I showed my 26 letters – the Big Emboss Artwork happens on Saturday – and had queries about how I made them and what the process is.
For hand embossing stencils with cut outs work well, but if you have loose counters or if you are machine embossing its worth making a plate.
I use Hot-pressed paper – Saunders 300gsm and archival mount board 1200 – 1400 micron because both are dense and so the pressure of the press will not flatten them as quickly.
Think back to front and inside out. Whatever is raised will be depressed and the letters must be reversed.
1) Design the letter on layout paper or graph paper the right way.
2) Trace it.
3) Rub the tracing off onto Hot pressed paper. It will be backwards.
4) Its best to cut out the letter and keep the background so that the letter will be raised – as with the A but NOT the B.
(the B is less legible when printed)
5) Glue the background onto mountboard using PVA glue (woodglue).
6) For a more raised letter, carve into the mount board so that the letter is deeper than the rest. You have to cut around the shape you want to carve, then peel away a couple of layers. Its difficult to get this even and you may need to burnish the carved letter to flatten it.
7) For an extra dimension, stick another layer onto the background.
8) Use ready made shellac as a varnish. In the UK its called Button Polish. It’s thin and very strong and impenetrable.
To emboss, wet some good heavy printing paper e.g. BFK Rives 300gsm, roll between blotting paper, lay over the letter on the printing bed and roll the printer over it. The deepest part of the V is the thin line in the centre of the stroke. The highest part is the two triangles on either side of the V. That little cut out bit of tracery looked lovely.
I think the templates are beautiful and its a pity they are all backwards!
PS The upside down letter on Wednesday’s blog, 19th June was the C!