New Pics coming soon - etched bracelets , spoon rings and fork bracelets

I have been working on some more copper etched bracelets, spoon rings, fork bracelets but I forgot my camera at my daughters house  -  I hope to have back tomorrow so I can take some pics of what I have been doing (very little over the holidays)  Truly in love with my GRS metal former, and I love the ease of the spoon bender for making the little rings.  I'll show those as soon as I get my camera back home.  I plan on putting some items up on etsy like my large Lampwork Fish and some of the Copper Etched Bracelets.

New Toy for my GRS Metal Former - the flat "C" Former Die

Just got in the mail the Flat "C" former die for my GRS Metal Former - makes a perfect C each time
Hope to try it out soon

It fits onto the existing metal former 
The base equpment  does the rounded edges 

The new one will leave them flat and straight 

I also got my spoon bender for making rings with the ends of spoons - so cool cant wait to play with that either 
This looks like fun - got the spoon bender off ebay - just type spoon bender there is a large one for bending the handle into bracelets and the small for the rings 

Merry Christmas to all my Followers and Lurkers

Its that time of year where I don't know if I'm coming or going.  Not sure I'll have much time this week or this weekend with all the last minute running around for toys and goodies before  Santa comes.

I would like to thank my followers and my lurkers for viewing my Blog.  I do hope everyone gets something out of the tools, projects and suggestions that I have been posting.

I will be playing after Christmas for sure as I have time off between the 24th and Jan 1st so I am looking forward to making more projects and sharing them with you.  I'll be adding items to Etsy and playing with more of the silver plating and copper bracelets.  

Again - thank you all for joining me in my endeavours and a very Merry Christmas to you all.

Deb Read

Silver Plating Copper Zentangle Pieces - Pendants and Bracelets

So tonight I pick up my detail wands - or brushes -  I was asking if I could use the same plating solution with my plating pen that I have

- works the same - power source , clip to piece and use wand dipped in solution
and yes I can ! -

 I am picking up. the detail wand pack tonight - three different tips - see which ones I want - they are only 3.00 for all three  - with the plug n plate kit way cheaper than my pen plating wand  and  I got silver plate solution with the kit  - had to buy the solutions separately for the other one.

So going to use and silver plate only the raised etched  pieces on the copper to get a cool effect - I'll play with that tonight if I have time and get a pic up.

Silver Plating Copper - Silver Plated Zentangle Copper Pendant

Well I broke open the Caswell Silver electroplating kit.
Very easy to use.  Just wrap the bandage - comes with kit
- plug in and dip into small amount and start brushing on.  Just follow instructions, keep brush moving etc..  after just clean up
here is a before and after pic

side by side with another copper piece - gives you an idea that it actually plated it
Here I cleaned up and polished

They have all kinds of kits. Nickel, Silver, Copper,  rectifiers cleaning and buffing materials a great place to shop.

Fork Find for Fork Bracelets

I got a great find on ebay - 8 silverplated dinner forks - they are 7" in length - good length, and a beautiful pattern that I just adore - the more pattern the better for me.  about 2.50 each including shipping which I thought was great.

So this weekend going to start on making some more bracelets.

Silver Plating Forks

I wanted to see if I could re-plate some of the forks that I have - they are old and somewhat worn in spots and though that if I could re-plate then I could get a better shine

Caswell has re-plating solutions - the Silversmith has cyanide so you have to be careful when using but they also have another product Silverplater is cyanide free and just takes a bit longer to re-plate.  Its a liquid you apply.

I also purchased the plug and plate silver plating kit they have to give a try.  They run about 60.00 cdn.

Plug N' Plate Silver KitProbably wont have time till the weekend to give them a try.

Caswell carries all  kinds of plug and plate kits and carries supplies for copper electroplating 

Fork Bracelet - 2nd attempt

Well the only thing I did was flatten forks and clean them Sunday

I raced home today to go to the freezing shed (thats where my vice is and other tools that I needed to bend the fork)  was not that cold  (its about 42 F but I still wore my coat).  Watched the video I ordered on how to make fork bracelets and attempted my second fork bracelet. Once bent  into shape  I brought it back to the warmth of the house and fitted the dichroic glass (which was harder to choose than bending the fork tines)  that I make and glued it with the Tryloise UV Glue

I still have to do the final polish after the glue dries.

This is for my sister who has patiently waited for me to make her a fork bracelet with Dichro for 12 years !

I think a way better attempt than the first fork bracelet I made - more flare with the fork tines.

New Toy - GRS Metal Forming Press - for bracelets

I picked up my new GRS Metal Forming press -  Its for making /bending bracelets and as much as it looked cool its even better in real life .

I didn't have any blanks etched to try so I just did up a quick blank (filed and sanded the corners) and gave it a try - didn't really take my time just wanted to try it out -

 Havnt read all the instructions about using the different heads and the actual press bed that can me melted to fit the form (I'll figure that out later )

Came out pretty nice - really tight and impressed with the unit -

I took one of my zentangle and did it too. even preformed can be reworked .

I like the flat work but this is even nicer finish to the bracelet - this is a very suttle bend -  I need to read a bit more about  the tin bed as it can be heated and reformed.  There is no deformity when pressing as the bed is made of tin a very soft material .  There is a flat former head accessory that I want to get too as it will make bending easier and more even.

Just Resin - My own Jewellery Resin

Some know that I developed my own jewellery resin line  for sale.   I manufactured my own that is a clear resin.  Although I am not "pushing" the sales as much as I should - I though I should post it once in a while.

Free e-books for ideas on making resin jewellery

I also recommend the Shari Haab Resin book

I have used with Polymer clay to make faux dichro

to glaze over polymer clay as a sealer to give a nice capping 

for use as caps for picture frame charms

embed transparencies onto ceramic blanks
so many uses 

It is sold in a few sizes - the main is the kit that includes measuring cups and stir sticks and a few of the picture frame charms to start you off.  Check out the videos on the sidebar and my website for more information.  

Sealing and Finishing the Copper Etched Cuff

I used the Renaissance wax as a sealer - applied let set and then buffed.
Is great for woodworking as this is why I had in the first place (made wood pens) It is a synthetic wax derived from petroleum and popular.

But I also had a sealer that I made when I was making other metal jewellery that I made myself - very easy and works just as well as a sealer.

You get some white beeswax pellets and mix with Acetone.
Just put your pellets into a container and slowly pour some acetone over the wax - and it will melt it - just mix and voilĂ  you have a paste wax to put on your metal for finishing.  I f it dries out you just add a bit more acetone to reconstitute it .

More 1" Zentangle Copper Etched Cuff Bracelets

I make more today - only I made the small size (6") and one large size (7") etched bracelet
These ones I did with liver of sulphur - not sure if I like it or not - I do like the shiny coppery look 
So now I have Small, Med and Large bracelets made 

Step by Step: Making a Copper Etched Cuff Bracelet

Revision Date:   4-12-13

Using PnP Blue and now StazOn and Rubber Stamps
 I will keep updating this step by step as I learn new things and improvements

Get yourself some 18g Copper  or an 18g copper blank
sizing is dependant upon your wrist size.
Standard  length sizes  - 6" for Small    6.5" for Medium  and 7" for large
For my sample its 6.5"
My copper blank is 18g   1" wide by 6.5" long
If you cant get locally then Metalliferous in NY has them pre cut and for sale at a very reasonable price 
I want to make the bracelet comfortable and not have sharp corners so I take my metal shears and nip the corners.  Since copper is very soft its very easy to cut.
You can cut the corners

Or you can just file the corners - this is faster - but if you want a deep angle corner its just as easy to cut and file.  I did some with cut corners and some with just filing the corners of the copper- you do not have to be exact as you can file to correct an over cut.

With the corners cut I want to smooth them out.  I use a large file.  You do  not have to apply much pressure as again the copper is soft.  Gently start to file the corers - follow the length of the blank and start to smooth the corners.  Apply a little pressure and smooth.  Use the file to file the edges and top.

watch your fingers - you may accidently over file and hit a finger - best way is to put one of those leather finger guards on or that self sticking material (like 3m vetwrap) on the fingers just to save them from that extra hit by the file 

I now use a Foredom Bench Motor to buff off the burs and clean up the copper edges - using a fibre wheel - works wonders and makes the edges crisp and clean 

see how nice and smooth and clean the edges are 

Take some steel wool I like 0000 but all I could find this week was 000 which will work just fine.  Work the edges and surface of the copper.  You will notice the steel wool takes any burs and sharp edges off the blank and shines and cleans the surface.

when all finished they are ready for putting the etch resist on 
I like to make quite a few up and then start to put the etch resist on 

STEP 5 -  I will repeat step five below but using StazOn Stamp Pad and Rubber Stamps
Prepare your PnP Etching paper with your design.  In my case I have my Zentangle patterns

Put your PnP blue resist- face up on a cutting mat or something similar.  Place your blank on the design and cut around it.

You do not have to do it this way - but I find if I have less overhang - I have more control over the resist when applying .

Take some windex and clean one side of the blank. ( you can clean the whole thing but we will do that again later)  Try not to put your fingers on the side your going to apply the PnP resist.  Oils from your fingers can affect the adhesion

Take your cut out PnP and lay it face down on the cleaned side of the blank.

as you can see I have finger prints on the metal - I would clean with windex or buff again with my steel wool 

very little or no overhang.  More control on the resist 

Some people like to take a sheet of paper or a thin cloth between the iron and the PnP resist
I've done both - I find a sheet of unwaxed wax paper works the best for me it keeps it from melting the plastic and gives a little more control when using the iron.  I  use the max on the iron (before I was almost at high but found after trial and error that the high worked best with this iron)

What I have is an inexpensive Black and Decker iron that I bought just for this purpose. That way I dont have any build up of iron sprays etc..

Apply the iron  and hold down and heat up. I let it sit for about 45 seconds,  Go over it for a few minutes.  I rub the edges etc... and watch where the holes are in the iron and they may not have enough pressure ifyou just sit it down on the piece.   Once complete put to the side to cool

STEP 10- very important
Do not remove PnP resist until it is completely cooled.

Once cooled remove.

The New toy - Heat Press - used for making T-shirts but great for doing multiple quantities at a time of pressing the PnP blue onto the bracelet blank.  I got mine from a place local to me for under 300.00 
  • Sign Supply Canada
    6635 Kitimat Rd, Unit 42
    Mississauga, ON L5N6J2
    Phone#: 905-608-2680

I love using it - I have it down pretty good on time and pressure - max pressure set and then I put sheets of the unwaxed paper on top - the metal tends to not be perfectly flat so there are high and low points.  The bottom of the unit is rubber so it does sink in - but the extra paper ensure coverage - so full pressure and about 3 minutes does it.
as you can see in the picture these are the 1" bracelet blanks (6" long) and I could fill this up at least two dozen at a time - the 1/2" at least  4 dozen 

 If you have applied properly the areas that were black will have transfered to the Blank and be blue.  I f there are areas that did not stick you can fix with a sharpie marker, Identi-pen but  I like a product called Stop Out. which guarantees me proper resist.

STEP 11  Fixing resist:  An easy to apply resist with a pen nib or a brush.- Got this at curry's art supplies they had to order in but it only took a few days.  You can also use a sharpie permanent marker to help out if you cant get the Stop Out - evidently the Red Staedler is supposed to be better but either one works just make sure its covered-  the marker comes off easier than the stop out  for clean up .

At this point we have our blank prepared with our etching resist.


If you do not wish to use PnP Blue and it is easier to get these rubber stamp pads at your local craft store, the following will give you a resist and the ability to use rubber stamps to make your bracelet (Pendants etc.)

Stazon is a brand of stamp pad -

When applied to a rubber stamp you can stamp directly onto your clean copper piece
a really good cleaner which I should have mentioned is called Penny Brite
Cleans your copper beautifully with just a little of the penny brite and water.  I use a toothbrush on the smooth surface (you can use your fingers)  and especially when I am finished to clean out the crevices 

I apply the staz on onto the rubber stamp (in this case my rubber zentangle stamps - available on etsy (see side bar on blog)  This is a large 8-1/2 x 11 rubber stamp that I can get many patterns from 

I place the piece onto the area I want to stamp and apply a little pressure - be sure not to smudge.  I place one finger on one end and push slightly down and the other end rises - I grab and lift straight up 

This ink dries rather quickly which is nice - here are samples on other types of copper 
even copper pipe
see my blog on rolling the copper pipe 

STEP 12 Preparing your  Ferric Chloride    (I am checking out electro etching as well and will put it in this step by step when I actually do it )

Today I change my container to a glass one (that has a lid - its a baking dish that has a plastic cover- but I used plastic wrap to seal it to ensure no evaporation when I store it ) I decided I wanted to try fresh acid and also heat it.  To heat it I got out my electric fry pan and put it to warm
They say the heat should not exceed about 135 deg F.
So I Poured my acid into the glass container and turned up to warm on the dial

STEP 13  Apply the packing tape (regular packing tape) to the back of the blank (you are sticking to the side without the resist.) I like using the hand held - then I dont have it sticking to itself while I'm fumbling for scissors or a knife -  I put little tabs on the ends so I can grab them when putting into and taking out of the pan. I plan on getting some of that self sticking shelf paper to put onto the backs and use the packing tape to suspend so that my backs do not accidently get etched - also going to try some waxes etc... will let you know here if they work .

Once the tape is on we put it into the ferric chloride face down - you want it just at the surface either just touching or just under the surface to ensure its touching the ferric chloride - but dont let it touch the bottom.

I did four sets (I'll probably get my bigger tray so I can do about 8 at a time.) I did get a bigger tray and now make 8 at a time .
I left it for only  1 hour and checked it becaue this was fresh acid and I was heating - something new (make sure you wear gloves this stuff stains your fingers badly)  and sure enough fresh acid and heat had already started the etching process.  I ended up leaving for only 2 hours. cut down from 8-9 hours - makes a difference

You can check your process every once in a while to see how far it has etched and depending on what you want you can leave it longer for deeper etch. etc..
When ready - carefully take out of the acid bath and rinse straight away - my sink washed directly to the outside and not into my septic.  You will have to figure out how you want to deal with rinsing.

Nice deep etch..  The PnP blue is still on the blank.

To finish the rinsing you must neutralize the acid on the blank -
 a little baking soda diluted in water and rinse the blanks.

STEP 16 - remove the PnP blue with Acetone (You can remove the tape glue as well)

You can use paper towel or a rag - rag is better as the etch is going to rip the paper towel as you clean
Finish cleaning the front

Cleaning the back
Using Goo Gone will take away all the adhesive from the tape. (acetone will work too)
I just pour a little on each blank and rub with my finger tip (I'm in gloves)
Let it sit for a minute and the wipe off.

Cleaning up
I take my steel wool and start with the back and clean it up and get it back to a shiny finish
Then I work on the front and the sides - if the sides have some sharp edges from etching just take your file and clean up and then the steel wool.

All cleaned up

STEP 19 - options
we can seal or patina now or later - I like later after I have formed the bracelet.

Forming the bracelet
you can use forming pliers or a wood bracelet mandrel and rawhide hammer

I preform with the pliers and then use my oval wooden bracelet mandrel and rawhide hammer to form

But then I got my GRS Forming Tool - I LOVE THIS TOOL




Electro Plating
If you want to add some additional colour to your copper you can elecctro plate - Caswell has great small kits for electroplating (they are in both Canada and USA)
in this case I did some silver

Patina and finishing
I used the Gilders Paste Copper to finish - using a rag apply and make even coat and let dry for an hour

I also used liver of sulphur - gel (was first time I tried it ) was nice to work with - still stinks LOL
in hot water add and mix - add a little ammonia (helps make some nice rainbow colours on the metal) 
dip and then clean - I used sandpaper/steel wool to clean up 
darkens the deep etched areas and the sandpaper/steel wool lightens the high spots .  This you will have work on to your liking 

Try Using some coloured Patina's 
Vintaj Patinas

see this thread for further instructions

Finish by buffing and sealing (see gilders paste instructions)
 I like the Renaissance wax t - apply a coat to inside and top of bracelet and edges - let dry 
I use a dremel with a felt buff and they come up shiny and beautiful 
I also make my own wax that is similar to Renaissance wax by using beeswax pellets and naptha (you can get naptha at home depot in a tin)  you put pellets into container and pour the naptha over and it melts it.  Makes a great sealer for metal. 

But I found the BEST BEST Sealer  called Permalac EF that I am now using for everything 

In Canada they sell at 
Sculpture Supply Canada 
345 Munster Ave.
Toronto, Ontario Canada M8Z 3C6416-234-1075