Embossing – eco-friendly printmaking with Tracey Bush

Ref: S2D32488

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About this course

Create original artworks using eco-friendly processes. Embossed prints can be made from cardboard and gesso collagraph blocks, wire plates and found objects. You will be using two types of hand operated printing press to create your prints.

Course Description

During this two-day course, you will learn how to create a range of embossed and debossed textures on heavy etching paper and Khadi cotton rag paper. All materials used are non-toxic and have a low environmental impact. The two presses used are hand operated.

Your tutor has developed techniques for making collagraph blocks for embossing, using gesso, paper and layered card. This avoids the use of sheet metal or acids, which are expensive and environmentally damaging. You will be guided through the safe use of the two presses (etching and nipping), preparing papers and how to dry the resulting prints.

Embossing can be further enhanced by the use of Chine collé and relief rolled surfaces, both of which will be demonstrated by your tutor.

You should be able to complete several prints in a range of techniques during the two-day course, which can be developed into creative works after the course.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Materials included in the course fee include board, card, paper, wire, heavy etching paper and Khadi paper to cover the set projects by the tutor. The surface treatments will be provided by the tutor to be shared by the group.

What students need to bring

  • A notebook and pen
  • Any interesting paper that you might want to try using in the processes described
  • If you have thin, textured, found items that you wish to try embossing from, please bring them, although you will be advised on their suitability by your tutor.
  • It is useful to bring a portfolio to take away your resulting prints at the end of the course.
  • (Small tools, water tanks and the presses are provided for your use on the course by the tutor and the college. You may need to buy additional papers if you work very quickly, or if you require alternative colours or sizes to those provided by the tutor, as the materials provided will cover a set for each process.)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including small tools and brushes, craft knives, wire, relief inks and rollers, etching papers, bone folders, a range of Khadi papers suitable for embossing
  • Available from tutor:
  • Additional etching papers for use after the course

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no open toes or sandals). Please note, the course involves the use of craft knives, small tools and presses which require a degree of dexterity and strength.


Tracey Bush

Tracey Bush trained as an illustrator, and successfully freelanced for many years. She has produced a series of books, which have been acquired by the Yale Centre for British Art, Tate Britain and the Marvin Sackner Collection of Concrete Poetry. In 2014 Tracey was commissioned to create the large scale 'Ports of the World' butterfly box, which is installed on the P&O cruise ship, Britannia.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.