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Embossing -- Materials and Methods

Copper and Foil Embossing give us an entry into the arts and crafts world that is fun and easy to learn. You can get nice looking results quickly and gain confidence with drawing and design. The ways that you can continue to develop your skills are almost unlimited. Engraving, repousse, embossing, tooling and chasing are just some of the more advanced techniques that involve lots of very cool tools :) but at the same time remain relatively low tech and inexpensive. One develops mastery through practice practice practice and study of the masters. A great work tool (pun intended) is in your hands.

What do you need to get started in copper and foil embossing? As you watch the Gorby’s metal embossing videos. much of the equipment sourcing and ordering is explained but here are the basics:

  • Embossing tools: Soft-Grip Embossing & Ball Styluses have a ball ending and are great for both foil and copper embossing, but you can start with a pointed wooden or plastice stylus.
  • A roll of copper or aluminum alloy foil. We do not use pewter because of the lead content.
    St Louis Crafts 36 Gauge Copper Metal Foil Roll and St Louis Crafts Colored Aluminum Foil, both are good.
  • A foil punch 1.5″ 38mm (or whatever size you want to work in) but 1.5” is a nice size to start with and the foil punch gives a nice clean edge.
  • A piece of mat board or cardboard as your work surface.
  • Some ideas of what to emboss.

For more equipment tips see Gorby’s metal embossing videos playlist

This fourteen (14) page ebook (hand illustrated by the artist) will give you examples and instructions to put you well on the path of balloon lettering. A great skill when working with embossing.

In July 2016 EJ published a string of blogs on the topic of embossing. Be sure to check out the blogs.

Follow these steps. Don't decide that just because you think you know the process you can choose to put in a line earlier than it is called for. There is a reason for the sequence. Learn the sequence and learn the reason for the sequence before you change it. Just a suggestion.

Follow the above link to find a list of over a hundred embossing videos uploaded to youtube. These cover many aspects of embossing. Enjoy!