Helen, There is a nice alternative for your large laser printer. I
have a small (laser) Samsung ML-2510 that is very portable because it
only prints black ink. I easily store mine in on a closet shelf when
not in use, and the cost is about $100.
I use mine to make laser prints on overhead transparency film which
becomes the “film” to expose an etching resist product called
Imag-on. It is a replacement for P&P and you use the ultra-violet
light produced by a household CFL fluorescent bulb (250 watt
equivalent) to expose the Imag-on resist sandwiched with your “film.”
The Imag-on is adhered to your silver or copper metal by using a
squee-gee and water, and after exposure to the light you put it in a
developer of washing soda and water.
The plastic resist that adheres to the metal is stronger than P&P
(lasts longer in the etching solution) and retains finer detail. And
it is certainly much easier to apply–no hot iron and no wondering
how long to heat the art. The “film” art you used to expose the
Imag-on can be reused for other pieces because it is not damaged in
Imag-on was developed for the print-making field, so most places
that carry it give instructions for exposing large sheets (for making
larger prints) and they need more complicated vacuum frames and
expensive light sources. Coral Schaffer at enamelworksupply.com
translated the process to the smaller size and simpler procedures
that we can use for jewelry size pieces of metal and her detailed
instructions make the product very easy to use. She sells a small
piece and sends along the modified instructions.
I have been doing a lot of electo-etching of fine silver for
enameling and have really liked it. Let us know if you try it.