package and I realized I’d better do some internet investigating on how to do this. Better luck the second go round. Still learning and my efforts were a bit gloopy, but think I’ll get the hang of it with more practice. Adding the jump ring required several tries and a third hand tool.
Eiffel Tower ornament made in the class.
Love the touch of silk.
I also gave tinning a try one of my polymer clay hearts,
just to see if it would work.
Might make some cute Valentine necklaces.
This is my first and only attempt at home with my new Christmas present…pretty rough edges, so I decided to add some silver blobs at the top corners and make it look “organic”, “rustic”, and “artisan”. Covers a lot of imperfections, I hope.
Hard Work, part two…I enrolled in the adult school metals class again, mainly to work on bezel setting stones. I have been inspired by the work of Deborah at Cold Feet Studio. Love the flowing, organic look of her pieces. She paints, quilts, doodles, and writes, too. An amazing artist.
So, instead of just the bezel and stone, I am trying a little bit of detailed work. I mean a very little…just a few silver blobs and a vine-looking bail for a pendant. Here’s a peek at my progress. These were my choices for the stone. I chose the lapis agate. It took me three tries to successfully solder the bezel. Grrr…
The bezel is now soldered to the back plate, but these details are just sitting there for this photo. Next week, I’ll attempt to attach them. Then, there’s the finishing work of setting the stone and filing and sanding the back plate. Not sure if I’ll antique the silver yet, but I definitely want to hand make the chain, with perhaps some silver wrapped lapis beads. The best news so far was an easy-peasy sawing experience for the back plate.
Not one broken blade!
I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress. Wish me luck !
Hi, My name is Lynda.
Exploring the wide world of jewelry making in my retirement from teaching. I'm grateful to be a part of this worldwide community of jewelry bloggers, where I receive encouragement, inspiration, and sometimes...a kick in the pants to take a risk!
Fresh Baked Designs jewelry is available locally in San Diego.
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