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Re: Jewelry


From: linda (lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Oct 04 2002 - 20:24:00 PDT

I teach metals to my sixth graders. THey prepare their metal...endless
sanding to remove scratches and prepare a mirror image surface, then they
design in photoshop (draw first, scan in, then create a border segment
that can be cut and pasted intricately around the edge). Following this,
they download their images to PNP paper (resist transfer
heatset it to metal), we transfer their designs, heatset them, and then
etch them. You can buy the etchant at radio shack. Following the etch,
we anneal them, (with my torch, which they can hold if I am standing right
next to them), then we hammer them on a bracelet mandrel. IF you want to
skip the torch/hammering part, you could make bookmarks or book cover
plates and bind a book. I also bought a drill press for 100 bucks at Ace
Hardware. Some kids opt to drill holes on the bottom of the bookmark or
bracelet to add dangly stuff. Finally, we spray them with acrylic to
prevent tarnishing. Their design assignment began by creating personal
icons for important parts of their life, or they could draw a landscape of
an ideal place, or choose a theme like animals, petroglyphs, people,
architecture, etc. to develop. They are beautiful. The only step that I
do for them is the etching bath, as it takes longer than a class period,
and is SO messy if it is splashed or spilled. They can't believe how much
sanding is involved. Many say "Now I know why jewelry costs so much!
THey also make a pin/pendant out of a square piece. I only have 14 sixth
graders at a time, so it doesn't cost all that much. COpper is very
cheap. A bottle of darkener lasts forever, the etchant from Radio Shack
is very inexpensive. You do need to wear goggles to apply the darkener,
or to open/pour/use the etchant. The etchant, by the way, is ferric
chloride. It can be highly diluted to dispose of it where I live, just
pour the highly dilluted mixture down the drain...won't hurt pipes, and is
a salt, not an acid. The only other ingredient that produces fumes is
ammonia that you soak the piece in briefly to stop the action of the
etchant. We float the pieces upside down on little pontoon boats of
strofoam to etch them. ALso, if you don't use the pnp part, and don't
want to do the photoshop part, you can simply draw on the metal with a red
paint pen, which also acts as a resist! That is very easy!

Hope this helps. I'm about to post them on our school website, I'll let
you know when I do.

Linda in Houston