As a follow up to my previous post, I’ve now finished another couple of pairs of copper earrings that I’ve etched using a design resist that I’ve cut in vinyl using the Silhouette cutter.
It gives a different type of etch from previous results obtained with printed resists, where more tiny detail and texture was possible – if you could print it and it would transfer to the copper, it could be part of the design. But the Silhouette cut resists are much more black and white and bold clear lines.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all, just different. I’m really enjoying thinking about what might work and drawing designs in the software.
I’ve barely even touched on working from my own sketched designs, I still have a head full of ideas to work through using vectored drawings created from scratch in the software.
These fan shaped earrings feature delicate curls inspired from some Arts and Crafts Movement designs I was looking at – with delicate and elegant lines – and I tried to capture some of that feeling. The fan shape was one I’ve drawn in my sketchbook many times to use with metal clay, but not found it easy to get the delicacy of shape that I envisioned – it always seemed to come out too clunky. Being able to draw the shape in software and then use it with quite thin copper sheet (to keep such large earrings light), allowed me to realise the idea rather better – so it’s always worth holding on to some ideas until all the right elements come together.
This pair of oval earrings were born as an idea whilst watching a home improvement programme on TV – where they showed a room that hadn’t been decorated since the 70s. There was some garish geometric wallpaper on one wall and I only got a glimpse of it, but it sparked an idea for some overlapping shapes. My son commented that they had a retro feel, so I explained what gave me the initial idea and he said that he bet that the wallpaper in question was orange and brown – and it was indeed.
I’ve always favoured my copper to have a polished finish and put a lot of effort and dirty fingers into achieving it. But I decided with these etched pieces, to leave them with a darker more satin surface, it seemed fitting for the designs.
I was also concerned that the flat even and very reflective surface of the polished copper sheet might present a glare hazard to anyone talking to the wearer if they caught the sun as the earrings jiggled as they moved. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for giving anyone spots before their eyes!