EMBOSSING ON METAL USING A MACHINE AND REFINING BY HAND by Lynell Harlow

MATERIALS:

Colored Aluminum - Background stencils like LJ825 Jungle leaves
Embossing Machine with plates - Open cut stencils like LJ906 Maple branch
Backing paste - Color Solution alcohol inks and thinner/cleaner
Stamping Details rubber mat - Color Solution Applicator with felt refills and cotton swabs
Leather suede mat - Removable tape and paper towels
Metal tools: teflon tip and hoof, texture wheel, paper stump #5, sanding block fine grit


STACKING ORDER TO RUN STENCILS THROUGH THE EMBOSSING MACHINE


Place the metal background stencil (LJ825) face down on the thick white plate. Next position a piece of colored aluminum on top of the metal stencil, colored side down, followed by the Stamping Details rubber embossing mat. Then the two acrylic plates are at the top of this stencil “sandwich”. If you are using a Cuttlebug these are the two “B” plates. It is important that these top plates are not warped, because that could warp or curl the stencil. (I like to use clear acrylic plates that are dedicated for embossing and then I have a set for die cutting.) Also when the rubber mat is brand new it is a bit sticky or tacky against the metal and can cause the metal to crumple as it stretches and embosses, so I wash the rubber mat with soap and water and dry it with a fluffy towel or paper towel.


SANDING THE EMBOSSED IMAGE


Remove the stencil and use a fine gauge sanding block to remove the color from the embossed image. Keep the block flat as you work to avoid scraping color off the background which is not embossed. Another way of removing the color is to put a few drops of the Color Solution thinner/cleaner onto a precision cotton swab. Daub off the excess thinner from the swab so it doesn’t run and next rub this gently back and forth over the colored aluminum to remove the color and reveal the “silvery” color of the aluminum.


EMBOSSING THE SECOND IMAGE


Now using the same stacking formula place the second stencil face down on the thick white plate and position the sanded side down onto the stencil. Then place the rubber mat on the metal and the two acrylic plates on top of the rubber to finish the “stencil sandwich”. Now run this second design through the embossing machine. This second embossing will emboss this second image, but the first embossed and sanded image will now be flattened during this second embossing process.


ADDING COLOR TO THE DESIGN IMAGE


Now that the second image is embossed you can add the Color Solution Alcohol Inks to the design. Position the stencil onto the metal using removable tape. Squeeze 4-5 generous drops of the alcohol ink onto the felt applicator. At the same time add another color if you desire and 3 or 4 drops of the cleaner/thinner on top of the Color Solution color. I like to have paper towel handy to off-load the ink into. When I twist the colors onto the paper towel in mixes them just a bit, plus it “drinks” up some of the excess wetness. Then I stipple this felt applicator up and down with a tap tap tapping motion onto the metal through the holes of the stencil. Be sure to use a light touch as you begin and increase the pressure as you continue daubing the ink onto the image. You can also add color with a precision tip cotton swab. After adding alcohol ink to the swab, wipe it gently onto a paper towel to remove excess wetness so it won’t run under the stencil.


REFINING THE DESIGN IMAGE


The stippling process of adding color can flatten the embossed metal image, so you want to take time to pop it back up and add refining details to your stencil image. Once the alcohol ink is dry I turn the metal piece to work on the back, with the Maple leaves stencil still taped to the front on the embossed design. At this point you will be working on the leather suede mat. Use the #5 embossing stump and gently stroke the metal down into the stencil design. Having the leather mat under the stencil will add more dimension to this hand embossing. You don’t need to press too hard. Make a series of gentle strokes refining the image by pushing the metal down into the stencil. Next you will remove the stencil and outline the images of the leaves with the texture wheel tool, this time working on the front of the metal. The metal should still remain on the suede mat. In the next step you will remove the suede mat and continue to work on the front and with the stencil still in place. Use the pointed tip of the teflon tool and make firm strokes creating veins down through the centers of the embossed Maple leaves. Now squeeze backing paste into the back of the maple leaves. This self leveling paste, which dries in a few hours, will keep the embossed image firm. When the paste is dry, trim the edges of the metal and mount it onto a card. These metal creations can also be mounted onto wood boxes or furniture pieces.

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This card was done on glossy cardstock, using LX7015 Nouveau Background, LS1010 Happy Birthday,DMBP Matt Black Embossing Paste and Dreamweaver's Color Solution Alcohol Inks

The Alcohol Inks can also be used on glossy cardstock or I have even used them on regular smooth cardstock with satisfactory results.