This chapter in the book discusses the various aspects of metal like which to enamel on, how to prepare the surface to enamel, etching, wire work and more. Below is some extra information.
Table of Contents
Many companies sell copper sheet or blanks (cutouts). Although already listed in my Resources list, this company is really terrific to work with. The company is Stamping Out Loud and they sell their designs in 4 different metals (copper, aluminum, brass and nickle) while giving you the options to include holes or not and your gauge metal. And when they are selling a rectangle, it is a true rectangle, unlike others who are not as careful with their cuts. In addition, their edges are finished so the piece looks smooth all around. As you can tell, I cannot say enough about them.
They do sell Artist Trading Card size copper - that's 2.5" x 3.5".
Stamping Out Loud is being very kind to us and making a discount code available for one time use per person. The code is: kcenamel10
I've always worked with one of the owners, Wendy, who is very commodating. This company will stamp out custom designs in a few different ways - exclusive or for sales to others. The choice is yours. For example, this was a custom design, a Unitarian Chalice, that they have for sale to anyone who wants it. So for all of you artists who want your copper cut to your specs, here's the chance to get it done right. Contact them for details.
The book discusses various aspects of etching, including step by step on electro etching. it enourages the reader to read more about other aspects of the etching process. Below are more resources for you to research.
Free Etching Book
In years past, Coral Shaffer, an enamelist, wrote and sold a text on etching that gave all the ins and outs of the process. She is now retired and so graciously allowed me to include her text on my site. Relief Etching for Jewelers And Enamelists, by Coral Shaffer is now copyright free, and can be downloaded from the link provided. Thank you Coral!!! Disclaimer: this was written quite a few years ago so certainly some of the resouces are incorrect and possible some old information is included.
Using Photoshop to Adjust Images
Some people wanting to etch might have problems adjusting an image that can etch well. René Roberts, an enamelist, works with several materials, combining glass, metal, fire and photography to create pieces that are ambiguous and often appear to be visual hybrids. René has created a set of videos on using Photoshop to accomplish turning a photo into an etchable image. These are well worth viewing if you want to accomplish more in Photoshop or use the techniques she discusses in your photo editing software. She recommends the book: "The Contemporary Printmaker: Intaglio-Type & Acrylic Resist Etching" by Keith Howard to learn more about etching and various resists.
Marissa Saneholtz is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Bowling Green University in the Metals Department. She has developed a way to use a partial sheet of PnP paper for a resist and has some other new things about etching not described in the book.
This technique is for when you want to print only one image onto PnP paper and not use an entire sheet. This has to be done, as usual, either on a toner copier or a laser printer.
Ferric CLoride Bath
Here's a great idea for your Ferric Cloride bath, also recomended by Marissa Saneholtz, if you don't have room for a large container and need to etch a few pieces at one time: use soft wax (so that you can mold it with your fingers) balls on each corner of your piece and shift-stack the pieces. This does require that you have a border as the wax will act as a resist. Also note that the pieces nearer the top will etch faster so you will need to re-organize the stack at some point to get an even etch in each.
Adhering PnP Paper to Metal
Teresa Kiplinger found this on John Fetvedt's Electro-etchers Anonymous Facebook group. If you have a laminator that works with this (it's not clear they all do), it really eliminates some issues and there is no burnishing. Teresa uses a Tahsin SM-330 laminator by Tamerica. She says that she can use up to 14 ga metal this way. To do this:
Other devices to use
In the Champlevé project in the book, Kathy Wood uses a high-setitng iron to adhere PnP paper to cleaned metal. This method is done from above the piece. But in addition to the laminator method above, there are other devices that can be used, all heat the metal from below.
Marissa Saneholtz prefers a flat griddle or heating tray, but an upside down iron held by its handle in a vise also works. What Marissa does:
Here's another use for copper mesh... Barbara Minor does a beautiful job of enameling on formed metal, including mesh with liquid enamel and gold foil! In the 2.5" x 2.5" piece below, titled "Screen Floral", she uses liquid enamel on the formed copper screening with 24 kt gold foil and includes fabricated sterling silver, brass and glass; photo credit: Ralph Gabriner. She teaches this and many other techniques - Barbara's class schedule can be viewed on-line.
Steel is a valid enamemling surface and used in the Steel Based Enameling project. Two types of steel, Blackboard and Whiteboard, not mentioned in the book, are now listed in the Steel Based Enameling project. These are rather cool as they are the same material used in classrooms for teachers to write on!
Page 64 in the book has an LTT on Flashing Fine Silver - in order to get a shinnier surface for transparents. The instructions to do this are provided. And Merry-Lee Rae has a free video on making The Perfect Blank in which she demonstrates how to do this. She said she learned it from Ricky Frank, who is another wonderful enamelist to take classes from.