So, last June, I tried my hand at etching metal, using the Cameo. I posted about it here.
I got some stuff that was okay, but I was never completely happy with it. But, it was always there, rolling around in my head.
Well, keeping on top of paperwork so far this year, the balloons, cards and boxes done and sent out last December, there's really not a lot on my plate. I'm working on crocheting small blankets to take the vet for clients' pets, I read a book last week, and really don't have much to do at this point. Not checking on a sick cat every thirty minutes, a cat who took up a lot of my work table so I was unable to work (his comfort was more important), nothing's on television, I started researching etching with a Silhouette machine.
And I found some interesting and informative videos on YouTube for etching with the Silhouette Curio. Hmmm......
Still trying with the metal I had, I went with an anodized aluminum piece. I used the Chomas tool instead of the Curio tool. The video I watched pointed out that the Chomas did a smoother job (don't forget, blades/pens/etc made for the Cameo, also work with the Curio).
This is what I ended up with. I was pretty happy. These are anodized aluminum blanks. The etching cuts into the anodizing, for the aluminum substrate.
The depth wasn't set very deep on this one
Setting the depth deeper.
But still, how do the trophies that are gold with black text plaques work? Like on my Meh scapegoat trophy? Painting gold on silver, then etching, but how do I get the silver black? I tried acrylic paint, the paint sticks that are used for bowling balls, Sharpies, many different types of coloring systems and nothing looked right. A couple of times, I just ended up with a big mess.
I took my Meh trophy into Brian and pointed out the plaque on it and asked him how it worked.
He glanced at it and said "because that's plastic, not metal".
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. This changes everything.
I went in search of gold on black plastic for etching. I found some sheets on Amazon, way to big for what I needed, but he could cut them down and I'd most likely never need to buy them again.
They're about 12" x 24", much too big for the Curio mat and he cut some to around 3" x 1", just for me to play with. And I finally had something I was happy with.
The best (and easiest, least labor intensive) instructions can be found at The Silhouette Tutor, Silhouette Curio Engraving. You need four things.
- Contact paper
- Engraving blank
- Cutting tool
I bought a roll of transparent Contact paper from Amazon last year. This way, I can see the measured lines below. My blanks came as a sample kit from Johnson Plastics. I used the Chomas tool I got from Amazon last year.
Now, my reason for doing this was simple. I'm a Scapegoat Emeritus over in the forums on Meh.com. Every month, a new goat is voted in. The scapegoat's job is to take the blame for things large and small that go wrong in peoples' daily lives. My reign was December 2014. And the following year, all of the goats received a certificate of goathood and a goat trophy with our names and date of service engraved at the bottom. The engraving was done by hand.
It was so labor intensive, the guy who did it said he didn't want to do it any longer. So, my quest has been to find an easy way to do it. And I believe I've been successful. And to prove it, I made a trophy for him. I will be sending it to him this week.
For the moose, after many tests, I used five copies of the moose and on each one, I had used a different style of fill. I grouped them together. along with the text, and moved them to the spot on the mat where I had the media. (I used painter's tape to make sure the media would not move on the Contact paper.) I ungrouped them and sent them to etch, using two passes. So, the moose got ten passes with the tool (five moose graphics x two) and the text got two passes. It took about twenty-five minutes, most of that on the moose graphic. I was really, really happy with how it turned out.