Not all ornaments come with scratched or engraved patterns - sometimes you want to make them protruding, convex on a generally smooth background. This can be done with the help of chemistry. This process of making patterns on copper is called etching. Of course, you can etch any patterns - "deepened", like engraving, including - and there are several ways for this, but this first class is shown in this master class.

Necessary materials

In order to etch a pattern on copper, you will need:

  • copper detail that you'll apply the pattern
  • thin steel shavings for cleaning utensils (in the form of a sponge, only with shavings as small as possible);
  • painting tape;
  • a protective layer (it must be applied in order to separate the copper the space that you want to keep the picture from everything else. As it is in a shellac, nail Polish, acrylic paint – but whatever you choose, it should be liquid)
  • something you can put a picture (remember that the pattern is applied precisely the material you chose as a protective layer). Very good pen with metal pen drawing ink
  • solvent (alcohol, white spirit, acetone);
  • The iron (III)chloride
  • plastic tray (NOT tin or iron. Only plastic)
  • rags
  • rubber gloves
  • wool or cotton pads.

Step by step instructions

Despite the fact that this is a chemical process, a real etching lab is not needed, but caution and adherence to safety rules will not interfere. Iron (III) chloride is a salt, not an acid, and it only etches brass and copper, but getting it on the skin is still unpleasant. Be sure to wear rubber gloves. And iron chloride (and it's red color) is almost not washed and washed - if you spill it on the floor, table or clothes, it will be very difficult to get rid of stains.

  1. Put the gloves on.
  2. Prepare a copper piece that you want to apply the pattern. The protective layer is best rests on slightly uneven surface, so treat the item with a metal wire.

  • Seal all except the surface with which you will work, masking tape (usually the patterns etched on the flat parts, so you need to seal the back side). If you are concerned for her safety and want to be safe before sealing, apply a thin layer of protective mixture.

  • Now you need to apply the pattern to the copper. Protective pour the mixture into a jar, dip a brush or a pen-the pen into the mixture and draw of copper of the desired image. As a rule, whatever you take, it will be thicker than ink, so if you chose a pen-feather, be prepared for it. Keep at hand a solvent – if something goes wrong, remove with dampened cotton wool in it superfluous line.

    All areas on copper, "closed" pattern, will act on a general, more "recessed" background. Draw, consistent with this.

    Once you have finished drawing, leave the copper to dry and clean the handle or brush with solvent from the remnants of the mixture. Varnishes and acrylic wither very quickly and can ruin both the feather and bristles.

  • Pour the chloride in a plastic tub and put the item inside, side of the pattern down.

    Etching continues from half an hour to 4 hours, depending on how deep you want to make patterns. To test this, stick to the back of the long strip of masking tape before you plunge it into the chloride, and from time to time remove.

  • After etching, thoroughly rinse the item with cold water, and then wipe with a swab dipped in solvent, removing the protective layer.
  • Once again, wipe and rinse the entire piece with soap and metal shavings - sometimes the chloride can remain on the surface layer of the metal and continue to etch it.

    Done - now on the copper there is a pattern.