Saturday, 11 May 2013

ALAW 2013 - Embossing and catching up

At long last, I have found time to think about my ALAW letters.  The first efforts have been sitting on my work-table looking hopefully at me for weeks, while other things have taken precedence.  I am therefore way, way behind, and need to work fast now to catch up with the year's first alphabet: other contributors have been keeping more or less to the one-a-week schedule.

Today I cleared space and made a stab at using the first cut letters for blind embossing - in effect, printing without any ink.  I hadn't done this before, so played around with different types and weights of paper, which I soaked for just a few minutes.  I don't have very many papers to choose from, so tried a couple of cartridge papers, some relatively light-weight Somerset paper, and some heavier drawing paper taken from a commercial sketch pad.   I rolled them through my small etching press.

This was my first attempt, using cartridge paper and the 2mm grey-board letters.  There was an immediate problem with the paper pulling and wrinkling at the edges of the embossed shapes.

These (below) were done using the thinner 1mm card shapes, and on softer paper.  I think I could have got better impressions with slightly greater pressure on the press, but the letters seemed to be floating rather uncomfortably against the background.

I decided to try using the other part of the cut-out shapes, including the square base-plate of each letter, to give a border to the prints.  Once again, I used the thinner 1mm card versions.  I was quite pleased with the results.

The laser cutter burns the card slightly and leaves a sooty residue round the edge.  This came out, a little, on the embossing - the image here shows slight discolouration around the edges of the embossed shapes, which i rather like.

I tried also using the hand-drawn italic letters, which gave a crisper result.  

This was a useful rehearsal for printing a full set of letters.  I will, next week at college, prepare and cut two sets of letters in the thinner card, one from each font.  I will also, if time permits, cut a set of etched letters, but in reverse so I can use those for intaglio printing.

I think a set of blind embossed letters, in either font, will work well, and could also perhaps be my "letters for peace" for ALAW - as in blind embossed = almost invisible = silent = peaceful.

I think these will also look good made up as a simple book,  so will begin thinking about designs.

I know I am still way behind with ALAW, but I feel I've made some proper progress now, and have a realistic plan for getting the letters cut and embossed quite quickly and definitely before the mid-way point of the end of June.

No comments:

Post a Comment