Thursday, July 1, 2010


Chinese calligraphy.

An archaic version of Arabic.

Ancient Greek text from a stele near the Parthenon.

Copper tablets etched with Latin passages from the Book of Kells. Paul and I saw the Book of Kells at the Trinity College Library in Dublin. It's a truly unbelievable work of art and of faith.

I have some shows off in the distant future (funny how the distant future sneaks up on you!) for which I'll need plenty of interesting earrings. So today, I spent my time doing some acid etching. I photocopied ancient texts that I found on the Internet, onto PnP paper (PnP paper is an acetate used for printing circuit boards), then using an iron, I transferred the images onto copper pieces that I had earlier sawed into tablet shapes. I touched up areas where the toner didn't quite transfer with a Sharpie. After all that, I submerged the pieces in my acid etching tank filled with ferric chloride and left them alone for about an hour. Before anybody starts to give me hell about the ferric chloride, when handled and disposed of appropriately (which I do!) it's a very safe chemical. I think they came out pretty cool. I made bunches more, these are just the ones that I got cleaned up so far. Now I can patina or enamel them or whatever else I can think of to make them more interesting. I'll try to remember to post pictures when I make them into earrings.
I like the idea of written language as a work of art. It's nice that the words have meaning, but I'm almost more excited by the visual aesthetic of them.


Jeanne Craine said...

They are really beautiful, Cris!

Cristina Leonard said...

Thanks Jeanne! Very fun to make too.

Karen Elmquist said...

Those are really beautiful. I especially like the Book of Kells ones. Lovely!

Gail said...

Danger Will Robinson!!!! She's using Ferric Chloride.

You know I love them!!! are speaking my language..pun intended.