“Etching Steel for Dimensions & Depth” with Bette Barnett

“Etching Steel for Dimensions & Depth” with Bette Barnett

April 10, 11, 17 & 18, 2021 from 10:00 am to 12 pm MST and 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm MST

Skill Level: Beginning


Questions about this workshop?  You can contact Jeanne Jerousek at jemcaninch@outlook.com or Patty Berdine at pandapintucson2005@gmail.com.


Etching steel adds dimension and depth unsurpassed with other metals. This workshop covers the process of electro-etching steel, a method that provides extreme sharpness and detail. Students will learn to add their own hand-drawn etched patterns to steel and create designs using laser printed patterns and adhesive backed stencils. In addition, students will create an etched steel rolling mill pattern plate that can be used to transfer designs to softer metals. Technique include: Working with mild cold rolled steel including:


  1. Sourcing, cutting, soldering, forming, texturing, patinating and sealing. Materials and supplies required to work with steel. Cleaning and prepping steel.
  2. Exploring design possibilities and considerations for etching jewelry, including sources for patterns.
  3. Applying various resists for etching, including oil paint pen, laser transfers and adhesive backed stencils.
  4. Preparing etching solutions, including a discussion of various etching mordants. Preparing etching materials and supplies.
  5. Etching steel using the electro-etching approach. Troubleshooting the etching process.
  6. Etching a heavy steel plate to be used for roller patterning of softer metals.
  7. Using patinas to enhance etched steel jewelry. Comparison of different patinas. Sealing steel jewelry. 
  8. Creating hands-on work. Students will be able to create at least two pieces of etched steel jewelry and one roller pattern plate demonstrating the techniques taught in the workshop.


BIO: Since 2013 Bette Barnett has devoted her work to exploring and experimenting with steel and gold. Bette began her jewelry career in 2010 and subsequently studied with the late Chris Nelson through the advanced workshops in fusing gold to steel. Since then Bette has perfected additional techniques and processes for steel including Keum Boo on steel, iron wire fused with fold, alternative alloys for fusing such as shibuichi and shakudo, etching steel and fusing gold to non-traditional mild steel forms, such as mesh and perforated steel. In recognition of her work, the Santa Fe Symposium has selected Bette to create a research paper on steel jewelry and present it during the 2020 Symposium Conference. She has also published articles on steel and gold jewelry in Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist. Bette honed her teaching skills during her former career as a corporate communication consultant by providing extensive training services to the employees of some of the largest companies in the world. She continually uses feedback from student surveys and hosting studios to refine her workshop offerings. Bette teaches private lessons online from her San Diego studio and offers group lessons throughout the U.S. Currently her classes are offered online because of the COVID quarantine.


KIT Fees: $65 (included in registration) includes: (4) D batteries & battery holder with leads and alligator clips; small plastic etching container; Steel sheet to be used as a cathode (3” x 8”); (3) Steel sheets 4” x 6” - 20g; (1) Steel sheet 3” x 6” - 12g. for etching a rolling mill pattern plate; Decocolor paint pen; (3) Laser printed etching designs; (1) Adhesive backed stencil; (2oz.) Citric acid; Brass scratch brush for cleaning steel; Burnisher; Samples of flux, Sparex No. 1 and Clear Wax; Handouts (Patterns for two class projects, course presentation handouts, and source sheets for purchasing materials and supplies)


Workshop Format: (4) Two-Hour live online segments consisting of a mix of brief lectures, pre-recorded demos of techniques and group discussions. At the end of each class, students receive an assignment to complete before the next class. During the down time between classes, students will be invited to attend an optional open studio session with the instructor. These are informal sessions during which students discuss what they are working on and any challenges they are having.

  • Additional Information:

    The AZDCA Workshop Disclaimer, Refund Policy, and Photography Waiver apply to all workshops both online and offline.  To view the policy, click here.


Arizona Designer Craft & Art is committed to advancing contemporary crafts-related activities in Arizona. We achieve this through education, the development and public awareness of high quality craft work, encouragement of high standards of design and workmanship, experimentation in new materials and techniques, and providing opportunities for the sale of art by individual members.

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