This is the Anni Arts blog dedicated to printable crafts. I want to share my passion with you and pass on tips, ideas, photos and articles for inspiring printables. I will also post articles about other crafts, folk art, design and art, as well as updates on many products that feature the Anni Arts designs.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A History of Printed Scraps
The following article was compiled from the very interesting book below:

Scraps refer to small images that were engraved or lithographically printed and often embossed. They date from the late 1700’s to the 1930’s. They were used on cards, in albums, on fancy boxes and on screens. They were also referred to as chromos and reliefs.

Small black engraved images had long been printed for publication and a variety of other uses. In 1789, black and white lithography was invented. At first the images were reproduced on clumsy lithographic stones. This was followed by the development of steel litho-plates which made large scale printing possible.

An early form of crafting with scraps was the application of these small prints to furniture and boxes for what was called The Art of Japanning. These objects were then lacquered to achieve an oriental gloss effect.
In the early 1800’s stationers and book-sellers sold black and white lithographs as juvenile scrap sheets –also called comic cuts. These black and white scraps were often skillfully coloured by hand and depicted themes like agricultural scenes and trades.

Colour lithography (chromolithography) was developed in 1837. A picture was separated into its constituent colours. A plate was prepared for each colour and high quality prints could have as many as 26 colour separations.
More interesting Vintage Valentine Books

Relief embossing – which produced a 3D effect– was then introduced as a next step. The first presses which worked with counter-balanced swinging weights were later replaced with steam-driven presses.

Before embossing, the artwork was coated with a film of gelatine and gum. Then a die was stamped into the reversed side of the colour-printed sheet, which slightly stretched paper. The gum and gelatine prevented the stretched paper from cracking and also provided a highly glazed sheen. The early chromos were so deeply embossed that they resembled carvings. Some pictures were embossed on a stiff textile called cambric.

A further process used a cutting die to separate the surplus areas around the shape of the image. The die-cut pictures were held together on a sheet with connecting paper ‘ladders.’ Manual labourers had to ensure that all excess paper was neatly removed for a picture with a clean outline.

Later, a frosting of Mica was additionally sprinkled on to the scrap on selected gummed areas for a glitter effect.

Most expensive was the process of finishing the reliefs with gold leaf. This was done between the embossing and cutting processes. A sheet of gold leaf was placed on the surface of the scrap sheet and then heated with a brass die. The lacquer on the scraps were melted and fused the gold leaf onto the relief.

Innovative developments within the printing industry enabled the price of scraps and reliefs to be lowered. The sizes that could be efficiently produced grew from the early small scraps to large beautifully printed reliefs.

There are more articles in the series on the History of Scraps to follow, so visit often.

Dont forget:

Anni Arts has professionally designed and illustrated printable crafts, templates and graphics specially created for crafters by designer Anneke Lipsanen

You may use this artcle as long as the above paragraph with link back to Anni Arts is used. There are more articles for syndication on Anni Arts

Find unique cardmaking kits, templates, scrapbooking, chocwrappers, wedding stationery, favors and ebooks to download and print. There's a super Anni Arts Printable Crafts Club, Licenses for Home Business Crafters and many Freebies for Art Mail Subscribers too. And if you like the designs, but are not a crafter, there are many ready goods and online scrapbooks to order.


TracyM #6773 said...

Howdy from Down Under Anni

Signed up now and exploring your world of wonderful art - it is awesome :o)

Anni said...

Thank you TracyM and Welcome!