Primitive process to etch silver, copper and steel

hello, my name is Jim.

I just found the cool people on the Ganoksin group. thanks to all of
for sharing and keeping the craft of art alive.

I live in Sitka, Alaska, and I’ve yet to locate even a bottle of
ferric chloride! no refined butane either- I’d have to ship that up by
barge hazmat from Seattle. no road visits this beautiful island from
outside. I use ferric chloride through a beeswax resist to bite
steel. or I would if I had a bottle. I’ve got an O-1 blade awaiting a
makers mark and no clear understanding of how to etch it.

I strongly prefer tools that don’t need power. otherwise, I’d build
the cool electro etch tool as written up by Mike at:

I would like to ask the group for alternatives to electro etching.
I’m especially interested in classical technique using materials with
the least degree of health and safety concerns, but will apply the
best solution I can attain.

I need to gain the ability to etch .999 silver, sterling, copper,
and O-1 tool steel. not for intricate lines, but for marking, patina
expression, and pattern stressing the metals. I like a primitive
distressed finish and only vaguely polish.

so a simple process with readily available materials (nothing
designated hazmat) would be of interest to me.