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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Etched Copper With Blue Patina

blue patina etched copper & Czech glass earrings
 Etched Copper With Blue Patina
I made some more etched copper earrings.  This time, I decided to forego giving them my usual liver of sulphur treatment in favor of turning them blue using vinegar, salt, and ammonia.

After etching, I cut my disks, sanded the edges, drilled them, and polished them with 3M polishing papers.  I didn't tumble polish them because I think patinas stick better when the metal has a bit more "tooth" to it.

I strung the links on monofilament (fishing line) and dipped them in my copper pickle vat.  (I use vinegar and pickling salt rather than Sparex, etc.)  I then suspended them over ammonia dampened paper towels in a lidded plastic takeout container.  It wasn't long before they turned a lovely shade of blue.  After rinsing and drying, I lightly sanded them to bring out the raw copper highlights and the etching detail.  I then sealed them with spray lacquer and Renaissance Wax.

I chose Czech glass beads with a Picasso finish that matches the raw copper highlights on the etched disks and the earrings were finished with my handmade ear wires.

6 comments:

  1. oh, that turned out beautifully! seems we used the same kind of pickling solution...

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    1. Thanks so much!

      I definitely try to go more natural when I can. I'm not fond of dangerous chemicals with difficult disposal methods.

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  2. that blue is lovely...and I really like the design you etched.

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    1. Thank you so much, Gale. It's another design adapted from a vintage brooch pattern and you're so right about the blue. I am in awe of how such a vivid blue can be produced with things we already have around the house.

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  3. Wow! These are beautiful. Love your pattern and the patina you achieved.

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    1. Thanks so much, Cynthia. It's amazing how electrolytic etching yields such a clean etch. There is a great tutorial available: http://www.kalmbachstore.com/ajpdf081162.html ($4.95)
      And, the Craft Smart paint pens at Michael's work really well as inexpensive resist pens. I like them much better than any others that I've tried.

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