Thursday, September 17, 2009

Need Help From BlogLand

Good morning or I guess it's almost afternoon. I am once again looking for help from "blogland". I've got two things to ask about today. The first is metal etching. I'm looking for a really detailed tutorial on the process. I found a few things online but most of what I found didn't include pictures. I NEED PICTURES! And I'm on the hunt for ferric chloride. I had read somewhere that you could purchase ferric chloride at Radio Shack. Yeah, it seemed weird to me too but I tried none the less to see if they had it. The guy behind the register asked me, "Why? Are you making a bomb?" Hm... that tells me they probably don't carry it. He told me to try Lowe's. I went to Lowe's and the guy said, "Nah, you need a chemistry store or something like that." Now, I remember seeing ferric nitrate in the lab long ago or maybe that was ferric chloride, but regardless, I won't be going back to my old job asking for chemicals. So, where's the best place to buy this stuff? And do you need a lot? I've had plenty of experience working with really nasty chemicals so that part doesn't bother me. I worked with nitric and hydrocloric acid on a daily basis before which I understand can etch metal but my pipes aren't protected to dispose of these chemicals. I understand the safety issues and I have my own lab coat and googles at home for just an occasion. Please help me out!

Ok, on to question number two. My daughter is nine and is an excellent reader but despite that I read to her every night before bed. It's our time to talk about the day and enjoy a story together. We've been reading the Narnia series for the past few months. I would like to make her a special charm bracelet themed around the Narnia series as a Christmas present. I'd like to make all the charms different in their own way to really make it interesting. I started the piece by asking Beth from Hint to make one of her "Courage" lion charms for me. This, of course, symbolizes Aslan which, for those of you not familar, is a main character in all the books. There are seven books in the series so I'd like to shoot for a charm for each book and then maybe some small gemstones or metal charms with words from the stories to fill in the gaps. Here's what I'm searching for:
  • Large tree with fruit
  • Faun (half human and half goat)
  • horse
  • Large ship with many wooden oars
  • dwarf
  • ape
  • silver chair
Yeah, the list sounds a little odd but if you've ever read the books then you understand. If you come across anything that looks unique that happens to be one of these items please let me know. It would really help out with the project.

Ok, here's today's pieces.
This one is made from odds and ends of other lampwork sets I had lying about. I thought the colors complimented each other well. Some of these beads are from Norma Brink who I've mentioned several times. She rocks! Made with oxidized sterling silver.

And this one is similar to one I created earlier in the week. These stones are different though. Made with Monaco Agate which have wonderful browns, creams, and even a pink hue. Very nice with the warm copper.

Enjoy your Thursday! Only one more day left to the weekend. Yippee!


  1. Leslie, The ferric chloride is from Radio Shack, not all Radio Shacks keep it on hand. If you have more than one call around and see if you can find it. It is used to etch copper wires on computer boards or something like that. Good luck

  2. Leslie,
    I have downloaded a tutorial on etching and I will send it to you. I am also on the hunt for the ferric chloride. I have been wanting to try the etching for some time, that is why I saved the tutorial.
    I just love your bracelets! I am a HUGE fan of your work!

  3. Leslie,
    I took the etching class at Bead & Button this year with Gina Crow of Laughing Lady Studios. I have a tutorial that she gave out in the class someplace in my cave, I mean studio...but you could contact her directly (, she was super nice and knowledgeable. I like the etching, hate the chemicals, and you have to dump the solution each time you use it after neutralizing with baking soda. Ugh. Radio Shack used to carry Ferrich Chloride for PCB etchant. Ours doesn't anymore...

    Found this blog with a step by step tutorial who says that Dick Blick carries FC( Pictures an everything.

    Heather Powers sent me this link to a tutorial using saltwater and I think a battery? Check it out:

    I am seeking a better way. There is a system called E3 Etch available from Sherri Haab, Objects & Elements, etc. I am thinking of buying this (when I can save enough money) Check it out:

    Good luck with your projects!
    Love the charm bracelet idea...can't wait to see how that turns out!

    Enjoy the day!

  4. hello leslie.. i use tio etch and i love that, firstly, i buy the acid in france so.. no help.. But i've learnd to etch with the stefanie lee's boock.. you have with pictures and step by step all the details..i 've only made as she explain and it's all OK..
    beautiful bracelets .. again!!

  5. Mexican "Milagro" charms would be perfect for you. They have just about anything under the sun.

  6. Hi Leslie
    Don't think I can help you out on the etching one...what an adventure that will be!
    I just love your charm bracelet idea for you daughter! What a challenge to find some of those the ape. But horses should be easy! Good luck (you could always make your own!) :-)

  7. Good luck on finding those charms! I did a Google search for you and nothing came up with
    those particular descriptions. Perhaps the Milagro charms sites have something. What a great idea to honor Narnia in a charm bracelet!