A splash of color

I have this horrible habit of not being very focused.

For example, right now, there’s a spot in my bathroom that needs to be painted, and it’s needed to be painted for probably 8 years. I just sort of forgot it needed to be painted (it was fine until we installed a new medicine cabinet), and every time I notice it and think “I really should paint that”, something else catches my attention and


I forget what I’m supposed to be focused on.  Was it the laundry that needed to be folded?  Or perhaps the email I forgot to send to the lady who is supposed to send me a show application.  Wait, no….it’s that bathroom wall that needs to be painted, right?


So I decided in 2014, I’m going to be more focused in my studio.  I’m going to have a plan, have some specific things I’m going to explore, and stick with them until I have them mastered.  First thing up:  etching.

I love to etch copper and brass.  I’ve done a few projects in the past, and they turned out pretty well.  Here’s a clasp for a Dragonscale bracelet that I fabricated quite a few years ago.


I kept this one for myself, but it was so popular, I ended up making a couple of others for people who requested them.  That was before I decided I was done drawing dragons, and made it a limited edition.

I also etched the backplate for a necklace that was titled “Looking In” after a photo taken at my daughter’s wedding.



This is easily one of my favorite pieces, because of the sentimental value.

I haven’t etched for several years, and after deciding it was going to be my focus (at least for the first quarter of the year), I got to work.  I researched etching, and decided to stick with the methods I’d used before (ferric chloride etching solution).  I did find some different “resist” ideas (I did both of the examples above with a simple black Sharpie marker), and got to work on experimenting.

You may remember last fall, I started working on a Dragonscale weave in 20g wire.  It was slow going, and I picked away at it a little at a time.


Very little at a time.


It’s growing, but not very quickly.

I decided I really needed to finish this baby up…it had been hanging around my work bench for entirely too long.  I cut a piece of copper sheet that would fit as a nice center, and finished up one side of the chain.  While I did the weaving, I thought about what I wanted to put on the center piece, and came up with a modified Yin Yang design.

Ugh.  I won’t even post a picture of it, total fail….I did finally come up with a good design I was happy with, did the etching and finishing on the center piece, and put it away for the night.

This morning, after I got to the studio, I finished up the chain portion of the bracelet, drilled holes in the center piece so it could be hooked onto the chain, and grabbed my torch.

Putting patina on copper is soooo much fun. It’s like painting with fire.  You never really know what you’ll end up with, so I was really pleased with the final result.  I’d like more color on the center piece, so I may work on it a bit more next week.


The etching turned out nicely, but oooohhhh, look at that color!


Little better look at the etching – my version of a Tree of Life.

I’ve got more playing to do…I did purchase a few of these today and they are supposed to be even better to use as my resist.  

I picked up black markers in Ultra Fine, Fine, and Medium for variety.

I picked up black markers in Ultra Fine, Fine, and Medium for variety.

It’s only January, and I promised I’d stick with one technique for the first quarter.  Excited about what is to come in the next few months!