Sunday, June 14, 2009

Water Etching on Silver Clay

On Thursday, I ventured down to San Antonio to play with the Metal Clay Artists of San Antonio (MCASA). The project of interest involved water etching on silver clay, which I had never tried before.

Instructions for the project followed the guidelines published in the 4th volume of PMC Connection's newletter, available online here .

I prepared a simple house shape from PMC3, 6 cards thick, bone dry. This was painted with cheap nail polish, coating the back and edges completely and adding a simple floral design to the front. Using a damp sponge, I removed clay from the surface of the piece by wiping repeatedly. After a couple of days, I fired the piece at 1650° for 30 minutes.

Whereas I'd expected the nail polish to vanish completely, leaving the piece completely white like all the silver clay I've ever fired, instead the painted surfaces were bronze colored. A quick brass brushing succeeded in lightening the color slightly, but didn't really remove it. It actually looks like some sort of metallic deposit remains from the nail polish pigment.

I'm about to drop the piece into the tumbler to see if that will remove the deposit, but wanted to get a photo of it quickly for my records.

Before the MCASA meeting, I visited Lorena Angulo's trunk show and added a pair of earrings to my collection. Lorena is an avid fan of red, which I'm just beginning to admire.

I also admire her packaging -- very distinctive red boxes with burned paper labels.

I'm checking packaging options, looking for something consistent with my look.