Foil Blocking Workshop – London Centre for Book Arts

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Mmm, shiny.

Last year I popped across town to London Centre for Book Arts in Hackney Wick, for a foil blocking workshop. It is Disneyland for print and stationery lovers.

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog
Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

 

Foil blocking (also known as hot foiling, among other terms) is a similar printing process to letterpress; but uses heat to apply foil and film to paper, leaving a rather spectacularly rich, often shiny, deep impression. There is no ink, making this a “dry” printing process.

 

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

 

The LCBA foil blocking workshop is only two hours long and is just enough time for a little bit of history, some prep of materials (gluing fabric to card as you would for bookbinding), and a full tutorial around two presses.

 

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

8×5 Blockmaster Foil Blocking Press

 

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

J.T Marshall Foil Blocking Press

 

These presses need to reach a temperature of between 95-120°c (depending on the material you’re printing) in order to “activate” a pigment in the foil, and cause it to peel from it’s backing and stick to the print surface.

As it’s just a short class, there wasn’t time for us to compose our own message to print, but we had a few magnesium plates (pre-made messages and pictures) to play around with. This was fine as it meant most of our time was spent being hands on with the presses and refining our technique. It’s a small class (7 or 8 max, I believe) so you get plenty of chances to have a go, and try different foils.

 

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

 

I, of course, surprised everyone by going for yellow everything.

 

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

 

For £35 not only do you come away with a few foil blocked post cards, a print out of info and resources, but the workshop means you are then able to use the presses for your own work if you sign up for membership.

The next workshops are on February 25th and March 17th, and there are still tickets available.

 

Foil Blocking Workshop - Inky Collective Blog

Jen Wright

Jen Wright

Letterpress printer, maker and freelance writer. I blog about the people and things that inspire me, in the hope that I will inspire you.
Jen Wright

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So, what do you think?