Technique Tuesday #2

It’s the return of Technique Tuesday! Today is #2, and I’m going share a little bit about another one of my favourite processes: Etching.
If you missed the first one, you can see it here.

I love this technique because I can incorporate really detailed & unique patterns into my work. My preferred method for finding a pattern is starting with a piece of lace. I photocopy it, and then trace the largest, most obvious shapes in the pattern. From there I add in my own hand drawn details to make up the rest of the design. Creating the master pattern is time consuming, but it’s also sort of meditative, and definitely worth the end result.

Once I have my master pattern I copy it onto a piece of PNP (Press N Peel) paper. It’s a bright blue paper that you adhere with heat, and then peel off. Here is my piece with my patterns copied onto it:

Next I usually cut up sections of it in order to fit onto whatever size piece of silver I’m using. Here it is ready to be transferred onto the metal:

Next I place my warm iron onto the paper, and then rub the back of the paper to help the resist stick. Normally I use my burnisher, but I had forgotten it at the studio. My panic at continuing on without my trusted tool was short lived because I suddenly heard Tim Gunn‘s voice telling me to “make it work”. So I tried the back of a spoon. It worked perfectly!

Once the whole surface has cooled, I peel off the paper, and it’s almost ready to be etched!

Here it is ready to go! I use clear packing tape to cover the back of the sheet so that the back stays nice & smooth.

Here is a completed sheet ready to be turned into jewellery!

This is just a little glimpse into the process, but I hope you enjoyed it! I definitely recommend taking a class that teaches the specifics if it’s something you’d like to explore. You can read a little bit more about it here, or here.

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