Sunday, February 15, 2009

How us married folk roll......

I spent most of yesterday (Valentine's Day) in my basement. That's right, my basement. For a few weeks now, I have been half heartedly bugging my husband to help me pull together the supplies I would need to etch copper. When I say half heartedly, it's because I knew I really didn't have the time to do it, but I just wanted the supplies there to know that I could if I wanted to. It seems I've been finding this technique all over lately - in a new book I bought, magazines, on Etsy. While I totally support the artists already doing it - bought pieces from Jennifer Stumpf and from Round Rabbit - I wanted to try it myself since I have a vast array of stamps already from scrapbooking. One in particular I knew I wanted to incorporate into jewelry for some time that says "in my past life, I was either a gypsy or a peacock". I had made a shrinky dink out of this stamp some time ago, but it just wasn't doing the job.

So yesterday was the day. In the morning, I announced to my husband this is what I wanted for Valentine's Day. Yup, that's right honey - I'd rather have ferric chloride instead of roses. No, it's not a trick. So we set off to a few stores - mostly hardware stores - to get what was needed. The only thing we didn't find was a blackening patina - more on that later....

Here we will descend down the stairs for a tour of my almost 100 year old basement, where some parts are downright creepy... The work area is always a mess. One thing about me - I hate prepping for projects and I hate cleaning up after them. I just like to make whatever I am doing. This is not such a good practice thought because when I go to start the next project, I have to cleanup after the last one which makes the prep even more time consuming. I don't know why I do this.
Behind the door in the previous picture is where it gets creepy. This is where you can see the actual stone foundation and it also leads to another little creepy room where....uhhh.....they kept coal or something before the house was run on a furnace (I think). My crazy imagination runs wild on me and I hate when Jon is gone overnight because the house makes a lot of noises and all I can think of is that little room looks like it came out of one of the Saw movies. Sooooo, this is really romantic so far, right? Really though, it was great and Jon assisted with drilling holes in the completed pieces and I even talked him into hammering some old spoons (my Grandma's) flat for me to make bracelets. Unfortunately though, the metal stamp set I was going to use to stamp phrases into these is worthless. It's for scrapbooking purposes and I'm not sure what it would make an impression in except tin foil! He has some letter sets from a race shop he works out of that he said we can borrow. So, spoons must wait...... Here's a pic of the plaques I made for the dog's collars. I found the most perfect charms at Ornamentea.And here's the 2 plates I made to rock some cuff bracelets I made from the aforementioned stamp. They've already taken on a patina of their own, but I still think they need the blackening patina. So after some trial and error, here are some questions I have that perhaps a more experienced etcher can answer:

1. What kind of patina do you use and where do you get it. Is there an easy alternative to find out there?

2. How many pieces can you etch out of one tray of solution before it becomes too weak?

3. How long do you usually leave your pieces in to etch?

4. It sounds like you can use this same solution to etch nickel or brass?

I would be most appreciative of any tips!

8 comments:

2ifbysea said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Heather, you rock! These are great! I've got a ton of "artsy" rubber stamps myself and have been wanting to try etching. You've given me the push I need, thanks!

2ifbysea said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

BTW - Were you able to find the ferric chloride locally? Thanks!

peacockfairy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks! Yes, you can get ferric chloride at your local Radio Shack store (if you have one). Apparently, it is used to make boards for computers??? It was $10 a bottle.

Cynthia said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Heather-these are awesome and thanks for the props for Ornamentea!

BTW we have the ferric chloride AND different patinas right here in the store...

I look forward to seeing that cuff on your wrist if you can ever leave your basement now!

peacockfairy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks Cynthia! I hope to get the cuffs done this week. I will certainly stop by to look at the patinas.....

2ifbysea said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hi Heather! I have one more question. I hope u don't mind...Where do u get your copper for etching and what gauge do you use? Thanks again, Cristi

peacockfairy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hi Cristi... I got my copper sheets at Hobby Lobby. They have them in with all the car models and such. I'm not sure the specific gauge, but it's about the thickness of a credit card. You'll be able to tell what a good size is to use - something that doesn't bend unless you purposely force it.

2ifbysea said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oooh Hobby Lobby! Thanks so much Heather! I have a HL 5 minutes from my house...
2ifbysea1067@bellsouth.net