Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 1 at Bead and Button - Copper Etching Class

My first day at Bead and Button was spent with Janice Berkebile learning how to etch copper. My plates turned out fantastic. Janice is a wonderful teacher and her approach to adding the images to the copper was unique. We ended up with collages of images on the metal. Janice uses the etched copper for bead caps and beads for her finished jewelry, so she cuts the pieces up. My intent was to etch copper sheets as texture plates for my metal clay work. And these will be wonderful. But I might have to use some of them for jewelry components too, plus each plate turned out to be a piece of art all by itself. Umm.... might have to frame a few.
The process of etching the copper with Ferric Chloride is messy and the chemical takes special handling. At the Bead and Button show, we heard about Sherry Haab's new etching machine. the E3, that will etch copper, brass and silver and uses chemicals thatt are less harsh to the environment. So had to have one. I plan to etch some copper both ways and will keep you posted how it goes. Of course, I need to order some supplies before I can begin.
More on Bead and Button tomorrow.......

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