sharpie pens have a type of ink that works as an ascid resist or
so i have heard. also th press on letters called Press Type are
supposed to work as acid resist. Both sound kind of odd but seem
worth looking into. Anyone know for sure? alternatives are
always more intrigueing than the standard answers.
I have observed the Sharpie method, and seen the results of the
PressType resist. Both looked great! The sharpie was used on a
brass plate personalizing recognition awards, and was
unavoidably done at the very last moment. The teacher of an
adult education class I was taking at Memphis College of Art
asked one of the other students in that class (who had lovely
handwriting) to write the message on the brass plate with a
sharpie. This inscription was then carefully darkened by going
back over the lines with the same sharpie. Then immediately
into the ferric cloride, while the second one was started, and
then the third. One of the plates didn't etch deeply enough the
first time, so the resist area was reapplied, again with
Sharpie. They looked really great, and highly personalized.
They were presented the next morning!
As a result of the class discussion of this, a small section
left over from a piece made (I think) by the head of the metals
area, Richard Prilliman, was brought out. He had used press-on
type, whether of PressType brand or not, I'm not sure. Judging
from the small sample, it is possible to get a quite deep etch.
It looked to my uneducated eye as if a first set of letters was
applied to the copper, etched, cleaned, and another set of
letters laid over the first etching, and etched again. It
looked to me as if there had been at least two such cycles, and
possibly more. The deepest etch made the letters clearly
visable from across the room, even in the somewhat less than
pristine state in which we were shown it. I don't know if
nitric acid or ferric cloride was used, but it was most likely
Like I say, they both looked great! (At least to me!)