Etch and Roll: Creating Your Own Rolling Mill Pattern Plates + Keum Boo on Etched Steel

  • $590.00
    Unit price per 

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Etch and Roll: Creating Your Own Rolling Mill Pattern Plates + Keum Boo on Etched Steel
Instructor: Bette Barnett
March 24-26, Friday – Sunday, three days, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $590 | Estimated $120-$160 Materials Kit Fee (students will be invoiced after the kit fee has been finalized)

Class format: in studio at Danaca Design

Prerequisites: Students will need basic metalworking skills—shearing, sawing, filing, hammering, sanding, and forming. In addition, students must be comfortable using a torch, whether a smaller butane torch or a more elaborate dual gas or acetylene/air torch.

Want to learn how to produce your own customized, high-quality rolling mill pattern plates? In this three-day workshop, you’ll learn to etch mild steel to create durable rolling mill pattern plates with gorgeous designs. You will learn which types of resists work best to produce a long-lasting etched pattern for rolling mill plates and how to manage the electro-etching process. During the class, you will also learn how to use your pattern plates in the rolling mill to achieve the best results.

While we’re at it, we will also explore the fascinating world of Keum Boo on etched steel, which involves bonding gold and silver foil to the metal to emphasize the shadows and highlights of the etched design. We will work with both gold and silver foil and learn to layer the metals to create different effects.

During this fun and fast-paced class you’ll learn to:

  • Work with low carbon cold rolled steel. Even if you have some experience working with steel, you’ll learn new tips and tricks to help you achieve great results with this interesting and versatile alternative metal.
  • Create deeply etched patterns for rolling mill plates. We will examine different types of resists that allow you to create original custom-made patterns.
  • Set up the electro-etching station and monitor the etching process. We’ll use a simple electro-etching set-up with D batteries to teach you how to create a successful etched patterns and troubleshoot any obstacles. You will also learn how to use a rectifier as the power source, which provides a consistent, controllable method for electro-etching. We’ll cover how to operate a rectifier and the various types available.
  • Bond foil to etched steel using the Keum Boo technique. After covering the etching process, we’ll explore Keum Boo on both steel and silver. Keum Boo is an ancient Korean technique that involves bonding gold and silver foil to metals using heat and pressure. We will use both a torch and a small tabletop enameling kiln to apply different metal foils, creating layers of color.
  • Finish your steel jewelry with patinas and sealers. We’re not just talking black! You’ll also learn to apply a range of colors to your jewelry. In addition, we will cover different types of sealers and their merits.

During the workshop, you will have the opportunity to produce at least two rolling mill patterns. In addition, you will be able to create patterned jewelry pieces with your rolling mill plates and add Keum Boo to your work.

Students MUST Bring:

(Except for the brass pen brush, these items are available in the studio store.)

  • Non-ferrous metals (e.g., sterling silver, Argentium, copper) to use with your rolling mill pattern plates—enough to produce at least one or two pieces of your choice. 18-20 gauge.
  • Burnishers (two, any kind)
  • Small brass pen brush (Rio Grande)
  • Basic hand tools—files, jeweler saw frame and blades (2/0, 3/0 and 4/0), sandpaper or sanding sticks, etc.

Material KITS Include:

  • Two pre-cut stencils to use as a resist for etching. Note: The instructor will bring a selection of various stencils to choose from.
  • Mylar stencil sheet to cut your own custom-designed etching resist
  • Three sheets of 12 gauge steel 7” x 2 ½”
  • One sheet of 20 gauge steel 12”x12”
  • Oil paint pen
  • Two D batteries with extras as needed
  • Plastic battery holder with leads
  • Etching container
  • Chopstick
  • Copper sheet to use as cathode
  • Small foam paint brush to clean residue
  • Gold foil
  • Silver foil
  • Access to a variety of consumable materials such as fluxes, pickles, and cleaners

Instructor 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 his advanced workshops in fusing gold to steel. Since then Bette has perfected additional techniques and processes for steel, including Keum Boo on steel, steel wire fused with gold, alternative alloys for fusing such as shibuichi and shakudo, fusing metal powders to steel, etching steel and fusing gold to non-traditional mild steel forms, such as steel wire and perforated steel sheet. Bette is focusing much of her current work on Keum Boo on steel, an area that is virtually unexplored among western artists.

In recognition of her work, the Santa Fe Symposium selected Bette to create a research paper on steel jewelry. The paper entitled “Steel Jewelry—Expanding the Horizons of Steel with Gold” was to have been presented at the May conference had it not been postponed due to the quarantine. Bette has also published articles on steel and gold jewelry in Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist.

What students are saying:

"I’ve taken a couple classes with Bette and found her to be a wonderful instructor! She is approachable, down to earth, encouraging, helpful and very knowledgeable. I think she does a great job explaining how to work with steel in general as well as teaching the technique. Bette also explains the reasons behind her approach and some of her own mishaps. I highly recommend her classes to anyone who is interested in working with steel & gold."

Tools are available to purchase through Danaca Design Studio with 15% student discount code. Shop tools HERE. If you don’t see what you need please email us,

Review our class cancellation policy HERE.

All students must fill out and electronically submit the Danaca Design COVID-19 Studio Safety Protocol and Waiver form before attending class.