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Acid Etched Metal

acid-etched-metal-sheet.jpgThe artistic process of acid etching metal involves cutting through metal to create a design in intaglio (an image carved into a hard surface). Traditionally, a wax ground or coating is applied to the metal as protection against corrosion from the acid. Soft and malleable, anything scratched or pressed into this waxy coating will expose the metal plate for etching. Artists who specialize in this particular form of printmaking use unique tools such as etching needles and choppes-- a slanted, oval-pointed tool used to produce lines of different widths-- to create highly-detailed images and designs.

Once the design has been carved, the metal plate is submerged into an acid bath or mordant (French for "biting"); the acid then "bites" into the exposed metal and leaves textured lines where the plate has been eroded. When the design is finally etched into the metal, the remaining ground is removed to reveal the finished image in intaglio.

sunset-pill-box.jpgTo create her distinctive designs, Kyle uses the fundamentals of this method to bring her beautiful artwork to life. First, she produces an elaborate design image which is then converted to a black-on-clear acetate photo tool. A photo resist is then applied to both sides of a metal plate. Each side of the photo tool is exposed to light, setting the design areas, and the metal is then processed through a highly specialized machine where acid is blown on both sides of the plate. This etching process takes approximately 30 minutes, with the acid eating through the plate to create openings and different textures. When the design detailing has fully developed, the metal goes to final finishing.

Kyle uses a variety of metals for her acid-etched designs to provide unique looks and choice combinations with her products. Pieces are available in up to 5 tarnish-resistant finishes: Brushed or butler finish nickel silver, antique brass, copper; polished silver and polished gold.

Nickel silver, brass and copper are all oxidized (blackened, antiqued) to accentuate every etched design detail, then finished with a hard, baked-lacquer coating. You'll notice a couple of small, lighter areas along the dark edges of these oxidized pieces where we hand sand to remove tabs that held the metal parts in the sheets, a normal process for this type of metalwork.

Polished gold and polished silver have shiny, tarnish-resistant plated finishes of gold or imitation rhodium.

Shop Personalized Gifts & Accessories featuring Kyle Design's exclusive acid etched metal deisgns.



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  Creating Unique Gifts In Exclusive Designs Since 1982