What a Relief! Electro-etching Steel


$125, discounted for multiple classes

July 20-21, 2024

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

Etching is a great way to add texture and dimension to steel jewelry. The interplay of etched surfaces with embellishments such as Keum Boo and fused metals adds another level of interest to your work. This workshop is all about creating intense drama by electro-etching steel to create a play of light and shadows across the surface.

You will learn to:

  • Create etched designs on steel using different resists, including oil paint, laser transfers, stencils, and tape
  • Set up the etching station, including the etchant solution and power source
  • Monitor the etching process to achieve the best results
  • Apply a heat patina to create a range of different colors including inky black
  • Seal your jewelry using a high-grade wax

Skill Level

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


$45 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.
  • Decocolor paint pen
  • Adhesive backed stencil
  • Laser printed pattern for creating a transfer
  • Four D batteries
  • Battery holder with leads
  • Alligator clips for leads
  • Two pieces of 20g mild cold rolled steel, each 5” x 8”
  • Handouts (Patterns for two class projects, course presentation handouts, and source sheets for purchasing materials and supplies)

Student-provided Class 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:
  • Burnisher—any kind Rio Grande
  • Hot plate Amazon or electric griddle Amazon (Note: Examples only. There are many choices available.)
  • Etching container—glass or plastic container large enough to hold the etching solution and accommodate a large cuff (at least two-liter container). Plastic food storage containers and clear glass vases that are taller rather than wider work well.
  • Copper sheet—18g or thicker that will fit inside the container and project at least two inches above the top, any hardness (Note: This will be used as the cathode in the electro-etching process).Rio Grande
  • Small strip of copper approximately 4” x 1” any gauge to use as a hook for suspending your piece in the etching solution
  • Wooden dowel, chopstick or copper rod that will fit across the top of your etching container
  • Copper sulfate—granulated, sold as Root Kill, available from hardware and gardening stores, or available as copper sulfate pentahydrate from Amazon, one container
  • Non-iodized salt (also sold as Kosher salt)—one container, grocery stores
  • Small foam paint brush—hardware stores
  • Nitrile gloves—hardware stores and pharmacies
  • Distilled water—grocery stores and pharmacies
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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