Inks and Aluminum

by Lynda Carson.
(Spring Valley, California USA)

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These two pair of earrings were made using aluminum sheeting. Tracing, cutting, filing and sanding the shapes. Aluminum is cheap, light weight, and fairly easy to cut with kitchen shears.

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I wanted to see what would happen if I tried two different inking methods of embellishment.
The birds were painted with alcohol inks. The hearts were stamped with StazOn ink. Both received a coat of satin varnish.

Both worked just great!

Lynda Carson
Fresh Baked Designs

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  • Barbara says:

    Very cute!

  • Linda Soderfelt says:

    I really love the hearts! Could you share where you are buying or getting the aluminum from and how thick/able to hold a shape without bending it is?

  • Lynda says:

    Hi, Linda,
    The aluminum sheet is scrap metal that an art teacher gets from a recycle center. I haven’t been there yet, but plan to soon. I’m guessing it’s about 22-24 gauge, easy enough to cut with kitchen sheers. Hope you are able find a ‘free’ source near you.

  • Lynn Schmitt says:

    Great designs! I particularly like the birds.

  • Nicole Green says:

    Thank you! I just purchased StazOn & rubber stamps for copper etching, after I saw Virginia Vivier’s tutorial on this same site. I have aluminum sheeting left over from a project ages ago. Also, I have been noticing alcohol inks & am very interested in trying them. Another layer to my venture in metalsmithing. Rena, you have the best jewelry making newsletter!
    Nicole

  • Robin says:

    Yes, I’d like to try this too! I have feeling free scrap is a fantasy though, seems everything has a price on it these days. I should just check local recycling centers and ask for it? These are the same places my house recycling goes to or an industrial place?

  • Monica says:

    These are great and I love the generosity of this community in sharing ideas.

    What product did you use for the varnish? Thank you!

  • Colleen says:

    Very pretty! You just answered my question on if the ink would work on aluminum!

  • Moogie says:

    I’ve heard of people using the inside of soda/beer cans as a supply of lightweight metal. I haven’t done it myself but it’s a great source for aluminum. If you need it thicker, maybe epoxy your final forms together. That way you could eliminate the original colors & letters from the outside of the can! It would be great to hear from someone who has worked with aluminum cans:)

  • Moogie, thanks for sharing this cool idea!

  • Stephani says:

    Beautiful and unique earrings! I especially love the intricate detailed designs on the hearts!

  • Lynda Carson says:

    Updated information…I would check out industrial metal supplies for scrap aluminum and copper. They often sell very cheaply by weight. I used Permalac spray sealer, also purchased at one of these stores. Available on line as well.

  • Lynda, thanks for this info! 🙂

  • Linda Dyson says:

    I would like to find aluminum to work with but am unsure where to find it. Home Depot or Lowe’s? Other craft store like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby? Please advise. I am wanting it for support inside my polymer craft designs I make like key rings, as well as for jewelry pendents.

  • Hi Linda, I recommend that you do an online search for “aluminum sheet for jewelry”. Or if you’re looking for aluminum wire, do an online search for “aluminum wire for jewelry”. You can do these searches on Google, or on Etsy.com, or on Amazon.com – and I’m sure you’ll find a good source of what you’re seeking. I hope this helps! 🙂

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