Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Etching Copper And Brass

This was an experiment I tried not long ago. The idea being to make sheets of copper or brass with decorative designs etched into the metal.

I decided to try rubber stamps, ink and heat gun set embossing powder and stamp directly on the metal. Using the ink and melted powder as a resist. I knew it would have to be a positive negative stamp. Meaning there could be no shaded areas at all in the design. Then I used Ferric Chloride to etch the metal. I bought the Ferric Chloride at Radio Shack. Apparently there is some use for that chemical for working on computers. This is not like using some dangerous etching solution like Nitric Acid which has to be used on sterling silver to do the same thing.

It took about 30 minutes to get the etch as deep as I wanted it to be. Then I wanted to know how far I could stretch the etched sheets before the design started to distort. So I decided to die form the etched sheets. This one into a shield shape reflecting the medieval theme of the rubber stamps. This was not intended to be a serious piece, it was just a test.

I can see lots of possibilities for miniature use but I will have to have the rubber stamps made so the designs are in scale.