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Foil Embossing Never Fails: Obscura Workshop Sees Design Flair Aplenty

By Sam Skopp

 

Camera Obscura Art Lab’s current artist-in-residence is Shannon Freshwater, an illustrator who works in collage and assemblage, and teaches at the Art Center College of Design and Cal State Northridge. Saturday Oct. 28, as part of her residency, saw Freshwater hold a workshop on foil embossing. Participants were instructed on how to emboss unique designs into a piece of tin, before using shoe polish to color and age their designs.

“It’s always been something I’ve used in teaching,” explained Freshwater, about her decision to teach foil embossing for this particular workshop. “I started out teaching elementary school kids. It’s an easy technique that always ends up looking good.”

On her own time, Freshwater began foil embossing as more of a hobby, finding it a useful technique to make gifts, like ornaments and magnets, before seeing its potential as a teaching tool. She explained that its practical applications also include home decoration, like ceiling tiles or as a kitchen backsplash.

“It’s kind of a decorative technique, but it can be used too. People make candle holders out of them, for example. It’s really versatile,” Freshwater said.

Her workshop on Saturday included both artists and non-artists alike, as well as new students and those who had attended Freshwaters workshops before. As the workshop participants were creating their designs, Freshwater casually answered technique questions, and explained how they could procure the materials to do it again at home.

“As a class I find that it’s really satisfying, because it’s an instantaneous thing. You don’t have to wait to see results,” said Freshwater.

Her final exhibit will go on display on Nov. 11, and include works created throughout her residency which ends Nov. 15. For more information on Freshwater and upcoming workshops at the Camera Obscura Art Lab, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/1450Ocean.

Photo: Sam Skopp

Freshwater leads the workshop.
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