Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Etched Discs

I have been in an etching mood these past few weeks. I was so pleased with the results of my etched bangles that I decided to etch a batch of discs which in turn could be used for a variety of projects. In order to use the same etchant that was used for the brass bangles, I prepared silver nickel discs. To etch sterling silver discs would require the use of ferric nitrate, a chemical that is more difficult to work with from a disposal point of view. I prefer to remain with the ferric chloride which can be used with copper, brass and silver nickel. The discs were sanded and pressed onto pieces of duct tape to protect the back side from the etchant.
I let the discs remain in the etchant for approximately one hour after which I placed the discs (still on the duct tape) into a container with baking soda. The baking soda neutralizes the ferric chloride and stops the etching process. I then scrubbed each disc with soap and water.

I like the ghostly quality of the image. (Sidebar: Speaking of ghostly.....I did something very unusual last night and saw a movie, 'The Eclipse'. My schedule rarely permits such a luxury, so how fortunate for me that I really enjoyed this movie which is part ghosty/paranormal, part romantic wrapped in a great character study featuring fabulous Ciaran Hinds and Aidan Quinn.)

Anyway....I sanded the edge, drilled holes and domed each disc in my dapping block. After doming, I used my sanding block ever so lightly to clean the domed surface which helped to highlight the etched text.

The discs are now ready for projects like this pair of earrings. Amazonite beads wrapped with balled sterling wire dangle below and gold plated shell charms hang, along with the etched silver nickel discs, from sterling earwires.

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