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Lauren's Copper Book*
©2008 Lauren Nwachukwu

*links go to www.quietfiredesign.ca
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Supplies you will need:

Instructions

Step One: Fill plastic container with lukewarm water. You only need enough water to completely submerge the bolts and the copper cover. Make sure that the container is bigger than the piece of copper that you want to etch. I used the pink plastic wash bucket from the hospital.

Now you want to create a saturated salt solution. You want to add as much Kosher Salt to the water as possible. How much is enough you ask? When the salt will no longer dissolve, then the water is saturated. DO NOT USE TABLE SALT.

Digression: I stuck my bucket in the microwave and got the water hot so that the salt would dissolve quicker. I just put it to the side to get lukewarm while I did the rest. Plus this extra step allows you to take the water to its saturation point.

 

Step 2: GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR COPPER PLATES

Grab your Flourish stamp. You are going to want to stamp and emboss the images on the copper sheet. I used Super Fine Embossing Powder as compared to regular, UTEE or Distress.

Cover the back of the copper cover with packing tape. You do not want to have the solution eat thru the back while it is eating thru the front. Trust me on this one. You end up with a pink tub full of orange slug.

 

Step 3: WE ARE ALMOST THERE... JUST GOT TO PREP, SUBMERGE AND WAIT FOR BUBBLES.

Now you are going to wrap a bolt onto the ends of the copper wire. I actually wrapped the copper wire in the threads so that they got a direct contact with the metal.

THE BOLTS WRAPPED IN COPPER WIRE GET ATTACHED TO THE NEGATIVE LEAD. THE BLACK LEAD FOR THOSE WHO LIKE ME LIVE IN THE WORLD OF COLOR.

You can submerge them in the water.

Digression: DO NOT CUT THE WIRE, IT IS HARD TO GET THE LEAD TO HOLD ONTO BOTH WIRES AT THE SAME TIME AND DIRECT A CURRENT.

 

You are going to take another piece of copper wire so that you can use it to touch the copper plate to transfer the electricity.

OK, so I just jimmy rigged mine. I taped the back of the copper plate, then I did this little bending thing to get it to attach to the back with more packing tape. Then I bent it some more so that it touched the front of the copper plate.

Submerge the copper plate and wire contraption in the salt water solution. DO NOT ATTACH THE RED LEAD YET. IF YOU HAVE A GOOD CONNECTION, YOU WILL GET ELECTROCUTED.

ONCE YOU ATTACH THE RED LEAD, YOU WILL SEE THAT THE BOLT STARTS TO BUBBLE.

Can you see why I now told you not to attach the red lead until after it is in the salt water?

 

 

Digression: If it does not bubble, just keep moving the copper wire until you get the bubbles. You may not have a good connection to the copper. It may be on the embossed area. It may need to be jimmied some more until you have enough copper wire touching the plate. If it still does not work, just add more salt, the solution may not have enough salt. I also left my charger plugged in because it will lose the charge very quickly.

The longer you leave it in the deeper the etching. How long is long?
Depending on your solution and the rate of the bubbles, I would say at least five but maybe 10 minutes. I waited for the water to have a wonderful orange slug with funny green and black specs in it.

Step 4: CLEANING THEM UP AND SEEING YOUR ART!!

Run the plate under the water and rinse off the rust and slug. If you need to etch them more, just stick them back in the bucket and do it again until you have what you want.

Once there, you will dry them off and plug up the iron. I used copy paper to simply iron off the embossing powder. Now let me be clear, you are not ironing a shirt. You are simply reheating the embossing powder and letting it absorb into the paper. Once the paper comes fairly clean, reach for the extra fine steel wool and buff until you have a shine.

 

Step 5: PUTTING YOUR BOOK TOGETHER

Cut your copper fabric to the correct size leaving at least 1 inch on each side to attach to copper covers. Follow the instructions for the Harlequin Stitch. Just remember that there must be an even number of holes in order to complete the spine stitch.

Punch holes. Attach sewn signatures to copper covers with copper coloured snaps or rivets.

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© 2008
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