Monday, November 30, 2009

It finally worked! Copper Etching with Salt!

One of these pieces of copper is the final, successful result of etching copper with salt. I wish the photo were better. Which piece of copper do you think was successful?

Let's take a closer look.

I found a tutorial on Lampworketc about etching copper without harsh chemicals. The writer of the tutorial used salt combined with low voltage electricity and an aquarium bubbler. The name of the tutorial was Copper Etching with Salt. Included in that tutorial was another link to another tutorial on etching copper with salt in Art Jewelry Magazine. I wrote my list and headed out to Radio Shack, Walmart, and Menard's to obtain the objects on my list. I came home and saturated the water with salt to begin the etching process. The water was saturated, the battery was hooked up and ready to go. I dipped the anode in the water and I waited. This photo was the result. All I did was to corrode the copper because I had put the battery into the battery holder BACKWARDS! Oh, well, time to try again!

This time, the battery was hooked up correctly. The resist was applied, and I began the process of etching again. Unfortunately, my brushing was too vigorous. Piece #2 was sent to the copper graveyard. I gave the process a rest until today. This time, I changed the salt I used. In the last two tries, I used the salts that were recommended in the tutorials. I didn't realize that these 2 salts had an agent added to them to prevent clogging. I found another batch of sea salt at the store. This time, the salt did not have anything else added to it. The result, a beautifully etched copper bead!

The design was simple. Dots. It is lovely! I hope to try more complicated designs in the future!

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