How to Make a Custom Etched Copper Cuff Bracelet | Alex Moore | Skillshare

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How to Make a Custom Etched Copper Cuff Bracelet

teacher avatar Alex Moore, Adventure or Nothing

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction By Alex Moore of Gold Pan Pete Design

    • 2. Materials and Safety Equipment

    • 3. Using Photoshop to Create your Transfer Image

    • 4. Cleaning and Preparing the Metal

    • 5. Heat Transferring the Image to the Copper Strip

    • 6. Revealing the Transfer

    • 7. Preparing the Acid Bath

    • 8. 45 minutes in the Acid Bath (Sorry Moth)

    • 9. Neutralising the Acid with Baking Soda

    • 10. Cleaning with Acetone and Observing the Etch

    • 11. Final Results

    • 12. Final Thoughts and Project

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About This Class

Welcome to my class on etching copper jewelry. In this class you will learn how to etch a piece of copper that can then be made into a piece of jewelry like a cuff bracelet. I discuss the materials you will need and how to handle the etching materials safely. I go into how to edit your image or text in photoshop in order to be able to transfer it to the metal for etching. Finally, I go through the complete process of how to transfer the image to metal and then etch the copper piece in acid. 

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Alex Moore

Adventure or Nothing


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1. Introduction By Alex Moore of Gold Pan Pete Design: Hi, guys. My name is Alex. More from Gold Pan Pete Design and welcome to my workshop. Thank you for taking my class on how to etch copper jewelry. I really hope you learned something and you enjoy It s o in this class. We're going to go in over a few topics. Topic one is safety and equipment, which is really important because we'll be using some different corrosive materials and acids. Topic to is how to get your image for etching which will be using a program like photo shop or something similar Number three, which is transferring your image to the actual metal that used in the etching Number four is edging your metal in the acid bath and then the proper way to clean it up. And Topic five, which is the final thoughts and conclusion, adding in anything that I might have left out or find important on that is the class. So I really hope you enjoy the following class. Feel free to get in touch with me at Gold pan pete dot com, which my website or hit me up on instagram, which is at Gold pan pete dot com. Thanks again for watching the class. And if you've enjoyed it, please be sure to share it with your friends. And yeah, just let me know what you think. Um, see you next time. Thanks. Bye. 2. Materials and Safety Equipment: Okay, guys. So the next part of our lesson is going over all the equipment and safety gear that we need . We'll start with the safety gear. The first thing we have for safety is our rubber gloves. You can also use, like kitchen washing up gloves. Um, anything kind of that's robbery that in plastic, that's going to protect your skin and your fingers from touching the acids. Next thing is a heavy duty kind of apron. So this is a heavy duty, canvas kind of workshop apron. Um, we're gonna protect your clothes and from getting on yourself. Rubber aprons also work well, and then just a pair of safety glasses that protect your eyes from any splashes. You don't want this stuff getting in your eyes. So he is very important moving along to the acids that we use. So this is nitric acid. So this is available from any kind of temple chemical company around you. So just use your friend Google to find out a company that might have it. This one has actually been pretty mixed by myself with one part nitric acid and four ports . Water has been used and put back in this jar to reuse. You can keep using it after each time. Yet it's nice and labeled, and it's got locked up in my cupboard so it doesn't get mistaken for anything else. This can also be used for etching, and this is basically this is four etching, um, copper. This is ferric chloride. Um, the nitric acid is used eyes at four brass copper and also sterling silver. So a couple different uses for the nitric acids, but stronger. Next is baking soda. Just everyday kitchen cooking baking soda, which is a neutralizer for the asset. Acetone, which used to clean your meddle with, um, some strips of copper so you can order cupper from probably any metal supplier. This one. This came in a sheet, and I cut it with a salt down to one centimeter strips. Here's ones, actually, if you can see that was actually a finish, one that I did to show you after I finished the etching, you'll need some transparency paper. So, like the transparency sheets stays to use in the old overhead projectors, you get these most office places just single shapes, worked the best. We have a roller, so this is an art roller. Just that river roller came from art supply shop. Pretty cheap. Uh, old paintbrush, a pair of tweezers. This is a burnish. Er, um, So if you've made jewelry before, you might have a burnish. Er, um this is used for the same thing as the rollers force of you have a roller are able to get a roller than you don't really need this. Um, and also the sello tape. So sello tape or packing tape? Plastic packing tape on that just protects the metal that you don't want etched, um, from being etched. So you put that on the back of the image of the metal, um, or the edges of the image and that will prevent the asset from getting to that part of the middle that you don't want etched. Okay. Oh, and of course, you're hot plate. So we need the hotplate, the heat up the metal to put the transparency on, which then melts the toner on it, and it goes to the onto the metal. So here's equipment that you need. You also may need a printer now, not a ink printer, but a printer that just prints toner kind of, like, a captain machine. Or if you have access to a copy machine that you can print your onto transparency paper from that thing, that will work as well. But we'll go over that mawr and never part another part of the lesson. So all the equipment that you need, guys, um, to be good to go, All right, on to the next part. 3. Using Photoshop to Create your Transfer Image: Okay, guys. So here we are in photo shop, you're gonna select custom got my width set to 1 80 It's millimeters in the height of 10 which is the same height and width of my strip of cover. And I don't have my background set to black. Right click create. There we go. That's going to the same size as my piece of metal. That will fit right on. Tough. Um so when I do then is go to text, Choose my fun that I like here. Barn door arrested. Handwritten font anima type my quote right here in the middle, Not one. Oh, are Sort it out. Make sure that it's right in the middle. Here we go. Guides air. Big help. And it kind of clicked right to the center, which is what we wanted. Awesome. It looks good. Yep. Looks good. Um, except for I think I might change the first A. I'm sorry. I know there are. Yeah, whether you want to make a little tails on there. No, What I want to do is I actually want to go down and rotated horizontal in a mirror image that way when it prints it up it's gonna printed up on the transparency, and then I'm going to put it over the metal and it will be right ways around that. I'm gonna print it out onto my transparency and 4. Cleaning and Preparing the Metal: Okay, guys. So we're just about ready to get started. One thing I did forget to mention in the equipment part of the video waas that you also need some paper towels. And it's just a piece of, um fine, grit sandpaper there. Just like that. So what you gonna do with that is you are going to take this stuff away your sandpaper and just going Teoh clean queen, Your copper sheets like that make sure that I take off the plastic strip there. That side, actually. But nice bent. I am touching it, and I don't really want to do that. So I want to put on my glove after I do this and get ready to use the acetone because I don't really want the oils from my finger onto the metal. Keep the, um, theme. Keep transparency from sticking on. Doing his job. Actually, that keeps the acid from doing his job as well. Go clean those up a little bit, Put on gloves, and we'll get started. All right. Someone do take my acetone like that. 5. Heat Transferring the Image to the Copper Strip: Alright, guys. So next part I've got my hot plate turned on and heated up. Pull it down. You can see it now. It's been going for a couple minutes now on and I don't really want to get too hot. Um I could feel the heat coming off it there. I want my gloves. So I'm just gonna shut it off now, Um, it's gonna keep that heat. So here I have my pieces of the copper. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going Teoh Teik the peace and see that. So what I'm doing is I'm just setting it and lining it up equally, just like that. So it's covering the whole thing. Just like we had printed it ups and that we're gonna set it right on the top and then moved a little bit sore on a fixed set. You go. Such is gonna heat up sitting on top There, you get my other one, put that up there. And so when we printed it, there's like, a rougher side. And then there is a side that is slicker. So I'm putting slick side down. That makes sense that right evenly it's already started The stick there. No one starts a stick. Your pretty much stuck on there. Take my roller. So stuck down there Pretty good. So my rollers just flattened it down and the black toner will now heat up in melt and it will melt to my medal. I'm just gonna keep going that back and forth. Not really pushing, too. Too hard, just a little bit. So I need to actually get my move. Target the there. Slide that onto the heat a bit more. Yeah, So the edges air nice and covered as well. Do you do that back? Kids there. It's good. Now, while it's cooling now I'll show you. When I finished already, you could tell. But it says the mountains, air calling and I must go. So that's engraved and actually etched, not engraved in there with the acid. So that's what the results will be when that's finished. Just give you an example. More roles just to make sure it's nice and all pressed on. There we went all the toner to come off of the transparency and then come on to the metal so there's hot plates get pretty hot pretty quick. So that's why I turned it on Leon Low and then shut it off for a put the actual metal on. I've had it where it's gone on there and melted all the transparency and a big mess, and that's not what we want. All right, so I just wanna let that cool down and I'll come back when it's cool. 6. Revealing the Transfer: Okay, so here we are. They cool down a bit, there's still a bit warm. So what we're going to look for is when we peel off, that transparency is gonna leave the black toner on the copper and the writing will be just left with nothing on it. And that's how it's actually gonna edge it. So we'll just give it a little bit of a peel from the side. There we go. And as you can see, it's left on there a little bit, not 100%. But we can just type set up with a Sharpie, Um, does a fine job as well. And also, when you have it like that, it kind of makes it a bit more rustic, which is pretty cool to its Not so perfect. The 2nd 1 Exactly. The picture of the mountains, um, looks pretty good. The mountain image will show up there when we put in the acid. So good transfer eso the black is actually called the resist. And that actually is going to resist the acid etching the copper away. But now we're gonna go over it with a bit of a Sharpie, and then I'm gonna add this the tape to the back into the sides, which keeps it from, um, etching the back away 7. Preparing the Acid Bath: Okay, so here we go. Get ready to sub Merced the copper into the acid bath. So here's markup earpiece. Um, goes right in there. Nice fits. What I've done is I've actually, um, but used the seller tape tape there. The package take. And I've covered it along the back and wrapped it around the ridges and up the side. You could see it up on the side there. That's just going to protect that from the acid. And the only thing that acid should be eating is my text there. Okay, so put that back down in the bucket. My trusty gloves on here first brooks there. So very important to. But if you're mixing your acid with water, never, ever, ever pour water into the acid. Always pour your acid into the water. Okay? Just a bit of safety there. So I'm gonna use my nitric acid that's already been mixed in the water. Andi, I'm just going to pour it in, so it just covers up the top goes over the top of my metal there. Um, it does have some fumes, so you always want to have it in a well ventilated area. Um, and I'm just going to let this sit here for maybe 30 minutes, 40 minutes. And what I'm going to do, though, is I'm going to be checking it with my paintbrush. And all I'm going to do is just keep brushing off the bubbles and the bits of corroded metal that air just sitting on their okay. And I maybe just agitate the what the Excuse me, the ass a little bit. Let's get a little shake. Just keep the bubbles off, and it's gonna kind of brush it off as they go. So I'm gonna let it sit here. We'll come back in a little while and let's see how it looks. Be right back. 8. 45 minutes in the Acid Bath (Sorry Moth) : Okay, guys. So it's been in here about 45 minutes now, Um, and I know it's pretty close to being done because I'm gonna take this kind of wooden little stick here rush. It's gonna rub it across the lettering And what out looking for? It's I can actually feel it rubbing into the groups, and that's the places where the letters have been edged out by the acid. So now I know it's finished. Someone to do now is I'm going to just take it out. Um, I'm gonna pour the acid back in the container very carefully, and then I am going to use the baking soda and neutralize it by pouring the baking soda in . So I do that, uh, just after I pour out the acid in one second. 9. Neutralising the Acid with Baking Soda: All right. So of port are acid out. Have the bucket. And now I'm gonna use some baking soda and you'll hear the reaction Baking soda in there. The pieces. It's actually neutralizing the acid metal. Sure. Get all that centralized. Stop sizzling. That's when you know you got allowed. Go. 10. Cleaning with Acetone and Observing the Etch: and finally, our last up here. What's left on there, um, we want to do is get my ass atone out. Took the lid off of that time. No taking off all the toner pretty easily, as you can see. And what you're left with is your text etched into the Kupper. There we go. Awesome. Pretty happy with that. So what I'll do now is I'm going to hammer it over my bracelet Mandrell and turn it into a copper cuff on this one. Now, I'll show you some examples later, but, um, you can use these and put holes in them and turn them in the necklaces or shorten them, make them into rings. Um, if you make into regular need about that much, so be obviously smaller text on there. But yeah, the possibilities AARP pretty endless. They're pretty cool and basically see what exactly what was on there with a little bit of the rustic look as well. All right, so their final product, I'll hammer that around and show you the results, and it will be good to go 11. Final Results: And here we go, guys, just the final final results put a little ink into the grooves and just wiped it away. And there goes now. Those who wander are lost in a copper cuff. So what I'll do is make a class on actually making bracelets and jewelry. But for now, if you want to practice etching, then give it a go. Thanks, guys. Appreciate you watching. Make sure the share you need to get in touch with May Gold pan pete dot com or on instagram at Gold Pin peat. Thanks again, guys for watching. See you. Bye. 12. Final Thoughts and Project: Hi, guys. Thanks again for watching my class. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions or comments, get in touch Gold pan pete dot com or at Gold Pan Pete on instagram. Also, be sure to follow me on skill share to see more of my classes. And don't forget to upload your projects to the gallery. I'd love to see what you guys are working on. Thanks again until next time. Adios.