Jewelry maker Danielle Maveal makes interesting unique pieces of jewelry, some of which she etches into sterling silver. Here’s a mini-interview where I talked to her about her etching and jewelry making process.
Nat: Can you tell our CRAFT blog readers what kind of process you go through with your etching? What other kinds of jewelry techniques do you do and can you share a little tip?
Danielle: Despite the mess you’ll see my studio in I really love clean and simple design. When creating my Happiness series of etchings, I wanted to use kitschy sort of images that represented joy and I had to figure out how to make these pieces affordable yet professional and impeccibly made. I started etching and playing with different types of acids, resists, transfer methods and proportions and came up with these simple squares and ovals. I decided to use a etching resist used to make computer circuit boards called PNP blue paper. (Now I’m giving all my secrets away!) You can print your design right onto this paper and then using heat transfer the resist to the metal. Once I got the technique and acid ratio down I was in a mini-production and thanks to the demand I make a few batches of these pendants a week. (I still get so much joy from peeling away that PNP paper and seeing a perfectly transfered image.)
I am not a one-trick pony though! (No offense to ponies.) I love working with acrylic plexiglas and there are few artist that work with this medium. I have spent the last couple of years tearing that stuff apart – fusing it, forming it, sawing, drilling, layering and just loving the colors and shapes I can get from this stuff. If you have a weekend to try out a new medium run down to your local sign shop and ask for some plexiglas scraps … get a jewellers saw and cut out some shapes, drill it, file it, pop it in the oven at 310f and form it before it cools – sand the edges down with a fine emery paper when you are finished. Oh and heres a little tip – two sheets of plexiglas chemically bond with plain old superglue!