Fun in the Studio

New toys (tools), new techniques, lots of learning and a little finished work.

I am now electro-etching silver with cupric nitrate and using a new power source to control the amps. This cigar band ring features a deeply etched design that appears carved. The pattern started with an image of William Morris wallpaper found in a Dover book.

Many thanks to John Fetvedt for the clear and complete instructions he provides in his excellent Electro-Etching Workshop Handbook. The 43 page PDF is freely shared and available on his website. Go to “For Our Students” page.  I have also learned quite a bit by participating in a Facebook Group created specifically for all things related to Electro-Etching. Search for Electro-Etchers Anonymous if you are curious. This is a “closed” group that you need to join to see. A very welcoming and interesting group.

While I am not new to electro-etching… see my earlier salt water etching posts… the use of cupric nitrate for etching silver is a first for me. I also continue to etch copper and brass with salt (sodium chloride) that I now add a bit of citric acid to.

13 thoughts on “ETCHING ADVENTURES 2018

  1. Dorothy July 12, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Great blog! Very inspiring! Beautiful pictures. All the links worked for me on my iphone and chroombook. Thank you so much for putting this info out there. Now that silver is at a more reasonable price, I’m glad to learn how to etch it. I wonder how a piece of Mokume billet would respond to this method? Would it etch deep enough and then I could pound it out to lift the layers instead of using bits or carving to make the designs?

  2. Carol Holaday July 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Thank you for your comments and question. As for etching a Mokume billet deep enough to create design, not sure. I guess it would depend on the thickness of the layers to begin with. Seems similar to what Carol Webb did with etching through a copper layer to create a bi-metal pattern. Seems worth a try. Cupric nitrate can etch copper, silver, brass and more. If the etch must be very deep, the resist might give up before the desired depth. You might be able to overcome that somehow.

    • Dorothy July 12, 2018 / 7:49 pm

      The layers are paper thin. 26 layers of 18 gauge metal pounded down to 1/3 of an inch is pretty thin. Worth a try. Thanks!

  3. jane July 14, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    You are always and forever inspiring! love it!

  4. Carol Holaday July 14, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    Thank you Jane. Did you notice that I had to change the theme from the one you first recommended (Vigilance)? It was having issues and is no longer supported. I remember when you first helped me with setting it up. I’ve learned so much since then… and still learning. I enjoy your daughter’s Facebook posts. Fun to watch her progress.

  5. Gail July 15, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    Looks beautiful on my PC!

  6. Nora McKenna July 25, 2018 / 11:29 pm

    It looks fine.

  7. Nicolina Sebok July 26, 2018 / 4:28 am

    I love the new piece you are working on and all the color in your enameling! Love your blog too, thanks for sharing!

  8. Nicolina Sebok August 4, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    Hi Carol! I am wondering about the Staedtler pens you mention in your article. So these work in the Cupric Nitrate 6m solution? Do you find red works best, or does colour matter? thanks and have a great weekend!

    • Carol Holaday August 4, 2018 / 6:25 pm

      Staedtler pens DON’T hold up in Cupric Nitrate solution of any mix that I’ve tested. They also don’t hold up in the Sodium Chloride with Citric acid solution. They did well in Sodium Chloride without Citric acid when used years ago and also with Ferric Chloride etch, which is not an electro-etching process. It appears that Citric acid attacks the permanent marker’s ink. I read that the Red Staedlter works best of the colors they sell so that is what I bought.

  9. Jim April 10, 2020 / 1:16 am

    I’m just getting into electroetching after using just chemicals for some time. I’m having a hard time finding tall, narrow vessels like the glass one you show here – they are usually too big.
    What was the original purpose of the one you have shown?

    • Carol Holaday April 10, 2020 / 1:47 am

      Not glass. Tanks – Felli® Flip Tite Acrylic Food Storage Canisters – search on the web. I found the best price and selection online at Walmart. Available in many sizes. Have you checked out the Facebook group Electro-Etchers Anonymous?

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