After contacting a couple of other jewelry artists I found out I could use Ferric Chloride. And the ferric chloride I decided to use was in a product from Radio Shack called "PCB Etchant Solution." It's about $10. a bottle (currently an opaque white plastic) and clearly labeled. Don't be surprised if you ask for it and the sales clerk gets a dazed look on his face & replies that they don't have anything like that. I had that happen in two stores & found it my own self. ;) Yes, they have it...unfortunately sometimes they just don't know they have it.
|First Etching on Copper|
Here are the first two pieces I etched. On the first, simply hand wrote some words...on the second, I put a quote by Goethe.
I couldn't believe how easy it was. I found that a paint pen works great...but you can also use a permanent marker to add words and/or designs. Anyplace you add ink will protect the copper from being etched.
|Second Etching on Copper|
|Fish Pendant Etching on Copper|
|Navajo Yeii Etching|
My newest etching and largest to date was inspired by a wind chime that's been hanging in my garden for several years. It had a rusty hand hanging on it...a few weeks ago I found all the pieces of the chime laying on the ground. Apparently the material holding it together had finally succumbed to the elements. I saved all the parts - knowing I'd be doing something with that rusty hand. I used the hand for a pattern...cut it out of a piece of copper...put a Gandhi quote on it - added some original, freehand designs and etched away. As mentioned, it's a large piece...measuring 4.5 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide. I rather like how it turned out & can't wait to see how I manage to turn it into a piece of jewelry. ;)
|Etched Copper Hand|
If you've been thinking of trying etching, dive in! It's incredibly fun and satisfying. Just a reminder, pay heed to the safety cautions on the etchant solution!