So this month I have been dipping my toes into etching, combining my artwork with copper to see how it works. I researched all the options and with hubbys advice opted to try Ferric Chloride for which is also used for making pinted circuit boards.
The first thing I did was to sketch a few pictures on my i-pad that I thought would work, this are two of them
Next I prepared the copper by cutting into small rectangles and cleaning with sandpaper, a nylon pad and then a wipe over with neat alcohol to make sure the surface was squeeky clean for the vinyl to stick properly.
Stick the vinyl to the copper and make sure it is well adhered with no edges lifted, you can fill in any missing bits with a sharpie pen
I pre-prepared two plastic containers for the etch one with the Ferric Chloride which I bought ready diluted and one with Bicarbonate of Soda and water to use as a neutraliser to the acid, some gloves which are essential to protect your skin and I put all this on a tray and had plenty of paper towels on standby as it it messy!
Then I gently lowered the pieces into the Ferric Chloride and left them, I checked every half hour for progress, as the copper I used was pretty thin I only left them until the pattern was just visible, thicker materials will take longer.
Once you are happy with the etch take the pieces out wearing gloves I also used non metal tweezers and put the piece into the bicarbonate of soda solution to neutralise. I gave them a final rinse in clean water then you can peel away the packing tape and vinyl.
Next step was to clean, I used a nylon pad to scrub then some ultra fine sandpaper to lightly polish. For the Unicorn I rounded the edges and added a rivet and turned it into a key ring.
The hare became a pendant with an added moonstone