I started by using a blade on printing paper. The blade was easy to use sliding across the paper cutting through resulting in sharp lines. The cut is clean just as I expected. Not a lot of force is needed at this point.

The only way to show the effect is to put the sample against the light, the light travels through the slits caused by the blade. I experimented with oven paper. The blade became more slippery against the smooth texture of the paper. The outcome is what I expected a clean cut nothing extraordinary.

Below: I experimented embossing with the tip of a pen cap on yellow card. I realised I had to put a lot of force to get good quality marks. This quickly became a problem as I already experience pain from fibromyalgia. The results are a repetitive surface pattern, Raised circles. At this point I am getting a bit frustrated as it’s a lot of effort for me to follow this exercise for a predictable outcome.

I carried own as I don’t like to give up. I looked into my jewellery tools and picked up some of my wax tools. There was one that was very pointy at the end and I started pocking at some baking paper with the tool, this action resulted in a series of big circles creating, unconsciously, a surface pattern. The tool created little holes that raised the paper so it feels prickly to the touch.

This is a lot of work and it’s taxing on my hands. The overall look is not as exciting as the texture feels. The reverse side of the sample is the raised side which excites me more.

Below: I continued scratching cardboard with a folk, creating sharp zig zags I enjoy the overlook look even if it is simple. The result is a more uniform and controlled mark. I decided to do the same with ink.

Above: I like how the ink has gone in to the grooves of the folk marks accentuating and making the marks more prominent. I also enjoy how the colours have mixed together with no finesse, in a rustic way.

I experimented with a screw driver and I was disappointed as the result was not much different than what I got with the pen cap in the previous sample. I thought I was going to get a cross mark.

I went back to my wax tool, at this point I was looking around the room and every item around me became a possibility for cutting and using, I started to feel desperate!

I grabbed a milk bottle and begun to cut it in a A6 size. I started marking my new medium with quick lines alternating the direction, almost as if I were doing a quick sketch. The results are more pleasing. The lines forced the plastic to raise creating a embossed texture.

I tried the same with brown baking paper and the effect was a serious of scratches. The lines were not as raised. The look is more subtle. When I pressed harder the tool actually slices the paper creating a clean cut.

I tried the same tool on card. I needed more force as the card was deeper. If I pressed hard I could scrape the card creating little bobbles/lumps of paper/card. I enjoyed the distress feel the lumps created but I struggled to achieve it as it required more strength in my hands.

I went back to the pen and tried it on the card. The results were a serious of circular dents, the reverse of the card appeared smooth.

I experimented with copper foil and a pen. I drew zig zags and circles creating a geometric repetitive print. This medium was easier to control and less force was required making it easier on my hands. I then realise that I had hardly any copper sheets left which was a shame as I was starting to enjoy this exercise. If I had more time I would of gathered some cans of drink and cut the cans to use them for embossing (I wish I had thought of that earlier).

I grabbed my colander and some clay and I proceeded to push the clay to see what happened. the clay obviously went through the holes and the rest stayed in position creating a piece like the one below. It was hard to push the clay out without loosing the little knobs. This sample is tiny (about five cm) but I can imagine in a big scale it could be more interesting as you could enjoy the difference in between the raised areas and the smooth better. I can’t help at this point to feel like I am talking about the obvious but at the same time I realise that these simple and sometimes obvious techniques are often forgotten and can result in interesting work. They are important to understand well as they help create interesting textures.

I tried embossing euros on to copper sheets, I quickly realise that euros don’t work as well as pennies, well I never! Could it be that the pounds are better than the euros? Or maybe euros get used more so the markings are less embossed as they are worn out.

I could go on experimenting with this exercise as there is so many more materials that I could explore. I would normally go on but at this point I don’t think this method works for me as it is causing me to much pain to my hands and this is only going to set me back. So I have decided to move on to the next part of this course.

It’s not been in vane though as I have learnt that I can cut cans and use the metal in a similar way to how I used the copper sheets; this will not only help me be more resourceful and recycle materials that would normally be thrown away but it will also be more pocket friendly. I have also enjoyed cutting milk bottles and realising that these can be embossed to exiting outcomes. If I collect more milk bottles I might experiment with this further. What happens if I join a few of the milk bottle samples? create a structure or a bigger piece? Maybe a patch work piece? these are questions that have arisen from experimenting in this exercise.