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