Salt Water Etching for Enamel

Course Description

About this course

Electrolytic etching with salt water is a wonderfully easy to use process that pairs well with enameling. In this live, virtual workshop the instructor will walk students through the steps of preparing copper sheet for salt water etching in order to produce deep relief on the surface of the metal. These etched pockets will then be filled with wet-packed vitreous glass enamel and later fired with a torch to create Champlevé style enamels. Students will gain an understanding of how this unique method of creating 3D texture in low relief can be applied to an extensive array of objects and jewelry. Students should be comfortable using a standard jewelry torch.

This course will consist of two sessions. There will be a no-class day between each session.  

Class will be held live via Zoom during the designated time frame. A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent via email.

The sessions will be recorded and you will receive a password protected link to the recordings that expire after 30 days. 

Please read the Materials & Tools tab! 

Meet the Instructor

Jesse Bert

Jesse is a studio artist creating primarily sculptural jewelry which crosses the boundary of mediums by incorporating many different dynamic materials and techniques. In addition he has a strong interest and appreciation for fine hand made tools, spending a good portion of his time creating unique tools and equipment that help give the works distinction with delicate texture and design.   

Over the past 14 years Jesse has taught metalsmithing and jewelry techniques on a regular basis, to students of all skill levels in his private studio in San Miguel, as well as annual workshops in Mexico and other countries around the world.

Some recent exhibition venues include: The Palace of Iturbide, Mexico City; The amber Fair Legnica, Poland; The museum of Mining, Pachuca, Mexico; Alchemy 925, Massachusetts; Velvet da Vinci gallery, San Francisco; Museum of Art and Design, New York City.

Originally from the U.S, Jesse relocated to Mexico in 2006 after the completion of his MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University in North Carolina. "When I am not teaching or working on new pieces, I love to be outside. I tend to my bees and cactus collection or spend time exploring the Mexican countryside and hiking in the mountains." 

Materials & Tools 

$17 partial supply kit will be sent to the shipping address you have listed on your Metalwerx account. Kits will be mailed out by February 9th. If you register after this date, the kit can still be mailed to you, but may not reach you by the workshop start date. Please inform us if you reside outside of the United States, as your shipping cost may differ from the standard shipping included in the materials kit fee and may also need to be expedited. All items listed below are covered by the kit fee.

  • 1 x cathode and wire kit - to complete etching set-up
  • shipping cost
Students should bring 

The following supplies will be used for course demonstrations and objectives. A suggested item and/or vendor has been provided below for reference. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find the item. The quantities needed for each item are listed first. If ordering, please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. We recommend not opening an item's packaging until the day of the workshop. Student participation during or in-between class sessions is strongly encouraged but not required - observers are welcome.

Etching supplies: 

  • 1 x ZOZO universal AC adapter (Amazon)
  • 2ft x 10g copper wire - 2.6mm diameter (Rio Grande)
  • 2 pieces x 16g copper sheet - 1.25mm thickness (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x small palette/painter's knife (Amazon or Blick)
  • 1 x oil based white paint marker - fine point (Amazon)
  • 1 x oil based white paint marker - medium point - optional (Amazon)
  • 1 x 34oz clear/round container with sealable lid - glass or plastic (Amazon)
  • 1 liter x distilled or mineral free water
  • 1 pound x kosher salt
  • industrial or thick paper towels

Enameling supplies:

  • 2oz x opaque glass enamel - 80 mesh - several colors (Thompson)
  • 2oz x 2110 wax yellow glass enamel - 80 mesh (Thompson)
  • 1 x 3/0 paint brush with round point (Thompson or Amazon)
  • 1 x paint tray/pallette with wells (Amazon)
  • eye droppers/pipettes - several (Amazon)
  • dust mask
  • eye protection
  • fan and open window - for ventilation 

Enameling tools: 

  • 1 x torch setup - Silversmith or similar style  (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x #0 or #1 torch tip or similar may be useful (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet or tile (Amazon or Home Depot)
  • 1 x striker or lighter - Silversmith setup comes with 1 (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x tripod with screen - for soldering/torch firing (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x stainless steel trivet (Rio Grande or Enamel Warehouse)
  • 1 x enamel sifter (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x white alundum stone - 220 grit (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x crockpot or lidded glass container - for pickle (Amazon)
  • 1 x pickle - sodium bisulfate or citric acid (Rio Grande or Amazon)
  • 1 x copper tongs - for pickle (Rio Grande)
  • sink or large tub of water - for stoning enamel

Other supplies: 

  • 1 x jewelers saw (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pack jewelers sawblades - #4/0 and #1 (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x rotary tool - flex shaft, dremel, drill press, etc. (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x diamond bur set - optional (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x steel ball bur - 4.5mm (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x steel drill bit -size #36 or 2.7mm (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x round nose or half round pliers (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x 8" half round hand file - #2 cut (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x set of needle files (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x steel wool - super fine #0000 (Home Depot)
  • 1 x digital caliper (Amazon)
  • 1 x large serving spoon - for mixing salt water
  • 1 x 3M green abrasive scrubby pad
  • 1cm soft paint brush - to clean etchings
  • sharpie marker - fine and wide point
  • thick paper - for making patterns
  • wax or burlife - for sawing/burring
  • liver of sulphur 
  • eye protection - for torch
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • x-acto knife
  • apron
  • sandpaper - 220 grit - one sheet is enough
  • dish soap - for cleaning your pieces



Materials Cost



Jesse Bert


February 16 -18, 2021


1:00 PM -3:00 PM


2 days

Basic and above

No Class Dates

February 17

Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
Add to My Calendar