1. What is the best way to achieve a grid-like texture that is
slightly varied, wavy, uneven? I am thinking of what a piece of
cheesecloth or cotton gauze looks like when it is repositioned and
twisted a little. I imagine taking a piece of plastic netting
like the kind of thing vegggies are wrapped in and pressing it into
the wax might be one solution.
Does it have to be wax? Have you considered roll-printing using a
rolling mill? Sandwich your silver (or whatever) between two sheets of
brass with something to provide the texture. Consider window screen,
chicken wire, cheesecloth, the plastin netting, etc. Just about
anything will impart a texture… the harder the material, the more
crisp the texture.
2. What is the technique where bi-colored metals are used, one
to draw patterns on top of the other (with very slight or no height
differences), almost as though the surface has been spray painted?
I saw something that looked like the design had been applied in gold
(to a darker metal surface) as though it had been mixed with fine
sand to achieve a grainy look within the design itself. Quite
I believe you’re thinking of Kum-Boo. 24kt. gold overlay… kind of
"heat burnished" into another metal. There is a section in Metals
Technic by Hongja Okim on the subject. I’ve never done it, but know
some other Orchid members have.
3. Can anyone explain how the etching process works in
goldsmithing? I do fine art etchings (my life outside jewelry) and
can easily see a possible continuity here of my own techniques...
The etching process for gold uses a very caustic mordant called aqua
regia, which is one part nitric acid to three parts hydrochloric acid.
The resist would have to stand up to this… I believe asphaltum is
about your only choice of resist. The resist can be hand applied or
screened on… see my thread earlier this month. Kathy Polachak also
etches the pattern onto non-precious metal (in negative), then
roll-prints the etched image onto precious metal. This allows her to
work with less dangerous mordants that will work on copper, for
Hope this helps!
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)