Brenda Harthill embossed print

Artists’ prints with blind embossing

If you Google ‘prints with blind embossing’ it throws up a lot of information about commercial printing and ready made embossing patterns for card making and crafts. Rather than mass produced images I am interested in original artists prints with blind embossing in them, once your printmaking radar is tuned in, these artworks jump out at you from the background noise. There are wonderfully varied examples made by artists all around the world, here is a small selection to whet your appetite.

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dovecote plate and embossed print

Blind Embossing, or printing without ink

Blind embossing involves pressing deep textures into paper, creating subtle and dynamic images that change with the angle of light and the position of the viewer. Sometimes inspiration blossoms when your choices are limited, and if you are used to printing with colour, blind embossing will stretch your understanding of the printed surface, introducing sculptural elements into your printmaking.

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Circular print with a base

Different shaped printing plates

“How does the shape of your printing plate affect the design?”
“How can your design affect the shape of the printing plate? “

These are the questions students took as a starting point on a recent course in my studio.

can you print from bubble wrap?
can you print from bubblewrap?

So often we start with a rectangular printing plate. Manufacturing processes, commercial cutting machines, and a general sense that ‘that’s the way it’s done’ all help to perpetuate the rectangular shaped printing plate as a starting point.

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Printing from Eggshells

broken eggshells
printing from eggshells involves lots of baking!

Since I started experimenting with printing from eggshells, meringues, omelettes and cakes have been top of the menu, and no shells made it into the bin!

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