How To Use The New Metal Punches

This beaded metal blank only took minutes to craft using my new metal punch pliers from John Bead.

Earlier this week I introduced you to the four new punches.

Each plier comes with an extra set of tips.  In my mind, it is these tips that make these punches so effective.  The angle on the cutting tip goes through metal as though it was paper.

All you do is hold the plier horizontally and with your hand pressure you will punch through the metal.

I have a metal punch from a competitor and I always had to apply a lot more pressure to make my hole.  It often bent my metal blank.  With these new pliers I had to remind myself NOT to apply as much force….the holes were made so easily.

Here are three metal blanks (24 ga) each sporting 5 holes: square, circular and oval.  I would not have even attempted this in the past since making holes is not my favorite chore. Now I won’t hesitate to make wired charms!

You may be wondering how I got some extra designs onto my metal blanks.   As an extra step, I also decided to experiment with a DecoEtch die available in retail stores on the market.

I applied a little black gilders paste to my etched designs so they would be more visible.

One Last Etching Sample

Before I put my etching supplies away I wanted to show you one last etched Metal Complex blank.

This sample began with a rubber stamp.

I used permanent black ink so that this section of the rubber stamp could be etched onto the copper blank.  (For etching how-to see earlier posts this week.)

I used Pinotage Gilders Paste to give this Metal Complex etched blank some additional colour.

The detail etching creates is amazing!

John Bead Supplies Used

Metal Complex 24g Copper Squares

Gilders Paste

Etching on Metal – Distressing

This new pendant features two Metal Complex blanks that have been etched overnight.

These pieces look very old and distressed.

On Monday I showed you how I stamped an image with black solvent ink onto metal.  The word “Vintage” was a rubber stamp in this collection.

I choose to leave these blanks in Etchant for over 12 hours….a risky plan because etchant can etch away the entire piece leaving you with just crumbs.  These two blanks turned out exactly as I had hoped.

Since I wanted them to be together I thought adding a little height between them would help to show that there were in fact two pieces and not one.

I made a little ball of black Apoxie Sculpt and placed it between the two blanks.

The end result is something that looks truly old, distressed and “vintage.”

Products Used

Metal Complex Brass Oval Blank

Metal Complex Copper Square Blank

Black Apoxie Sculpt

Finishing components are from Carmi’s collection.

Etchant Results !

Yesterday I introduced you to the technique “etching on metal blanks.”

My copper Metal Complex blanks (with artwork face down in etchant) were left in this bowl for two hours.

I carefully pulled my blanks out of the etchant and placed them in another bowl.

I covered all the metal in baking soda which stops the etching process.

Then I cleaned each blank with a little water and a steel wool pad.  Rinsing away all the baking soda is very important.

My blanks looked like this after the first round of washing and cleaning.

I used a new dry steel wool pad to continue cleaning each piece of metal until it shined.

Isn’t it amazing how all the details from the original rubber stamped image are now etched into the metal?

You could use the etched pieces as they are but I prefer to add some colour with Gilder’s Paste.

I used the hole puncher to add holes where I needed them.

My finished mixed media pendants!  There are so many ways to use a piece of etched metal.

These are just samples of what I like to do. Tomorrow I’ll show you what happens if you leave a piece of metal in etchant overnight!

John Bead Supplies Used

Metal Complex 24g Copper Squares

Hole Punch

Gilders Paste

The finished pendants used components in Carmi’s personal collection.

Etching on Metal Complex Blanks

This week I will be showing you a very old technique known as etching.  I absolutely love the results that can be achieved on metal this way but I will say working with Etchant, the chemical you need to make the process work may not be your cup of tea.

Etchant is sold at places like Radio Shack.  It is mainly purchased by computer repair people who need to remove copper from computer parts.  I work very carefully around this chemical.  I wear gloves and I dispose of the left over etchant at my local Recycling Depot.  I also only work in the garage.

The only other product you need is baking soda which stops Etchant from continuing to etch.

You need to decide what you want want to etch.  I like to use rubber stamps for the imagery.  Others like to draw their own images on metal.

You need to draw with a permanent black ink.  You can use a solvent based black ink pad or a black sharpie market.  All you need to remember is that whatever is black….will not be etched.

I am using copper blanks from the Metal Complex line.  You need to clean your metal thoroughly and then I use a little steel wool to do a final clean.

I stamped this famous face on several copper square blanks.

Then with a strip of masking tape I have hung the copper (artwork in the etchant) facedown so that the metal is touching the surface of the etchant.

Now we wait a few hours.  In one hour, the metal will be etched.  For a deeper etching, you need to leave the metal hanging longer.  Some people agitate the bowl every 15 minutes to move the etchant a little.

Tomorrow, I will start to show you results!