I was busy yesterday trying out the metal etching technique Barbara Lewis at Jewelry of Distinction had mentioned in her blog last week. This is a 2:1 of hydrogen peroxide to muriatic acid (HCl). I mixed it up in a 16 cup plastic container with an airtight seal.
I'm familiar with HCl since I worked with it just about every day in the chemistry lab. The laboratory grade is much stronger than what's sold at your local Home Depot but you should keep the same safety guidelines in mind when working with it. This is serious stuff. Here's a few things to keep in mind when you are doing the etching process.
- Wear your goggles! Oh, and don't wear contacts when you are etching. If you accidentally spill HCl in your eyes the acid can get in between your eye and your contacts. Also, the vapors from working with HCl can creep in between your contact and your eye.
- Accidents happen. If you get the acid on your skin please wash immediately with soap and water. I have a scar on my wrist from HCl so I know accidents can happen.
- One of the biggest things to remember is to not breathe the vapors. It's common sense, right? I noticed in the tutorial I was following the guy said he etched in his kitchen. What? Go outside.
- Don't pour any of your mixture down the drain. It will definitely corrode your pipes. It's for etching metal, right? This was obvious when working in the lab. Our facets had corrosion on them just from the fumes. And we only worked with it in a hood with strong suction. We had glass pipes so luckily we didn't have to worry about that. So, it will do the same to your pipes as well. When I worked with it yesterday I first wiped off my pieces with paper towels then I set them in a bath of soapy water. I then scrubbed them and rinsed. Then I left the water run for 15 minutes down the drain.
- Here's one more thing that doesn't have to do with safety but about the hydrogen peroxide in this mixture. Have you noticed how hydrogen peroxide comes in dark brown bottles? Well, the hydrogen peroxide solution sold in drug stores is really only 3% hydrogen peroxide and the rest is water. It is a very strong oxidizing agent so it is diluted considerably. And when it is exposed to sunlight the molecules decompose. Don't keep your mixture out in sunlight or you'll end up having acid diluted in just water with no oxidizing agent. Work outside in the shade if possible.
I'm also finding out about the Angel policy. I've never used stamps for anything I've planned to resell before and it can be a little tricky to know what you can and can't do. I know several of you are into scrapbooking or mixed media so you are familiar with the policy but if you aren't here some info about the Angel policy.
So, here's the results from my first etch. These were etched then oxidized and polished. First photo is with paint and the second is with Sharpie.
Earring ExchangeOk, I have eight people including myself signed up for the earring exchange. If anyone else is interested in joining the group please let me know ASAP. Here's the Thanksgiving Treasures blog post of when I had originally talked about the idea. For those of us doing the swap here is a list of questions I need you to answer.
- What is your favorite color or color combination?
- Do you prefer silver tone, copper tone, or gold tone metal?
- Do you like longer of shorter earrings?
- Do you have sensitive ears? If so, what type of metal would work best for you?
- What is your favorite type of beads (gemstones, lampwork, porcelian, etc.)?
- What is your address along with your full name?
Please email this info to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you can so we can get started.
Bei Mondi Etsy shop today so please say hello to her if you have the time.