Side project – embossed map, photographed

One of my niggling obsessions is adding physical texture to images. I have worked with die-cutting and embossing photographs, the degree of success obtained with embossing depends on the type of paper that the photograph is on; sometimes I find the paper sliced through rather than embossed. There is much still to do, especially with instant photographs and I am diverging slightly into using the technique with other papers to see what is possible, and to try out different ways of mounting prints or making collage.

Anaglypta-tastic, but you can see through!
Better light, random stain, can see through.
Image of the reverse, slightly processed.
Image of the reverse, slightly processed.

These pictures are using a corner of an old map, printed on both sides, which I embossed with a fleur de lys-ish pattern. Things that I like about it:

  • adding texture to a map that has contour lines (seriously, how cool?)
  • the way the pattern stands proud on one side and is in relief on the other
  • it somehow gives more to look at, and the photographs highlight elements that I just didn’t notice on the original, like those tiny blue ink markings
  • if you get the light right you can see the front and back printing at the same time
  • it is ridiculously tactile, I just want to touch it
  • it brings a regular pattern to an irregular map
  • it reminds me of Anaglypta wall-paper, the way I could read a room with my fingertips

Thank you to Clare for the corner of the map and for making the creative space available.

Next up:

  • I’ve ordered a photobook that contains blank pages for die-cutting, will try it in the machine when it gets here.
  • Also embossing some pages
  • embossing photos of different types and recording the results.
  • look in charity shops for old maps and atlases. Possibly for books that can be die-cut too.
  • It works well with light – lampshade? Lightbox?








3 thoughts on “Side project – embossed map, photographed

  1. Photobooth Journal March 19, 2017 / 12:16 am

    I like this effect, too. Have you looked into customising the embossing sheet? I’m thinking the machine uses plastic forms.Could be very exciting if you were designing your own.


    • Kate March 19, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      I’ve been wondering about using other forms such as lace, coins, string… there’s a lot of potential! I suspect that using a 3d printer to make custom embossing folders would be a possibility too. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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