A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Etched Metamorphosis

I was recently thrilled to have discovered the right tweaks to get my Press n Peel sheets to work for transferring printed images to metal. I've been an etching fiend ever since! I found some fabulous digital damask collage sheets at Aesthetic Addiction on Etsy and got started creating some things with an exotic feel. The raw pieces above are based on a tube bail I had made, but miniaturized, flipped upside down, and modified for earrings. Here's the result:
Gypsy Festival
This pattern made me think of a gypsy caravan for some reason, so I had to make it colorful! I started with amber and iolite, and added some peridot. Juicy!

Another set of these had a more distinctly floral pattern, with flowers that made me think of sunflowers. I couldn't get a saffron color out of my head for them, so chose some deep golden coin pearls as the central color, and fished around in my stash for what seemed like hours trying to find the right companion color. I wired on two sets of beads in other colors, only to cut them off in dissatisfaction. I tried going a little out of my comfort zone, and I was surprised how much I liked cool iceberg blue amazonite with the coin pearls. It was really vivid, and made me think of a French country house all done up in sunny yellow and robin's egg blue:
Haystacks in Provence
It also put me in mind of many of Van Gogh's paintings, especially "Haystacks in Provence."

I was really thrilled with the color in the copper in this pair--after I etched it, I had to anneal it to make it workable, and then pickle it. That took it back to shiny pink. Before I formed the tube shape, I antiqued it in liver of sulfur to bring out the pattern, and then heated it with a hot clothes iron to bring up the cherry/orange colors. It has a really warm glow now.

This last pair sports beadcaps I've been thinking of for a long time. I had sketched them eons ago but didn't know how to fit them together--and then I discovered tube rivets! So the other day I decided to give it a try. I had some textured copper strips lying around for other uses and so I just did them up really fast. They look kind of medieval to me!
Medieval Spring
I used them with a pair of Alisha White's hollow lampwork globes in taupey-mauve, some Czech glass in olive and lime green pearls. I have some more of these hollow beads and will probably do a similar design with the rest of them--I love how lightweight they are, and yet they have such presence!

I have one more set of etched copper tabs like the ones at the top of the post (the ones at bottom left), and the pattern seems to be telling me "Purple and Red!" so keep your eyes peeled for those!


  1. Just beautiful, Keirsten! I knew you'd love etching. ;)

  2. So, I am reading your post and drooling at the first two pairs of earrings....totally awestruck by your ingenuity...and then I scroll down to your bead caps....WOW! Those are absolutely gorgeous!

  3. I really do love your creations. Creative, original, and always pretty.

  4. Love them all, but especially the third pair. Just started etching the other day, still in the experimental phase :)

  5. Congratulations dear, etching is a switching technique that I love.
    Your jewelry is beautiful, and you're very good.
    a kiss

  6. Absolutely beautiful! I love your designs, and the way you keep evolving and acquiring new skills.

  7. What a beautiful pattern you used for the etching. And your designs are as stunning and inspired as ever. I've been wanting to try etching and have heard of the p-n-p paper but didn't know where to get it so thanks for the source. Did you get the blue or the wet? (Maybe I should know that if I found a tutorial!)

  8. Definitely need to try etching! I've been intrigued with the idea ever since I first saw a post on it.

    As always I love you ingenious and fabulous designs :) Your blog is a continuous roll of awesomeness!

  9. Always admired your work with copper, Keirsten. These new etched pieces are a wonderful addition to your design skill set! You've inspired me to give etching a try.

  10. Love your blog, designs, and your sense of humor! Would you share your "tweaks" for the press and peel paper? I've been etching for a couple of years but haven't tried press and peel!