Metallised film packaging is not recycled
This post is about reusing metallised film to make interesting printing plates. Metallised film packaging is used to keep food fresher, it is made by coating plastic with a very thin film of aluminium, and it is currently not recycled.
How to spot Metallised film
An important reason for writing this blog is to encourage people to have a go and experiment with printmaking, so it is great when readers get back to me with information about what they have done as a result of seeing a particular post.
I was delighted to receive an email from Angela Harpham with examples of plates made by the Joint Practice Group, as Sinclair Ashman and Kate Tidmarsh had already posted about their aluminium tape plates on Instagram (see below), and Handprinted had added the technique to their website, I realised there were quite a few people playing around with this technique in the seclusion of their own studios. It seemed like a good idea to bring it all together…
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.
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.