I have mentioned on several occasions throughout my posts of my ambition to learn the techniques of paper piercing and the dry embossing of paper, well not quite there yet or at least not pleased enough yet with any of my own work to include it in any new Pages from the Heart designs or even show them to you here, but what I will show you is what I wish to aspire too. Paper piercing and dry embossing of paper are individual paper crafts that produce beautiful and decorative pieces when individually used but when combined in the art of parchment craft they are truly outstanding and it is this technique that I am currently teaching myself .
Parchment craft as mentioned above is more or less a combination of paper piercing and dry paper embossing performed on a special kind of paper called you guessed it parchment paper Parchment paper is is a specially made craft paper commonly referred to as Pergamano paper (this is actually a brand name but is used interchangeably with the term parchment paper) it is transparent, very strong, and can be embossed and perforated the paper is translucent and looks kind of pearl gray until it is dry embossed, and it becomes an opaque white. Also at least in my opinion is fairly expensive as it costs roughly $5 to $8 for 10 or 12 sheets it is not the same as parchment paper used in the kitchen but has more the look of grease proof paper or velum both of which can be used to practice on when you are learning. In addition to the dry embossing, and perforating techniques there are various paint and stamp/ink mediums that can be used to make a very beautiful and elegant looking piece of artwork. Pergamano or parchment craft can be used to make cards,gift boxes and bags , bookmarks, , lamp shades, and even authentic looking flowers.
Parchment craft is thought to date back to at least the 16th century Europe and is mostly associated with Catholic nuns and monks who would use the lacy paper technique to decorate commemorative cards for holy communion and confirmation After the 16th century, parchment craft became popular in South America as European missionaries arrived there.
Paper piercing is an old craft that was practiced in Europe during the 17th century mainly in England and Germany it was thought to have been an offshoot of embroidery punching designs in paper became a popular pastime.
Later in the 19th century the practices of punching or piercing and cutting paper were combined. The cut sections were poked through to give a 3 D effect sometimes the designs were painted. By the end of the 19th century the craft was dieing out in Europe, but for some reason it resurfaced in America in New England in the 1930′s, where it is still quite popular even today . Paper piercing can be a very simple technique as demonstrated on these paper lanterns.
Paper piercing or Pin Pricking as it is sometimes called is a simple paper crafting embellishment , the art of piercing holes in paper with a needle different effects can be achieved by piercing part of the design on the front and part of the design on the back of the selected paper .
when combined with other more elaborate techniques are employed with it it can be quite breath taking
Dry embossing, also known as relief embossing, is done by tracing some form of stencil with a tool, called a stylus. The result is a raised pattern on the object you are embossing. The smaller the embossing tip of the stylus , the greater the chance it will rip into the paper. So use the largest possible stylus tip for your design.Your hand pressure is also a factor: use a less pressure with a small stylus .
normally for dry embossing you would use a light box to help you with the project a light box is a back-lit frame with a translucent surface of either plastic or glass used to allow the passage of light through an image for the purpose of tracing used by paper embossers to view the stencil lines under neath the sheet of paperthey are working on .
But before you rush out and buy a light box and embossing styli you might like to try dry embossing with things you already have at home.
Rather than buying a light box, on a bright day you can use a window , just tape (using masking tape so it doesn’t make a gluey mess on your windows ) place your embossing stencil or design on the window. this means working vertically and probably standing up. Or if you have as I have a glass topped table place a table lamp beneath it and view your design this way. As a make shift stylus you use an empty byro or stiff dried out marker what also works really well look at your old wooden coat hangers you will find many that have a tiny metal ball at the hook end so you don’t snag your clothes remove and straighten this metal portion makes great stylus. Fond any simple black and white line drawing
Stick it to the table top or window place a piece of card stock not paper ,paper is too thin . Trace around all of the dark lines you now have your first dry embossed paper project there are various decorative techniques that can be applied to it such as gold leaf or chalk or dry brushing with paint