Easy Etching with Electricity on Copper and Silver

Easy Etching with Electricity on Copper and Silver
with Jean Marie DeSpiegler

Jean Marie DeSpiegler. Etching Sample Jean Marie DeSpiegler. Etching Sample 2 Jean Marie DeSpiegler. Etching Process


2-Day WORKSHOP – Beginner’s Level
Saturday & Sunday, May 14 & 15, 2016
10am-4 pm each day


Drawing skills not required. We will be covering using: stencils, templates, or free hand drawing through a resist as well as transferring photocopies using a laser printer. Discussion of additional resists will be covered.

We will be etching copper and silver (optional), using a galvanic etching process without acid, harmful fumes, or expensive batteries, by converting a cell phone charger into a direct current source. The etched plates can be used for print making, for jewelry making, or as a texture plate for PMC, Polymer clay, or roller imprinting.

  • * Class time will be devoted to creating etched plates, not completing a piece of jewelry. Forming and Soldering of etched plates will be discussed.
  • * The electrolytic bite produces a very clean, precise, etched line, with no undercutting that occurs with acid. Cross hatched lines retain their integrity, even very thin lines will not disappear as you etch.
  • * Electro-etching is highly controllable and therefore consistent.
  • * An electro-etching produces a uniform porous structure on a bare metal surface (a surface without a resist) that holds patina evenly.
  • * Electrolytic solutions do not generate fumes or toxic gases during the etching or when they are kept in the tanks while you are not etching.


Lab Fee of $35 (payable to JM DeSpiegler): to cover copper for the class projects, electrolyte solutions (one for copper, one for silver), resists, use of tools & equipment as well as a handout.

Tool & Material List (Student Responsibility):

  • * File – #2 or #4 for smoothing edges – optional, the classroom has some.
  • * 3-M Scotchbrite green scrubby
  • * Scribe – I have a few to share.
  • * Copper Sheet: any gauge, scraps that are 3” x 3” or less. We may be able to accommodate a 6: strip for one or two students.
  • * Eye protection

Optional Items:

  • * OPTIONAL: Sterling or Argentium sheet: any gauge, scraps that are earring sized or 6 inch by 1 inch for a cuff bracelet. You may also make samples, these are just suggestions.
  • * Rubber gloves for cleaning of metal with mineral spririts.
  • * Plastic drafting templates – good for repetitive patterns if you hate to draw. I will be bringing some.
  • * Stencils (small for jewelry scale work)
  • * Oil based paint pen
  • * Apron, and magnifiers if you use them.
  • * Cell Phone charger that has a DC output of 9 volts or less. 5 volts is better. I will have these chargers converted and ready to go for $20.


Cost (full 2-day workshop):
Member $155
Non-Member $170
$35 Materials Fee paid directly to instructor on first day of workshop by cash or check
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To register by phone, please call the Morean Arts Center at 727.822.7872