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Copyright 2010 - B. de Corbin and Splendid Fish Studio

What's new, Bill?

Last update 4/16/2010

Michigan Witches Ball 2010

I am very excited to be a sponsor for this great event! To find out more about one of Michigan's best parties, click the link above.


All sales are now being handled through my Etsy shop: www.splendidfish.etsy.com
Click on the link above to see what is currently available.
Don't worry, friends, it's still me behind the scenes!


I've added a new section called

Gods, Heroes, and a Couple of Regular Guys:
Corbin's Tall Tales

When I create a new piece
of design work, it often happens that they come, much like a baby with a silver spoon in it's mouth, bearing a story. Unfortunately, when I sell a piece, the story is sometimes lost with it. I've decided to collect these stories into a section all
their own, for your enjoyment.

Enjoy them!


Don't forget to click on the BLUE WORDS anywhere on this site to enter
new worlds of mythic imagination.

The Sorcerer's Book of Fun Things
to Make and Do

Project 3:
An Etched Metal Amulet or Talisman
Page 2

Back to Page 1

Go to Page 3

Here are your basic tools. From left to right:
Tin Snips
A fine cut file
Steel Wool (top)
Find Sandpaper (below)

Etching Theory

Etching is a technique in which the surface of a piece of metal is selectively eaten away, leaving a pattern or design of raised and lowered areas. Any part of the surface which is exposed to the chemicals used to etch will be eaten away, while any surfaces protected from the etching chemicals will be left in their original state. The technique I am going to show uses simple salt water and a battery to do the etching, and a red Sharpie and duct tape to cover the surfaces that will be left intact.

Step one - Preparing Your Materials:

Fill a glass jar with water and dissolve as much salt as possible in it. The way to do this is to start by adding a cup of salt, put the lid on, and shake it up to dissolve the salt. If all the salt dissolves, add a half cup more, and dissolve that. Keep doing that until a thin layer of undissolved salt is left on the bottom of the jar. Then, let it sit over night. If there is still a layer of salt left, you’re good to go. If the salt has all dissolved, add more…

Tape one piece of copper wire to the positive end of the battery (the end with the nub), and one piece to the negative end of the battery (the flat end). Don’t let the ends touch, or you’ll electrocute yourself! (just kidding. There’s not enough juice in a D-cell battery to feel, let alone be dangerous. But if the ends touch, you will discharge the battery).
Carefully cut the copper or copper alloy into the desired shape. Be sure to leave a projecting tab, as shown in the picture. Later on, you’ll be attaching a wire to this, so you’ll need to drill a small hole in the far end (Make note of the hole!). Eventually you will cut this tab off, or you can, as I’m going to do, bend it over to make a loop for hanging on a necklace.

Smooth the sides of your future amulet with a file (if you have one) and sandpaper them smooth.

Sandpaper, then steel wool the back of the amulet to make it shine pretty. Turn it over and do the same to the front of the amulet - then, don’t touch the front with your fingers! Your fingers have grease on them which will cause you to etch fingerprints into the metal. This is great for the forensics guys, but not so good for the appearance of the amulet.

Pick the cleaned amulet up only from the sides or by the tab.