I’ve been having all sorts of fun etching patterns into Reactive
Metal Studios’ copper/silver bimetal (I’ve only had luck etching away
the much thinner copper layer with ferric chloride, no luck etching
away the thicker silver with ferric nitrate – the piece starts to
deteriorate before you get through the silver). Now I’m dying to try
a project with their 22K gold/sterling bimetal (want to etch away the
silver, leaving a silver pattern on gold). The stuff is pricey or
otherwise I’d just experiment. I’ve been looking through the Orchid
archives and my books but I can’t find anything that says for sure
that ferric nitrate won’t etch the gold too.
To make it even more complicated, I’m guess the the gold layer in
the bimetal is thinner than the silver or else it would be even more
pricey. If so I’d run into the same problem as I did with the
copper/silver bimetal, when trying to etch away the thicker layer.
(I could try shellacking the *$#%^ out of the gold and the sides of
the piece, so the ferric nitrate doesn’t get a chance to undercut).
So…is there any chemical that will etch away the gold and not the
Help! This is not a time I want to create one of my signature
of-course-it’s-art-I-MEANT-to-do-that (aka “ooops”) pieces of