I don’t know of a reference specifically for jewellery making, but
Cedric Green has worked quite extensively in this area for
printmaking and a lot of the material crosses over fairly easily.
Cedric’s 82 page booklet is called “Green Prints” and I think I got
mine from him for about $15.
His email address is listed as firstname.lastname@example.org You can find a
lot of the material at his www.greenart.info website.
I’ll quote the first paragraph of his “Acknowledgements” page because
I think it sums up his material and purpose pretty well:
“This booklet is intended primarily for printmakers with some
experience of producing prints from metal plates - copper, zinc or
steel. It assumes a reader with a basic knowledge of the traditional
processes of etching, and like me, with a feeling of dissatisfaction
with the toxicity and general unpleasantness of many of the processes
involved, in particular the use of acid mordants and strong
The booklet is about what Cedric calls “galv-etching”, electrolytic
etching processes, and discusses equipment, chemicals, materials,
procedures including wet and “dry” methods, grounding (resists),
tinting, and cleaning without solvents.
In my own jewellery-based experiments with Cedric’s processes I have
found that much of what he’s written applies but it all needs to be
scaled down: instead of a quart of electrolyte I only needed an ounce,
where he uses a rectifier I used a small variable battery recharger,
etc. But the bottom line is that it works although I have yet to find
a decent resist that is convenient for transferring laser printed
Other web references that might be useful to you are:
Ecologically safe etchings at http://www.electroetch.com/chemtech.htm
Etching and Tone Creation Using Low-Voltage
Anodic Electrolysis at http://www.electroetch.com/leonardo25.htm
Electrolytic etching of silver at http://www.enamellers.nl/english/electrolyse.htm