Thursday, July 5, 2007

Etching Glass - A Walk Through

So, the other day I finally got started on the bottle etching project I have been meaning to start. For the student sale that's fast approaching (25-26 August, 2007), I am putting together some bottles with base plates similar to the one I did earlier this year for my friends' wedding gift. A few of them, I envision being olive oil bottles with a dipping plate. But, I also have visions of some super fabulous body oil or massage oil residing in one or two of them as well. I'm still working on the details of the oil part, but I have the glass done...

I worked with Armour Etch cream and both the Rub 'n' Etch and Peel 'n' Etch stencils.
First, I'll show you the idea behind the Rub 'n' Etch variety:
After securing your stencil in place with a little tape, you burnish the design onto the glass. After the stencil transfers from the plastic to the glass, you remove the plastic backing and tape off the area surrounding the stencil. It IS necessary to mask off this area, as the fumes from the reaction will frost the glass, in a very undesirable way!

At this point, you are ready to apply the cream. But before I get to that, I'll show you the Peel 'n' Etch stencil as well, because once you have the stencil in place, the steps are the same.

To the right of the bottle, you can see the baggy that has the stencil in it. The Peel 'n' Etch variety comes with a printed version of what the stencil will look like. You don't use this portion, it is for reference only. Also, I think you may be able to use this stencil more than once. But, I haven't tried to reuse it yet. I did keep it, and it seemed sticky enough to use again. Another bonus, if you wish, you can use the negative of the stencil as well.

After peeling the papery side away from the stencil and placing the stencil on the bottle, you peel away a second gauze-like layer off of the opposite side. This leaves you with a contact paper-esque stencil, which you should mask off. (I haven't in this one, and I did get the frosted outline of the square stencil.)

Apply the Armour Etch cream thickly. With the Rub 'n' Etch stencil (the butterfly above), you let the cream sit for one minute, and then rinse. (Mind the cream resting in the ceramic sink, as it may etch it!) If you let it sit longer, the stencil gets eaten away.
For the Peel 'n' Etch variety of stencil, you can let the cream sit longer. I think I found something that said 5 minutes? You definitely can get more contrast by letting the cream sit longer.

Now all that's left for me to do is to find a source for bottle toppers, and make the plates, of course.

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