It's no doubt that calligraphy and hand-lettered artworks have resurfaced in the scene for the last 3 years and it's amazing how there are a multitude of tools that can be utilized to create such works of art. I have been experimenting and shuffling different techniques in calligraphy from nibs, ink, brushes, paint - down to embossing. But what exactly is embossing? My former intern, Maki, and I will give you a quick rundown on our take on heat embossing.
Heat embossing is the process of creating a raised image on a surface, usually paper, using heat. Heat embossing is easy (but could be a little messy). Ideally, you can emboss on any paper surface but based on experience, I found that smoother paper yields a better embossed effect. Based on multiple attempts, porous materials, such as canvasses and cloth, absorb the ink and powder when heated so the output becomes flat. Oiled leather prevents the ink and powder from adhering so the output gets peeled off easily. Applying heat to paper makes the paper curl. Hence, it's best to use a thicker gsm for your paper embossing projects.
Here are some tips on how you can get started on your embossing projects:
1. Embossing pens / Embossing ink pads
2. Embossing powders
3. Heat gun
4. Pencil / Eraser
1. First, think of the layout that you want, and then lightly draw it onto the surface.
2. Using an embossing pen, trace your design. Write fast or trace your design segment by segment since the embossing pen can dry up after a while.
3. Sprinkle some embossing powder on the traced design.
4. Tap excess powder on separate container. You can see that the powder has stuck and will be ready for the next step.
5. Tip: use tiny soft round brush to clear the smaller details of the layout.
6. Use the heat gun to melt the powder until it has a shiny raised embossed effect.
7. Let it cool down for a few seconds to prevent the molten powder from spreading.
DO'S AND DONT'S
1. Do store the embossing pens with dual tips horizontally to avoid one tip drying up.
2. Do return the excess embossing powder on the original container.
3. Do have a different paper bin for each color of the powder that you use. Don’t mix them so that it will be easier for you to return them back to their respective containers.
4. Don’t use hair blower as it will literally blow the embossing powder away. Use the appropriate embossing heat gun for your project.
5. Don’t expose embossing powder under direct sunlight since it melts upon too much contact or exposure with heat.
6. Don't touch the tip of the heat gun. You don't want to burn your finger.
7. Do let the heat gun rest after every 2-3 embossing projects to prevent it from overheating.
8. Do have fun. You can use stamps and embossing ink pads to add decor to your project.
9. Do keep the heat gun about 2-3inches away from the paper while heating the powder.
10. For children, don’t emboss without adult supervision.
WHERE TO BUY (PHILIPPINES)
HOW MUCH (PHILIPPINES)
1. ZIG Emboss Scroll & Brush Pen – Php 95
2. ZIG Emboss Fine & Chisel Marker – Php 75
3. ZIG Emboss Writer Marker – Php 75
4. ZIG Emboss Calligraphy Marker – Php 75
5. Tsukineko Embossing Powder – Php 199.75
6. Kuretake Embossing Heat Gun – Php 1,654.75
Here's a timelapse video of one artwork I made using embossing tools. Now it's your turn to try, experiment, and have lots of fun! Enjoy xoxo
P.S. If you have other tips to share, drop a comment!