Remnant Embossing 

I’ve been saving these bits and pieces of leftover plastic cutouts for years, remnants from cutting out the paper stencils that I use on my ceramic surfaces. They’ve been squirreled away in shoeboxes boxs until the I could get access to a press bed to try using them to emboss designs into sheets of paper, and if it works, scale it up and play it out in larger designs.
In swoops Jess, dropping a 1300lb press into our lives, now is obviously the time.
The premis is pretty straight forward and is being used mainly as a proof of concept, but it’s simplicity lead to compelling results.


* Use the plastics stencil remnants to block out simple compositions, cutting and glueing them into place on a fresh plastic sheet.

* Soak a piece of drawing paper (watercolor paper for this round) and towel dry.


* Lay the plastic sheet with the design face up on a protective layer of newsprint that’s situated on the the press bed.

* Overlay the predampened paper over the plastic design centering the paper as needed.


* Cover with felt printing blankets.

* Adjust the roller to give a firm squish (7 threads showing worked for me).

* Roll print through one pass.


* Pull back the blankets and peel back the paper to reveal the embossed print.
VaLa! It works!

What are they used for?

Well the readability is perfect for what it is, a nice embossed print, but it’s all shadow play and being fairly dependant on optimal lighting to carry across any real distance, I don’t think it’s suitable for framing.

At the scale of this test, the prints could be used as interesting extra, a “thank you” for studio patrons. Anyone that’s bought work from us over the past decade knows how I like to tuck little extras into the boxes going out. Those small nuggets of silver used in the years past have now gotten pretty rare. These might be a welcome change.

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