Metal Embossing – Horse face

Materials needed
A metal sheet- 3mm
Carving tools- 2 (or alternatively you could use a sharp screw driver set ?small)
Anti-rust paint
Plywood ? the size of your picture
Paint brush
Paint thinner

Keep ready a  picture that you want to emboss.   Cut the plywood to the size of the picture giving 5-10 inches on all sides to centre it.  Cut the metal sheet 2-3 inches larger than the plywood so that it can be wrapped around the plywood when done.
Tape the picture to the metal sheet and applying force draw with a ball point pen over the trace so that the impression of the design comes out on the metal sheet prominently. Remove the picture when done. 

With the carving designer tool, carve all the outlines of the picture.  (The tool is to be held in the palm,  the thumb and the index finger is to be kept on the carving stick as though you are holding a pencil, and press over the traced line,  turning the wrist to the right and left during each press, so that a designed zig zag kind of a border is drawn. This needs a little practice, so you could practice on a small piece of metal earlier before proceeding with the final carving).

Carving tools

When the outlines have been carved, turn the metal sheet upside down and press the sheet inside of the outline in an outward motion with the wooden ball of the carving tool. (Alternatively a wooden spoon can be used).  This will ensure that the picture is slightly projecting forward (embossed) on the sheet.
Now wrap the sheet around the plywood so that the metal sheet is tightly fixed. With the hammer edge, gently hammer dents in the sheet all around the carved picture.  Take care that no dents are made on the embossed carved picture.    When done ? the hammered dents will firm with the plywood and the picture stays embossed or projected giving it an embossed look.

Screw driver set (alternative carving tools)

The shading of the horse is done completely with anti-rust paint; which you can get from any garage or hardware store.   To get a dark brown hue use undiluted anti rust and to get a lighter shade dilute it with thinner.  When lightened the anti-rust takes a golden hue.    Shade the hammered area with dark and light shades to enhance the embossing. 
If desired the picture can be framed.

Metal Sheet

Anti-rust paint, hammer and carving tools


Author: Judith Serrao- UAE