The Art of Metal Embossing
[ Metal Embossing is an art form that has been around for centuries. Metal embossing imparts luster, radiance, intriguing dimension, and texture to metal. A variety of easy-to-use tools are used to push flat metal sheeting from the back, creating raised designs. Other equally easy-to-use tools are used on the front of the metal to refine & define the edges of the raised areas. This is the process of embossing, known as repujado in Spanish and repoussage or repousse in French. A patina or antiquing medium can be applied to embossed designs to duplicate the look of age, giving the pieces an old world look. ] Metal Embossing Workshop ISBN: 978-1-4027-2444-2 I HIGHLY suggest this book for anyone getting started! It's fantastic!!
While at the 2010 Craft & Hobby Association this past January, I met Magdalena Muldoon who is a fantastic metal embosser! She had frames, chests, you name it she had it displayed & the metals she used looked so real and VERY expensive when embossed! I stood there transfixed when I looked down & there sat Cheryl (River City Stampers) fixing to do a make & take. I immediately sat down and Magdalena began teaching us her mini class. The tools had wonderful names like: stylus, refiner, dry points, wooden thumb, points narrow/wide wheels, dot wheel, star wheel, ball & cap, diagonal/horizontal wheels, dots, herring bone, and I could go on for a LONG while just on the embossing tools! I'm ALL about tools.....so I was hooked immediately!
She showed us different metals. The family consists of: Pewter, Copper, Aluminum, Silver, and Brass. My favorite & the one we used was pewter that was covered on both sides by tin. Because the pewter is coated with tin, the lead in the pewter does not come in contact with your hands. The feel is heavier than the regular embossing metal you find in most hobby stores. I'm now wishing I had bought several rolls of it while there. I had bought some metal embossing tools in the past from RockCandy Studios and played with them.....but now with a little more knowledge about this art form, I added more tools to my metal embossing kit!
While I'm still very much a beginner I couldn't help but try a rather difficult pattern.
The butterfly was etched on the metal through a paper pattern with a stylus. Different metal embossing tools were used to etch & emboss the butterfly until I was happy with the look. I couldn't help but buy a 2.5x5 inch piece of Mother of Pearl accent. This was rather expensive so I just bought the one sheet, but the other colors were so elegant! You have to be exact with matching the mother of pearl accent, thus I slipped up on this a little but after cutting out the same piece wrong 2 times.....I quit & used what I had. :-) I plan on using this butterfly with a floral embossed piece (not done yet) and frame it. The back of the butterfly is filled with backing paste in case anyone tries to "feel" it hard. The whole piece won't be destroyed.
If you haven't tried this & always wanted to....I highly suggest it. It's very soothing to work on while watching TV (but try to trace the pattern first or you'll lose your place or the paper will slip!)......metal therapy!!