Creating Steel Rolling Mill Pattern Plates


$125, discounted for multiple classes

November 30-December 1, 2024

Day 1 Workshop 10 am-12 pm Pacific Time
Day 2 Open Studio 3 pm Pacific Time

Want to learn how to produce your own customized, high-quality rolling mill pattern plates?  In this workshop, you’ll learn to electro-etch 12-gauge mild steel to create durable rolling mill pattern plates with gorgeous designs. You will learn which types of resists work best to produce a long-lasting etched pattern for rolling mill plates and how to manage the electro-etching process.

You will learn to:

  • Create original patterns for etching, using several different resists including oil paint and custom stencils
  • Mix the etching solution using common, readily available chemicals
  • Set up the electro-etching station
  • Electro-etch pattern plates using D batteries or a rectifier as your source of electricity
  • Troubleshoot any obstacles to the etching process
  • Use your pattern plates in the rolling mill to achieve the best results
You will be able to create three rolling mill pattern plates during this valuable and practical workshop

Skill Level

This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels. Students should be knowledgeable about safe practices in a jewelry studio.


$70 including shipping USPS flat rate small box For U.S. students, kits will be shipped approximately at least one week before the class start. For non-U.S. students the timing and shipping cost will be based on location.
  • 2 pre-cut stencils to use as a resist for etching. Note: The instructor will bring a selection of various stencils to choose from.
  • 3 mylar stencil sheets to cut your own custom-designed etching resist
  • Three sheets of 12 gauge steel 7” x 2 ½”
  • Oil paint pen
  • 4 D batteries with extras as needed
  • Plastic battery holder with leads
  • Electrical alligator clips
  • Handouts (Course presentation handouts, and source sheets for purchasing materials and supplies)

Student-Provided Supplies

Note that the sources shown are merely examples. Many different vendors can be sourced for these products. In addition to the general list for tools and supplies needed for working with steel (see “Basic Tools and Supplies” PDF below), you will need to provide the following supplies, materials and tools for this class:
  • FolkArt Stencil Cutter. From Plaid Online or Amazon
  • Ruler, drawing stencils (circles, squares, etc.), pencil
  • Cutting tools. Xacto knife from Amazon or disposable scalpel from Amazon
  • Etching container. Plastic or glass container at least 10” deep and narrower than it is wide; plastic food containers and glass flower vases work well.
  • Wooden dowel, chopstick or copper rod that will fit across the top of your etching container
  • Copper sheet. 18 gauge or thicker to use as cathode in electro-etching process. At least 10”x 4” but needs to fit inside the etching container and project at least one inch above the top. From Rio Grande or local industrial metal suppliers
  • Small scrap strip of copper approximately 4” x 1” any gauge to use as a hook for suspending your piece in the etching solution
  • Small foam paint brush to clean residue. From hardware and paint stores from hardware stores
  • Burnisher any kind Rio Grande
  • Copper sulfate, granulated, sold as Root Kill, available from hardware and gardening stores. Available as copper sulfate pentahydrate from Amazon, one container
  • Non-iodized salt (also sold as Kosher salt). One container, from grocery stores
  • Distilled water. From grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Repositional adhesive such as Skotch Spray Mount from Amazon
Optional—nice to have but not required
  • Power supply/rectifier Amazon (Note: Non-U.S. students should order a model appropriate for the electrical requirements of your location.)

Basic Tools & Supplies

For supplies, materials and tools that you will need to provide for all classes, please refer to the basic list for tools and supplies needed for working with steel in the pdf below. As with the list of class-specific supplies (above), many of these are items that you may have on hand. Note that the sources shown are merely examples. Many different vendors can be sourced for these products.

Basic Tools and Supplies for Working with Steel »

All classes are $125 each. If you sign up for two classes, each class is $110, and for three or more classes, $100. The cost of a kit, if any, will be additional. Discounts for multiple classes will be applied at checkout.

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