Thursday, 1 April 2010

Etched glass and stone beads

Finally a new post -- I've been working hard in the potatoes fields these last few days so I've been too tired to keep up blogging. But today I'll finally show some more pics of my etching experiments.

First, a look on what the beads looked like before being etched. Note that not all beads are pictured as I added a few "on a whim" later. It's a small mix of glass and stone beads, chosen either because I felt they'd look nicer etched or they were not my favourites so I didn't care if I ruined them.

The black glass drop and stone ovals was my first project. To add patterns to them, I used peel-off stickers as a resist -- an idea I got from Melinda Barta's fab book Custom Cool Jewelry. I also painted a paw using white craft glue, applying it directly from the bottle, a method I found when reading about the etching cream at the Etchall website. Finally, I also tried painting a tree using gum arabic (used as a resist in water colour etc), but it didn't turn out as well, probably due to the old liquid being too thin and thus hard to apply in a thick enough layer to protect the stone from the etch.

It's difficult to photograph these beads so the motifs really show, but I hope you can see the patterns.

The oval stone above (some sort of jasper?) is one of my failed attempts: stone can look nice when etched, but this one doesn't. Silverfoil, on the other hand, is a type of glass beads I most often prefer etched. The foil gives the bead a sort of cold glow from within. The round stone is tiger cherry "quartz" (a glass imitation of stone).

On this photo you can see a few beads where I wanted to try applying the etch cream in such a way it'd create special effects. I tried streaking the drops/leaves, but it didn't fully work. The flowers -- so hard to capture on photo -- got a lighter etching as I applied the creme using a sponge. The result is a lightly etched bead with shinier recessed areas, giving it almost a white opal look.


  1. I'm really enjoying how you explain your processes and share your results on etching!
    I am feeling inspired!!!
    Thank you!

  2. I'm glad you like it!

    I've probably spent too much time as a university student -- I'm so used to presenting and doing reports on my research. So I just keep doing that with my bead-related experiments too. It's good to keep a journal of the things you try and doing so online is as good as any other way. And, hopefully, it might also be useful for someone else. :)


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