Etched Copper Cuff & Earrings Set

Materials

  • Rio Grande Copper Sheet Metal, 20-gauge: 5-3/4”x1-1/2”; 1-1/4” discs, two
  • Elizabeth Ward Sweet Beads Fundamental Findings Antique Copper Ear Wires, two

Tools

  • Metal snips, large bastard file, rawhide mallet, oval bracelet mandrel, hand drill
  • Beadalon Designer Ergo Chain-Nose Pliers
  • Impression Obsession Cover A Card Quilt Rubber Stamp
  • Tsukineko Stazon Jet Black Solvent Ink
  • Ferric chloride etchant solution
  • Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish
  • Liver of sulfur gel
  • Clear lacquer

Basic Supplies

sandpaper, paper towels, rubbing alcohol, black permanent marker, packing tape, rectangular plastic containers, safety glasses, rubber gloves , baking soda

Directions

STEP 1

  • Wearing safety glasses, pour etchant solution into rectangular plastic container, place lid on container and set aside. See Photo 1.

STEP 2

  • Use bastard file to file any sharp edges from copper strip and discs. Gently round corners of copper strip. Use alcohol on paper towel to clean top surface of strip and discs, making sure entire surface is fingerprint free. See Photo 2.

STEP 3

  • Ink surface of stamp using Jet Black ink. See Photo 3.

STEP 4

  • Press stamp onto strip and discs, taking care not to smudge or smear image. If you find your image is not clear or as exact as you’d like, use alcohol-moistened paper towel to clean off image and begin again. Wear rubber gloves as removal of ink can be messy. See Photo 4.

STEP 5

  • Once top surface image is fully dry, apply layer of black marker to all edges of strip and around edges of discs as shown. (Note: This will also act as resist and keep edge of metal from becoming rough due to being etched.) See Photo 5.

STEP 6

  • Place pieces, with stamped side up, on piece of packing tape, pressing firmly so that there are no loose edges. Wearing rubber gloves, place tape sticky side down into etchant solution and hold in place by touching tape to top edge of container. Allow metal to sit in etchant solution for 15-30 minutes. Check for depth of etching periodically by lifting one end of tape out of solution. See Photo 6.

STEP 7

  • Wearing rubber gloves, remove strips of tape from etchant solution. See Photo 7.

STEP 8

  • Rinse metal in fresh water. (Note: Having container dedicated to this is ideal so that you don’t have to worry about the solution getting in your sink.) See Photo 8. Neutralize metal in water with a bit of baking soda. Rinse in fresh water again.

STEP 9

  • Still wearing rubber gloves, use alcohol and paper towel to remove ink and reveal etched surface. See Photos 9 and 10.

STEP 10

  • Once ink has been removed, begin to shape strip around bracelet mandrel. Tap ends in with rawhide mallet. See Photo 11.

STEP 11

  • Remove bracelet from mandrel, flip it around, and form again around mandrel. Use mallet to help shape and harden. See Photo 12.

STEP 12

  • Using fresh running water and Bar Keepers Friend, clean off surface of copper until bright and shiny. Rinse well and dry completely. See Photo 13.

STEP 13

  • Following manufacturer’s instructions, mix liver of sulfur with water and place etched pieces in to oxidize. See Photo 14. Remove when desired level of oxidization has been reached and rinse in baking soda water to neutralize. See Photo 15.

STEP 14

  • Sand surface of oxidized pieces to reveal shiny copper highlights. See Photo 16. Continue sanding top surface and inside surface and rinse well. See Photo 17. Seal with clear lacquer if desired.
by Keri Lee Sereika
Etched Copper Cuff & Earrings Set
Etched Copper Cuff & Earrings Set Photo 1
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