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  #1  
Old 02-20-2007, 04:20 PM
Barry Lee Hands's Avatar
Barry Lee Hands Barry Lee Hands is offline
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Default etching, start to finish

This is a job I am in the middle of. I will post some pics of how I go about it.
First is a sketch for the client.
This is billable work, we don't sketch for free.
After it is approved, I reduce it to a line drawing. There are more intermediate drawings, but these two are most important.
Then it can be transfered.
the gold is installed.
The scroll lines cut.
The ground is applied to the areas not being etched.
The etchant is applied.
The etch is feathered, to remove bubbles.
the etchant is rinsed, and reapplied several times.
Another layer of ground is applied.
it is etched several more times, then the ground is removed, and we are ready for the next step











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  #2  
Old 02-20-2007, 04:46 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Great stuff thanks Barry. Excellent tutorial

Cheers
Andrew
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2007, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Barry
Excellent job thanks for the info. How long does it take for the acid to work. And do you polish the actions or are they supplied that way.
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2007, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks Andy, thanks Dave. The acid timing differs, I just keep an eye on it. I would say 10 to 20 min per etch, then I rinse and refresh the etchant.
I have a well equipped grit room for polishing, but I rarely go there. Parts usually come polished, or I hire it done.
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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 02-20-2007 at 07:20 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2007, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Barry, do you have any idea how much time you just shaved off a lot of our learning curves? Thanks a million! I've never seen that before.:thumbsup:
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:27 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Barry,

Is this the same set up that Cronite sells?

Ray
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2007, 07:27 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hi Barry
I do have one question....

What is the acid block/ground that you use please.

Cheers
Andrew
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2007, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

My mother taught me how to etch when I was about ten years old.
Cronite has good products. Ferric chloride is good. There are a number of nitric/hydrochloric mixes that work well.
Remember, they are all hazardous.
These methods I came up with by trial and error. I asked a lot of questions of older engravers, Bob Swartley helped me, Frank Hendricks had a lot of ideas about etching. I think he learned a lot studying Ken Hunt engraved Purdeys he saw in Texas.
There is a lot more to it than shown here.
The etchants and grounds are secret recipes, hehe, but I have some articles written and under submission to the "Glossies".
I can't let the cat completely out of the bag yet.
Most of what I know about recipes came from listening to Ken and Marcus. They have many years experience with this subject.

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
William Shakespeare
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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 02-20-2007 at 10:32 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2007, 04:55 PM
banjo_art banjo_art is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Barry:
Please check your forum e-mail.
Thanks
--Art
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2007, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hi Barry, that is a beautiful piece of work! Would sure like to see it when it's finished. ekrem.
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2007, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thank you all for your interest and comments.
I finished the etch, and moved to scrollwork on the reciever boss. I will finish the scenes later, probably when the scroll is all done.
At first I was a little nervous about switching to the patent palm control in the middle of a job, but I couldn't resist. The results are excellent, and I am also using the patent point design. I am resharpening it by hand, dragging it sideways on a diamond stone for the parallel belly flats, polishing, and then sharpening the 45 face on my diamond hone, followed by ceramic.
The results are better than what I was getting with my old methods, much to my suprise.
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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 02-22-2007 at 10:25 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2007, 11:12 AM
Norsksea Norsksea is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Beautiful work Barry
I can't wait to see your next pictures.
Frank
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2007, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Barry,
What happens in thearea where the scroll was?
( I think the acid etch is just about the same strength asi my margarita mix
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2007, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Steve, you can etch the background in the scroll, but its such a small area, I just chisel it out, punch flat, and stipple.
I have been working on the scroll the last couple of days, and after finalizing the drawing I etched the right side panel.
As John B. suggested to me, you need a little "Drama".
This is the artwork.
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2007, 11:06 AM
John Barraclough John Barraclough is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Neat drawing Barry.
You got the the drama in this one for sure.
You really are a fine all round artistist my friend.
Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Stay warm and well in your cold part of the country.
I hear there is a pretty big storm headed your way.
John B.
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  #16  
Old 02-27-2007, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Yeah, I wanna see it too when it's finished!
I see you put an outline around the gold inlay. I had to do that on a white platinum piece to get the 22k rose to jump out from the white polished background. I studied etching for a semester in college and trying to do very hard line, precise work, the teacher ended up telling me this just isn't the medium for what your trying to do image wise. To bad they didn't teach engraving there.
Good way to remove a lot of metal though and leave an interesting texture.

Jim

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  #17  
Old 02-27-2007, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

I figured you never made mistakes was curious what you had in mind for that area.
Judging by all the saftey equipment I assume that was a nitric job
I stay with ferric because of ventilation issues and the fact that i am a clutz.
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2007, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

I figured you never made mistakes was curious what you had in mind for that area.
Judging by all the saftey equipment I assume that was a nitric job
I stay with ferric because of ventilation issues and the fact that i am a clutz.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2007, 08:47 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Acid is safe enough to work with provided you do all the right things. No different than anything else

Splashes are obvious. The most incidious thing are the fumes.

Wear a proper fume mask and make sure that any fumes are blown away from you at all times, preferabley outside. A small cheap fan works well. Or better still make a fume cabinet with a small extraction fan if your doing a lot of it.

The fumes can reconstitute in your lungs and damage them within seconds. Or, over a prolonged period completley stuff them. The one basic rule with acid is...........if you can smell it......then your breathing it.

That's my cheery thought for the day

Cheers
Andrew

Last edited by Andrew Biggs; 02-27-2007 at 08:49 PM.
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  #20  
Old 02-27-2007, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hi Barry,
How do You Manage to get Such Good Photo's of Your Work?
I have Been Battling to get a nice Photo of my practice Plate, it's done on brass, I use a Sony P10 Digital Camera.? No Flash, Macro Mode
Any Suggestions.
Thanks
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  #21  
Old 02-27-2007, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks John,Hi Chris,
I am using a sony DSC H2. Most of these pics are shot under my ring lamp on macro mode, with no flash. Then I go to a photo program and usually turn up the contrast, and down the brightness.
You must remember to compose the shot in the view finder before you press the shutter release.
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  #22  
Old 02-28-2007, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hi Barry:
Would it be possible paint on your etch-ground black and transfer a drawing on it? Would it then be possible to the scratch away the background under high magnification and acid etch? Also I believe that electro-etch in a salt bath would give finer results, with less undercut and be safer. I have read some on the subject and would be grateful for any input.
Regards, JIM S
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  #23  
Old 02-28-2007, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hi Jim,
It is definitely possible, but that would be a lot of scratching.
A salt bath would have some advantages, I have never tried it, but I think any etch may try to undercut.
If you experiment with that, please let us know the result.
The roughness on this etch is due to the fact that it is a casting. I will show you how I punch that down in future pics.
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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 02-28-2007 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Now I have finished the etch, and the scroll. I then punched the figures and background flat, and stippled the sky.
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  #25  
Old 03-01-2007, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hot Damn thats pretty.

You do beautiful work. Best stipple work i have seen in a long time and the scrolls really pop.

Are you planning to sculpt the critters and inlay any gold in them - hooves and such?
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

I can hardly wait to see that finished.
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks Steve and Tim, no gold except in the borders on this one.
Now I am chiseling up the contours, next I will go to the punch.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

All these pictures of pretty stuff almost make me want to sit down and carve out that bear scene you drew up on a pocket knife But my classic is out for the upgrade and I have a lot of stuff to catch up on.

Looks like this project will pay the rent for a while!
Too bad you have to give it to the client when its done.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks Steve,
You are welcome to use the scene if you wish.
I have to tell you its the enjoyment of doing the work that is important to me, once its finished, I really don't have any interest in posessing them anymore.
I don't own any engraved items.
Recently I had a Ken Hunt engraved gold damascened Colt 1851 navy, but after I examined it for a year or so, I allowed a collector to add it to his collection.
I have a Gary Goudy stocked 416 rem mag built on a model 70 action, and a Lee Helgeland metalworked and stocked 458 win mag, also on a model 70. If I ever get some free time, I will have to engrave them. It would be fun to take one to Africa.
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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 03-02-2007 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

I may give it a go and see how it turns out. If not on a knife then perhaps a coin.

Like you I dont collect much of anything. Those who collect my works ask me if i collect coins too, most are amazed to find that i don't. (too much expense!) I did a piece for a collector the other day. This fellow has no problems dropping 5k on a nickel and in the collector world this is not considered high dollar collecting.


I have a few paintings on the walls - my own and some wonderful pieces of Nigerian abstract authored by a friend of mine who is a very pricey artist.

Collecting art takes money, something artists rarely have enough of anyway.

Most of the stuff i do rarely gets seen by anyone. Seems as though the high end collectors don't relish people knowing or seeing what they have parked in their closets. It's been that way for many years. Some of these people even make it clear that no pictures are to be taken of the completed works.
But then I guess that goes along with the medium worked in. Ivory and gem carving is a different realm than steel. There are some things best left secret, just like your formulas for mordants.


looking forward to seeing how you finish out the sculpture of the animals. That should be the hardest part and far less forgiving. Now that you have less metal to work with the room for error diminishes greatly but i have a feeling it will be stunning.

Maybe we should hold carving classes in Africa - we could get these guys who live there to send us plane tickets. My passport is current and it's cold here. I could use a little African sunshine to warm up my bones.
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks for the comments CoinCutter. Here is another pic after I punched it up some. Now it has most of its contour. Next I will do a little more punching and burnishing, then some pointillism, some more burnishing and some bulino.
After the figures are finished I will do the foreground and the sky.

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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 03-03-2007 at 09:25 AM.
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  #32  
Old 03-03-2007, 10:20 AM
Norsksea Norsksea is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hi Barry
Thanks for the great pictures of your progress of your work.
Frank
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  #33  
Old 03-03-2007, 10:59 AM
John Barraclough John Barraclough is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Looking good Barry.
Great tutorial, thanks.
John.
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  #34  
Old 03-04-2007, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks Frank and John. Here is one with the stippling started on the Buff, and the Bear is burnished.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Ok, this side is mostly finished, The Griz has some hair, the grass is in the foreground, they are kicking up some dust, and the clouds are in the sky. I will now go back to the righthand side.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

I just have to ask out of ignorance

How do you know how deep you can go before you violate the structural integrity of the firearm.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Steve, I have never had that be an issue. If the gunmaker ever tells me I am too deep, I will go shallower, hehe.
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

They are looking good :yesnod:
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  #39  
Old 03-05-2007, 09:21 PM
Norsksea Norsksea is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Hi Barry
Can you sell me a set of casting? One of each side?
Frank
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks Steve and Frank,
I have never made a casting, and I can't imagine ever having the time to start, If I do I will let you know. I am grateful for your interest.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Heck with the casting - send me the gun
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Well, this thread was start to finish, and this is the finished rifle, ready to be shipped to the client. Thank you all for your comments,here are some detail photos of the piece...


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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 05-03-2007 at 12:24 AM.
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  #43  
Old 05-03-2007, 05:52 AM
Don Cowles Don Cowles is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Breathtaking, Barry. Beautiful work indeed.
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  #44  
Old 05-03-2007, 08:24 AM
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Smile Re: etching, start to finish

BEAUTIFUL work Barry. Question: What percentage of time spent between designing and engraving this work. Take care Jack
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  #45  
Old 05-03-2007, 09:08 AM
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Thanks Don and Jack. about 10-15% was spent designing if you include the time spent driving to the national bison range (one hour away) looking at buff and pics of buff, concieving and drawing the scenes, and drawing it all onto the gun, including scrollwork. All of that is kept track of and figured into the total bill.
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Last edited by Barry Lee Hands; 05-03-2007 at 10:40 AM.
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  #46  
Old 05-03-2007, 02:53 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Stunning Barry. Just beautiful

You also take really good photos.

Cheers
Andrew
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  #47  
Old 05-03-2007, 05:38 PM
John Barraclough John Barraclough is offline
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks for this whole tutorial, Barry.
Great work and photographs.
Wonderful learning tool.
John B.
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  #48  
Old 05-03-2007, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: etching, start to finish

you elected to etch because that was super hard ? How deep would you estimate the sky portion. Acid time as compared to manual?
pardon my ignorance

check pm
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  #49  
Old 05-03-2007, 10:51 PM
Barry Lee Hands's Avatar
Barry Lee Hands Barry Lee Hands is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bigfork, Montana
Posts: 1,398
Default Re: etching, start to finish

Thanks Andy, and John, old buddy, and Steve,I etched it because it was there... well, actually, because etching is a technique I like, and I was weary of chiseling or high speeding out background.
If it was hard, etching would be difficult.
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Barry Lee Hands
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"Critics gather, they discuss aesthetics, Artists gather, they discuss turpentine. . ."- Pablo Picasso
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  #50  
Old 01-04-2008, 06:11 AM
Dale Dale is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 39
Default Re: etching, start to finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisB
Hi Barry,
How do You Manage to get Such Good Photo's of Your Work?
I have Been Battling to get a nice Photo of my practice Plate, it's done on brass, I use a Sony P10 Digital Camera.? No Flash, Macro Mode
Any Suggestions.
Thanks
Hi Barry, you can pick up a card board box, that is white on the inside, , you then cut a hole in the side to be able to place your work to be photographed and then cut a hole in the top of the box, you then need to place a white sheet or white piece of material over the top hole and use a good light source, this is the poor mans light box.

You will need to play with various color background schemes which will give you different results.

If interested you can go to ebay and look up timewiseinvestments, I restore vintage watches and sell on ebay.

I always have others emailing me asking how to get better photos, take a look at my past feedback and you can see some of the photos I take.

A great program to use is corel, or adobe photo shop and you can go and adjust your contrast and gamma settings to even make the photo image even more clear and vibrant so it looks as close as possible to what you see in person.
By the way I just bought the classic package,and I am brand new to engraving, but I have for many years done wild life art in pencil and acrylics as well as dabbled in wood carving.

I have seen some of your work and it is great.
Hope this helps, if you do not want to do the poor mans light box you can buy them already made.
Dale
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