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'Grow old...' an Embossing Re-worked

Thursday, 17 May 2012

It seems that this piece of work has stood the test of time... there are reflections on the glass, but you can still see the words embossed

Grow old along with me
the very best is yet to be
~ Robert Browning ~

The beauty of embossing is that once a template is made, you can repeat the design for as long as the template lasts. A lady who had received one of these as an anniversary present managed to track me down.... 15 years later!!  

The trouble is I no longer had the template.... i do remember thinking that it was getting a bit tatty & if i ever did it again, i should re-do it. I can only assume that it was a casualty of my clear-out when i moved everything into the caravan, probably thinking it would motivate me to create anew. Well that worked! I never thought that anyone who had seen this early version would ever request another one this far down the line & it's quite amazing that she even found me!

drawn lettering on the bottom... 
at the top, the template is flipped over & stuck down onto card, 
and the 'holes' out of letters put back in, eg from O & D

And so i set about the process of designing letters... i couldn't bear to use the same style as before... besides i write differently now... and think & feel differently. I see no point in copying an old piece of work.... however similar this may become, i need to approach it as a new piece. It's quite a lengthy process.... i drew these letterforms, building them up so the 'thins' weren't too thin for embossing... then traced them down onto bristol board... and began cutting the letters out with a scalpel...

I love the cut-out-bits... they are safely tucked away now, 
ready to evolve into 'something' at some point. 

As i drew & traced & cut & stuck I took photographs thinking of giving you a full tutorial on the process & found myself wishing i had a camcorder to record the process too... so much can be better explained by actually seeing... I used to love teaching & i find myself hankering after it again... i don't particularly want to go back to adult-ed, besides, our lifestyle wouldn't accommodate something so fixed... anyway i had the photos & a tutorial planned in my head... then managed to delete all the step-by-step pics from my camera before they were saved on my hard drive (insert groans/cheers, depending on whether you were interested anyway!!)

a few tests on different papers

If you ever cut any amount of anything with a scalpel, wrap a plaster around your finger, or the top of the blade BEFORE it starts to hurt.... oh, & put a fresh blade in right from the start too, even if you think it's quite a new one. 

a credit to the poet 'robert browning' is lightly written in pencil
across the base of the lettering... 

I love the simplicity of white on white.... with white paper the shadows show up more & help define the letters. I added a line top & bottom to add a bit of strength & definition to the design... and the little rainbows came courtesy of the crystals hanging in my windows!

I've done two versions.... one will stay white, with a mount covered in the same paper, the other will be backed onto a natural paper & have a matching natural mount. This will be an anniversary present & will have names & date across the top, in pencil to complement the credit.... more pictures to follow when i'm done!


Rose 18 May 2012 at 08:31  

This is so lovely - I think it says so much about how much your work is appreciated.

Suzi Smith 18 May 2012 at 20:11  

it was quite a blast from the past, cos i didn't exactly leave a trail!

Tim,  20 December 2012 at 16:15  

This is beautiful. May I ask what paper stock you use for the embossing?

Suzi Smith 20 December 2012 at 20:59  

Thanks Tim... the 1st in the frame was a Zerkall, can't remember which, about 120gsm

the whites.... my favourite for this is BFK Rives, the lighter weight one about 100gsm i think... but i have none at present
Top- arches watercolour (not), looks ok but easier if dampened slightly
Middle- can't remember! will look next time i dig in that pile (it's in a case under the bed with stacks of stuff on, i'm not being lazy! well maybe a bit)
Bottom- Canaletto grossa 120gsm... it's ok to look at but feels a bit 'hard' to work with, damping doesn't help much

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