Thursday 11 March 2021

2021 Topic 3 The Creative Laboratory with ESN {by Autumn Clark}

  2021 Topic 3: The Creative Laboratory with ESN {by Autumn Clark}

It's amazing how you can really push the boat out when you allow yourself time to experiment and try new things. In this post Autumn uses the brand new Sara Naumann stamps and tries various embossing, tinting ideas with a range of papers to experiment with translucence, texture and more!

~ Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Autumn Clark from SewPaperPaint with you today, and I'd like to share a crafty little experiment with embossing thin papers.

I can hardly tell you what led me in this direction, save the great length of time I spent pondering new experiments for this lovely topic.  My mind wandered towards using wax paper and finding ways to wax over paper, and ultimately led me to try my first experiment: embossing a tea bag.

My hypothesis: Embossing thin paper would create a version of wax paper.
My experiment: Embossing sheets of coffee filters, tea bags and dyed tissue paper.

Method: (T
1. Tissue paper stained with Infusions, then stamped, cut and embossed with UTEE
2. Tea Bag embossed with UTEE
3. Tissue stamped with Ochre ink, embossed with Seth Apter Baked Texture in Ancient Amber
4. Tea Bag embossed with Seth Apter Baked Texture in Ancient Beeswax (slightly less shiny than UTEE)
(Bottom left to right)
5. Coffee filter embossed with Seth Apter Baked Texture in Dirty Sands (not transparent)
6. More tissue paper stained with Infusions, then stamped, cut and embossed with UTEE
7. Tea Bag stamped and embossed with sheer pearlescent powder (semi-opaque)
8. More tissue stamped with Ochre ink, overstamped with Charcoal ink, then embossed with Seth Apter Baked Texture in Ancient Amber

My findings in the above project were conclusive with my original hypothesis.  The way to achieve a stampable wax paper was to fully emboss only one side of dyed tissue.  Here I used PaperArtsy Sleight Blue Infusions to tint my tissue.  I stamped one side with blue pigment ink and heat set, then applied embossing ink to the reverse side and clear embossed with regular EP for two layers.  When I turned the paper over, it had become translucent & waxy.  I was smitten!  I added a bit of Dirty Sands EP along the edges to "frame" the design.  You can see here how I used torn layers of my other experiment to complete the collage.  The paper holds its shape well, so you can fold and manipulate corners and they will stay that way.  You can also cut, tear or punch it easily.  Any portions that crack can be reheated like magic!

Immediately I realized the new Sara Naumann stamps would work perfectly with this colors and textures.  I used the shell from PaperArtsy Eclectica {Sara Naumann} Collection (ESN48), layering over larger text book page for another couple of cards.  This one has the Ancient Beeswax embossed tea bag.  For most of the pieces I embossed the front and back over a kraft sheet.  I used the same powder to emboss PaperArtsy Stencil 218 (PS218).  I used circle punches with some of my scraps to make faux buttons.

Playing led me to an alternate experiment.  I dyed a piece of cheesecloth to use for texture in my layered card.  Cloth must be super saturated to allow pigment, in this case more Sleight Blue Infusions, to color it evenly.  Only, I wanted it to dry super quickly!  I had an idea to spread it out onto a book page and see if it would transfer (and dry faster).  I used a piece of tissue on top and brayered to release the ink.  You will see bits of these pieces used throughout my cards.

This one was the Ancient Amber embossed stamped tissue.  The Ochre stamping was lost, though it did leave some organic color.  I will play around with this more using background stamps.  Here I tried to add Infusions between my embossed layers and it only clouded up my embossing, in these colors it mimicked raw honey.  

Above you can see the beautiful translucent effect that is possible.  Below I've added a real pressed gingko leaf to illustrate how you can use this technique to make various pockets.  Though my stamping from PaperArtsy Eclectica {Sara Naumann} Collection (ESN47) was what might be considered a fail, I was able to add the desired detail back in a different way.  Don't give up friends!  Keep experimenting!

For my final card, I embossed with a pearlescent powder.  The result is semi-opaque.  I layered with another embossed piece in a different color, sandwiching a book page between to make the top colors pop.  These thin embossed papers are beautifully stitchable.  I truly enjoyed adding those small details, like the stained cheesecloth peeking out beneath this piece.

Findings: Embossing lightly tinted thin paper such as coffee filters, tea bags or stained tissue results in tearable, stitchable, moldable, punchable, often transparent surfaces to use for stamped projects.  Prestamping the paper embedds images into the glasslike surface.  Reheating the embossing helps resurface if cracks develop.  


This is a technique with unpredictable results.  I encourage you to set aside an hour or more to just play and let your muse lead you.  I preferred the transparent embossing powders, but then again the Dirty Sands gold was the perfect contrast to my very earthy collages.  I wasn't sure if the pieces would be too shiny for my tastes, but in the end I feel that they are shiny in a good way, like mica.  Perhaps you have a completely different variety of embossing powders and will test them out.  I hope you will!  

I will share some videos on my Instagram account (@sewpaperpaint) this week so you can see the shine and dimension more clearly.  We hope this topic has you pondering new ways you can use some of your materials.  Do share with us along the way!  Until next time, Autumn

Blog: SewPaperPaint
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laury55 said...

thanks for sharing your experiments, great results, I should give it a try

Helen said...

what a beautiful set of cards!

Etsuko said...

Fabulous project and try to many textures!! These are great results. xx

Ellie Knol said...

I saved this page as a TO DO page as I want to have an in depth technique hour (s) so I can play with your lab findings. Gorgeous cards... in real 'you' colors.

Stampers Grove said...


Cyndi Landrigan said...

This is totally awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your experiments! I can't wait to try this!!

Miriam said...

Totally fabulous! Great blog post and project Autumn.

Raquel Burillo said...

Those papers are so yummy! And the cards are stunning!! Love them all! 😍😍😍

Sara Naumann said...

Wowza! That's some fantastic artwork, I can't wait to give these techniques a try! x Sara