A Life of Varied Endeavors

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Etching a Copper Label for Little Altar – don’t use Word directly

Little Altars Etched Label-0294

I haven’t etched for a while, even though I’ve wanted to. I have more time already (this “retirement” thing!), so I have made a copper label for the Little Altars project. Didn’t finish in time for the first Full Moon Date. I have plans to try a second version, and I hope to revise the patina on this one with a new oxidising product I have on order, but I’m pleased so far.

The big lesson here is the pixelation of my image that created little pin holes in the resist.  You can see the pin holes in the picture above, even more than in real life – they make the image above look grainy.

In Word, I made a reverse-type label with a black border (I found the helpful instructions on this through a Google search.)  The image is below. Then I printed the Word document on pnp paper through a laser printer.  It turns out that the really black, black, black you see below is just a large collection of black pixels to the pnp paper – and apparently not enough toner bleed to close the gaps between them.  I’ve never had this issue when going from art work to pnp.  So in the future, I won’t go straight from Word to pnp paper. I’ll try printing the document first, and then photocopying onto pnp.

In Word, I prepared a reverse of the label so only the letters would etch out

In Word, I prepared a reverse of the label so only the letters would etch out


Little Altars Project

NancyStrahle Center Collection

I’m participating with several other willing adventurers (10 others to be exact) in a project organized and inspired by Peg Gyldenege.  She’s calling it Little Altars, and we are all filling the compartments of a “letterpress drawer” that each of us purchased.  Once a month, beginning in January, we are completing a section.  Intended to allow us to play with things that inspire us and have meaning to each of us, it’s also going to be a mutual recharge, as we all inspire each other.

I wanted to participate for the inspiration, for the play, for the community, for the let-go.  It’s also a great way to celebrate a transition to retirement – something I am admitting to and focusing on! (Let’s hope it works!)

Our first date for completion was January 26th, the full moon.  We will complete a space by each full moon, sending the contents of a completed compartment to a fellow artist for installation.  To see the first month’s work and all the artists participating, check out Peg’s blog at http://wildhairstudio.blogspot.com/.

This little space gave me the opportunity to give a home to some little treasures of mine; things that aren’t made for more than this, ideas I’ve played with, little things I am fond of.  It uses a dried orchid blossom, some dried leaves, a few handmade magnet hooks with sterling wire and buttons that I made years ago (an Idea I am still keen on developing), a small fold forming experiment, a copper chain that I love (reminds me of a maile leaf lei), a rough ruby, a little madrona branch collected on one of my daily morning walks, a shell collected by a friend in Mexico, a press-formed and colored experiment on copper, and a scrap found-copper-shape that I  embellished with riveted colored copper circles.  The pieces are all held on by magnets to a covered sheet of steel.  So, by nature, each item can be rearranged!