New on-line exhibit at Ganoksin.com

Changing Hues: Color Embraced by Metalsmiths Around the World

In total 303 artists contributed 814 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition. Click on an image to see the details for the work pictured, including a larger image, the artist’s name and statement, plus a link to their web site if they provided one. I found so many new “favorites”… I know I’ll be spending lots of time checking out each artist’s work and reading their statements.If you see a piece you especially like and would like to see more from the same artist (many submitted more than one piece) you can enter the artist’s name in the “search this album” box near top right of the gallery page.

One of my three submitted pieces happens to be the first image on page one because the work is in alphabetical order by title.

“A Gilded Heart” was created for the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild 2012 Valentine themed show at Many Hands Gallery. For the beads in this necklace (both the focal bead and the smaller ones), I was experimenting with the different colors of gold that resulted from layering 24K foil over silver rich glass. The hints of color on the small bead to the left of the toggle comes from reducing the metal oxides in the special black glass before it goes into the kiln for annealing.

“Bright Bouquet” bracelet was featured in the 2011 Valentine show at Many Hands Gallery… and later sold at Lireille in Oakland. It is one of a series of flower themed bracelets… each with a different color palette for the glass.

The “Turquoise and Gold” stacked bead was created as a demonstration piece for a tube rivet demo. Details for the technique and materials used are in my April 14, 2013 post.

Check out the other Ganoksin Orchid Galleries to see more fabulous work from artists around the world.

Made with Love

I am exhibiting the two pieces shown in photos below as part of the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild “Made with Love” jewelry exhibit and sale at Many Hands Gallery. The work of over 30 Guild members will be featured for this special event timed for Valentine Day shopping. Details for time and place are on the postcard back (below).

Made with Love postcard
“Marigold” bracelet – (MBMAG postcard designed by Linda Knudson).

Marigold earrings - Carol Holaday
“Marigold” earrings

announcement
Location and dates for exhibit and reception

What I am working on now

Documenting a process. I am slowly working on describing the steps I use in creating original artwork for the photo-etching technique I use to produce pattern on sheet metal.

fern photo 5
color photo of fern

I find that starting with my own photos gives me a way to create unique patterns that express my interests. These patterns can be applied in many different ways… ending with a great variety of “results” depending on the choices made along the way. Just three of the many possible results are featured in this post as examples. Only three cuffs for now, but I also have ring bands and pendants from the same photo.

Cuff bracelet
Cuff bracelet with fern print
Cuff above was first colored with heat and then a chemical patina was applied.

fern cuff with LOS
Fern Cuff with LOS only
Cuff above has a simple LOS patina only.

Fern Cuff with Guilder's paste
Fern Cuff with Guilder’s paste and LOS
Cuff above was first colored with both gold and silver Gilder’s paste, and then with LOS.

Edit May 5, 2013 – I keep starting and stopping with this “tutorial” project because I am not sure I have anything new, or sufficiently different, to add to what is already available on the subject. Just do a Google search for “how to etch metal at home” and you will be overwhelmed by the results. Or an image search for “etched copper jewelry” and many of the results will take you to instructions. This is a VERY popular technique with lots of variations for every part of the process… start to finish. Plus, how useful would instructions for preparing an image from a photo be for someone who doesn’t have Photoshop for transforming the photos? Will Photoshop Elements work? How about the free photo editing programs? One large tutorial or many smaller ones for each step? Lots to think about. Meanwhile, I think I’ll simply report on what is working for me as a way of sharing.

Stacked Saucer bead

Taking a break from etching experiments to prep and make a stacked saucer bead for a tube rivet demo. I really like the color combination of high karat gold and turquoise and this inspired my choice of materials for coloring the copper and brass.

stacked and riveted saucer bead
Stacked Saucer bead with color

stacked saucer bead components
components for stacked saucer bead

coloring materials
coloring materials for the stacked saucer bead

I started with three 24 gauge 1 1/2″ discs. The fine silver tube is 1/4″ OD. The silver jump ring is soldered closed. After coloring the domed copper discs with first the paint and then the Gilder’s Paste, they were sprayed with acrylic to seal them. The gold leafing pen was used to color the small flat brass washers only. I used a small cross pein hammer to texture the edge of the brass center. The beautiful tube riveting tools from Tim Lazure where used to set and finish the rivet.

riveting tool set
Riveting tool set from Tim Lazure.com

Two sides of another saucer bead made using similar techniques. This one features etched copper discs colored with Gilder’s paste and LOS and a copper center disc with a red heat patina.
4509w

Saucer Bead with etched copper
Saucer Bead with etched and colored copper

The larger etching tank

The small power source (see Feb. 14 post for photo) works perfectly well for the larger etching set-up I made for cuff sized blanks and roll printing plates. I would still like to have a power source that would allow for setting the voltage to 1.5V. The little black one only goes down to 3V at a preset 2amp.

etching tank
larger etching tank set-up
larger etch tank
another view of larger etch tank

I used an acrylic display case designed for model cars for this tank that accommodates a 3″ wide X 6″ long (or smaller) piece. The tank is 4 1/2″w x 9″l x 5″h. The closer the anode is to the cathode, the faster the etch. The “wings” on the cathode and anode supports help to keep the plates parallel in the tank as well as providing a place for attaching the leads that is away from the water.

A deep etch on 18g brass took 3 hours. I used a soft brush to clean off both the anode and the cathode several times during the process. I plan to use this plate for roll printing a few copper cuff blanks, and then perhaps use it to make a cuff… or maybe will cut it up for several pendants.

fern design for roll printing
deeply etched brass plate with fern design

The black on the plate shown above is the lazer toner resist. I removed this with Citrasolv before using the plate for roll printing silver for a ring band.
etched plate with print
etched fern plate with printed silver

I used the etched brass plate to roller print an 18g sterling strip to use for a ring band.

Electro Etching continued

February 18 Update:
With the goal of making an easier, faster, and better connection of the piece to the lead, I cut a sheet of copper to tape the piece to. This eliminated the need for holes drilled in the piece and the time it takes to attach and form the wires that connect the piece to the tube used to hold it for suspending in the tank. This worked as planned and made it very quick and easy to remove one piece and tape on another with no waste of copper wire. Much less messy as well.

Photo below shows the tank with the current switched on. I’ve etched a couple of pieces in this bath and the crud is really building up. Note how much is floating on the surface! Seems to work well all the same.
Update: February 21 Just learned that this “crud” is “sodium hydroxide (lye) and copper chloride”. After the etch bath sits overnight, this crud settles to the bottom of the tank. I syphon off the clear solution to re-use (with added salt) and pour the crud into a bottle to take to the hazardous waste site. I am very careful to wear proper gloves to protect my skin at all times. Also safety goggles…. just in case.

anode hanging over the edge
new anode set-up

Photo below shows the piece taped to the latest version of the anode support. All areas not to be etched are covered in clear packing tape EXCEPT the piece that hangs outside the tank where the lead is clamped. The oxides/patina visible on the back of the piece is from a previous set-up where I taped wires to the piece and the salt water leaked in next to the wire.

piece taped to anode
piece taped to anode – back view

February 14th:
Win some, lose some.The continuing saga of the electro-etching experiments. This time using Kosher salt and distilled water.

In my enthusiasm, I purchased two power sources. The fancy one with the digital read-outs, dials for controlling both amps and volts, lots of available power. The price from Amazon.com was very good ….$60 plus shipping…. and if it had worked, I would be very happy with it. Unfortunately, it was defective and I returned it for a refund. At first I thought it was operator-ignorance causing the failure, so I had Sky bring in an amp/voltage meter to check it.

failed power source
the failed one

The less fancy, less powerful, and less expensive (about $33) one works very well. At least on the size of piece I etched with it yesterday. It remains to be seen how it might work on a larger piece in a larger container. It works at a steady, pre-set 2 amps. I set the adjustable voltage to its lowest option of 3 volts.

This one works:

does the job
The one that works

Note: neither power source came with the required leads. I had to buy these from another seller on Amazon.

test lead set for power
had to buy from a different supplier

I modified the anode following Sky’s suggestion that more edges would result in a faster etch. I also made certain that the connection of the copper wires to the piece were very good.

pierced anode
modified anode according to Sky’s suggestion

I used the smallest container I could find that would hold the piece (anode) and the cathode. The photo shows how the water looks the day after it was used for etching. Dissolved copper sinks to the bottom, a little junk floats. When the etching is happening, the water is very murky after a short while.

small etching container
very small container for the salt water etching set-up

With all of these “improvements”, I was able to etch the 18g copper to the desired depth in a reasonable amount of time…. two hours. Next, I’ll try to etch larger pieces in a larger tank to see how this small power source handles the job.

A big thank you to Sky P. for the technical help.

Electro Etching PDF

This is an experiment to test if I can attach a PDF or a link to a PDF.  

ElectroEtching_with_a_Plating_Rectifier

It appears to work.

Note: These are not my instructions. They are from Nona Boatright. Freely shared as far as I can tell. My metal arts students and I are experimenting with several methods of electro etching using salt water. Batteries work but have drawbacks. One student owns a rectifier but hasn’t had success with it yet.

Next I will attempt to share PDFs that I have converted from PowerPoint presentations I created for class. These image packed files are much too large to share as email attachments. If this works, I can then Pin to Pinterest to have an easy way to share what we learn and our results.

Image Guidelines for submitting photos to MBMAG

This is a test to see if I can upload and attach PDFs.

As a member of the Monterey Metal Arts Guild (MBMAG) who is participating in the upcoming exhibit at the Pacific Grove Art Center, it is my job to collect photos from the other participating members and then pass these on to the persons in charge of publicity and postcard design.

The Photo Guidelines and instructions for how to insure images meet these guidelines are specifically for MBMAG members who are already signed up to participate. Click on live links below to open PDFs.

Photo Guidelines v-7-17

How to check file size of photos

Digital images for publication in print

link to page on Guild site for more information related to photography

http://www.mbmag.org/docs/resources/resources-for-jewelry-photography-berman.pdf

The photo I took of Dorothy Rick’s silver cuff bracelet is an example of an image that meets the required guidelines for print media.

Dorothy Rick's Cuff Bracelet
Dorothy Rick – Plan C

“A Gilded Heart”

Image

Created for a Valentine show titled “Made with Love” being exhibited at Many Hands Gallery in Capitola, California.

Not sure why all the details I wrote about  the “A Gilded Heart” necklace with pendant didn’t show up, or why the digital postcard for the exhibit got lost, but here it is again. All info for the show included in case you would like to attend the artists reception or visit the show while it is up.