Aluminum Sari Ribbon Corset Cuff
The circle in the pic above shows the texture I created with my texture hammer: when I ran this piece of aluminum through the LOS, the LOS just pooled and ran off the aluminum like water off a duck's back. Very disappointing!
But I still love the cuff - and it's available on Etsy!
I forgot all about this LOS-aluminum incompatibility when I tried stamping an aluminum piece -
After stamping this piece of aluminum, I placed it in the LOS, having forgotten my previous experience. Needless to say, the same thing happened. Without the LOS, the stamping was hardly visible at all - I used another method to darken the stamped impression of each letter, and then sealed the patina with Krylon.
So - I can't really texture the aluminum with hammers, nor stamp it.
Now, I admit I hadn't thought this through all the way, but I decided to see if I could etch a design in the aluminum with ferric chloride.
I cut out 2 heart shapes, sanded, filed, and cleaned them, and then stamped a heart design on each with Staz-On.
Then I placed the hearts in the ferric chloride bath.
When I etch copper in ferric chloride, I leave in it for 90 minutes. So, I turned around, and grabbed an egg timer from the shelf to set for 90 minutes, because I have a habit of forgetting things (I get distracted by other bright shiny objects!).
Thank goodness I didn't leave the room! No sooner had I turned around (my hand wasn't even on the egg timer yet) when I heard an out-of-place fizzing, like someone had poured a glass of champagne, and was holding it up to my ear.
Hmmm ... I thought.
And I turned around; all the while the fizzing was getting louder.
I looked at the ferric chloride, and it was bubbling and frothing like a rabid dog. This is NOT what happens when I etch copper - it just lies there, soaking in its brown acid bath.
I figured I better take the aluminum out of there, since something was clearly wrong - and my hands were a good 2 feet away, if not more, when I became aware of the heat coming from the acid container. And it just got hotter and more fizzy as I got closer. I grabbed the pieces of packing tape that supported the aluminum in the acid (these edges were well-away from the fizzing action, so I wasn't worried about burning myself) but there was tremendous heat coming from that acid container!
As soon as I had raised the pieces above the level of the acid, the fizzing stopped and the temperature returned to normal.
Those of you with chemistry backgrounds say it with me: That was an EXOTHERMIC reaction.
And here are the 2 pieces that were in there: (they were black, black, BLACK)when they came out, but after a LOT of scrubbing with steel wool, this is what they look like:
etched aluminum hearts
There is a bit of design; more on the left than on the right. And what you see here is not very deep - you can feel it, but not very well. And that grayish-brown stain in the middle of both of them? Won't come off.
And now that I've thought it through, these designs would have needed LOS to really show, anyway - so maybe not being able to etch aluminum isn't something I need to mourn.
I've heard that aluminum takes alcohol inks really well - so there are still other avenues I can explore with it!