Etching Polymer Clay

The one time I tried etching clay was many years ago. I bought Gwen Gibson’s video (yes, it was VHS LOL) called Ancient Images and there was this interesting technique she called the Tear Away. I of course found some images I could use and ran over to the copy machine at the local drug store. 🙂

Unfortunately, I no longer have the pictures of the 2 necklaces I made back then. Stupid partition on my hard drive crashed and I lost pictures of some of the jewelry I made, family photos and the fabulous pictures I took on our vacation to Death Valley and Las Vegas 😦 I had some amazing shots of the desert and cactus’. We went to this place called the China Ranch Date Farm (dates you eat, not the other kind of “dates” LOL). The gardens, palms and scenery in general were so beautiful. But I am wandering from the subject at hand.

What I can do is show you the incredible work of a few artists to give you a sense of what etched clay looks like. 🙂

Gwen Gibson

Gwen Gibson

Louise Fischer Cozzi

Louise Fischer Cozzi

Bettina Welker

Bettina Welker

Celia Campos

Celia Campos

Hobbylotte

Hobbylotte

Vera Kleist

Vera Kleist

The technique is rather simple. Get some black & white images printed out on a toner based copier. Apply an image face down on your clay and let it sit for 10 minutes to 30+ minutes. The clay will stick where it comes in contact with the toner. (Experiment with the time for best results.) Now the fun part. Hold you clay firmly to the work surface, grab the corner of the paper and literally rip it away from the clay very quickly. Like ripping off a band-aid. 🙂 There should be a fine layer of clay stuck to all the black toner on the paper.

If you like to learn visually like me, I suggest one of these 2 videos. As mentioned above, Gwen Gibson’s Ancient Images, which covers several techniques. Also, The Sophie Necklace by Louise Fischer Cozzi.

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