Friday, 19 June 2015

Etched Metal Books and The Joys of Internet Learning.

I'm not sure how many of my blog friends are familiar with the 'Interweave' website. I'ts basically an online store, that has a huge collection of craft resources. As well as providing information about crafting events and communities, it also stocks books magazines dvd's and digital downloads, on just about any type of craft or artistic pursuit you can imagine. It was here that I came across the work of Jen Crossley. I loved the look of her metal covered books, and decided to buy a digital download of her Etched Metal Book class and couldn't wait to get started on a project. Jen  has a blog called A Mark in Time  and you can see some of her beautiful work over there. 
This is the first book I made after following the Etched Metal Book class. Out of fairness to Jen I won't go into detail about the process but it does involve stamping and you may recognize the Tim Holtz Bookplate stamp that I've used here.The equipment needed was easy to get hold of, I bought the etching fluid from our local Maplins and brass sheet can be bought in several places on the internet. I borrowed a few tools from my husband and was soon up and running.The whole process is like magic ! I found it really fascinating. As suggested by Jen, the book is filled with water colour paper and is really nice to handle. It was the first time I'd had a go at binding a book and Jen's instructions on the video were easy to follow. After this 'trial run', I had to get straight on to the next book as I had so many ideas buzzing around my head!
So here is book number two. This time I did some masking and stamping to create the design.The anthropomorphic stamps I used, are by Katzelkraft. There is also a bit of freehand Sharpie going on around the frame too. This book has now been given away as a wedding present. Unfortunately, I didn't photograph the inside but each of the water colour signatures, have been wrapped in papers from Tim Holtz's Wallflower collection, very pretty they are too ! I believe the happy couple were very happy with their present !
 Here's a view of some of the dingle dangles,  many of which, have been salvaged from charity shop  jewellery. I buy up old bracelets and necklaces, if they have glass or metal beads and are cheap! If you love learning something new, I can highly recommend hopping over and having a browse through the resources at Interweave. there are frequent special offers, and some freebies. The beauty of the digital downloads is the immediacy, no waiting for the postman to arrive ! I'd like to say thank you to Jen Crossley for teaching me, through the magic of the internet, a fabulous new skill.


  1. These are just amazing, Toni - fabulous work! And thanks for all the inspiring links... will be checking those out as soon as I have some time!
    Alison xx

  2. I was so intrigued by this on Fb I just had to come over and take a look. I think your books are beautiful and I would love to give this a go! I have a little supply of old bracelets, but I must do a trawl of the charity shops again soon for fresh supplies too. I'm going to look up that Interweave site, as it sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing, Toni. xxx

  3. An amazing project, those covers look fabulous. Will have to check out that site.
    Yvonne xx

  4. Absolutely stunning Toni!! Both books are just amazing!
    I Love Jen Crossley and was fortunate to meet her in person- she is a hoot!! Her art is fabulous and she really is generous with her techniques!!
    Thank you for sharing! xx

  5. Your use of all the different textures and elements make these books the perfect keepsake. Wowzers!
    BTW congrats- you have won my candy

  6. I found your blog through a link posted on her FB page - thank you for sharing your finished project! It's stunning and has inspired me to try something new! (Sorry if this posts twice - my first post vanished for some weird reason.) Anyway, thank you again!!

  7. These are so, so beautiful Toni, adore old books and the idea of etching metal is giving me itchy fingers to explore this...thanks for the link as I haven't heard of this to look. Ruth x

  8. These etched books are incredible. I have never seen anything quite like them. The intricacy of the design is impressively beautiful, but what is really unique is the charmed binding. I love the variety of shapes and the dangling of each charm. Each book is like a little treasure chest, making the viewer wonder what treasure lies inside.

    Brandi Bradley @ Rotax Metals