Friday, March 8, 2013

Etched Earrings

I love etching metal.
I love how I can take a piece of plain, nondescript nickel, copper or brass and in less that 2 hours, turn it into something beautiful and rich with texture.
And then I get weird.
I find that I often can't bring myself to cut up a piece of etched metal so that I can put it to use in jewelry projects.
I start thinking things like, "Is this project worthy of this fabulous etched wonder?"...."If I cut this up, I won't have it anymore to gaze at and admire."
I makes no sense.
I'm like that with fabric, too.
There's something very powerful about imagining the potential of a lovely resource that taking the important first step to actually using that resource can make me pause....and pause....and pause.
And then I tell my brain to shut up and get to work.
I took some of the silver nickel (also known as German silver) that I recently etched and cut it into small squares.
I had first thought of cutting out discs, but revised the plan.
I would still cut out discs, but place my focus on the negative space instead of the disc.
This required a different kind of planning.
Instead of simply maximizing the number of discs I was cutting, I had to take some care in deciding where the disc would be located.
I used a straight edge to join the opposite corners on each of my squares.
Those two lines intersect at the center which helped me properly place the squares in my disc cutter.
It would be more accurate to say that discs were cut at the 'centerish' of the squares since some of my lines were not spot-on and some of my disc cutter placements were only 'pretty close'.
'Centerish' is good.
All corners and edges were then filed and sanded.
Holes were drilled for connections and the squares were then slightly curved using my wooden dapping block.
I wasn't sure where I was going when I started making my negative space squares and have finished some earrings....
balled copper wire hanger with wire wrapped stick pearl dangle
balled copper wire hanger with wire wrapped kyanite dangle.


  1. I need to get smarter about etching - I've simply not been able to make it work well and I get frustrated! Maybe I need a guide. However, these sheets are lovely and I understand what you mean about not wanting to use them! I do the same thing with the stones I cut and polish. Must be a sickness . . .

    beautiful work :: lynn

  2. Lynn- there's a good tutorial at Ring-n-Things that you could take a look at: Hope that this helps!