Thursday, 13 October 2016

3D picture of a golden illuminated letter

Gold Illuminated letters by Hilary Milne for Silhouette UK Design Team

I have been looking at examples of Illuminated letters recently, as used in old manuscripts by monks. The detailed work and the gilding can be absolutely beautiful, so that got me thinking about doing something similar with my Silhouette.

An illumination is an embellishment, or additional decoration that enhances the pages of a written, or manuscript page. The term, Illumination comes from the term Illuminate, or to fill with light. This effect is achieved with the application of gold leaf to the letters and images, which reflect light and appear to glow.

The tutorial that follows I would class as advanced, not because the techniques are hard, but it is a little complicated! I will try to be as clear as possible.

Silhouette Cameo
Colour printer
Font Times New Roman
Ikea Ribba 25 x 25 cm frame,with 12 x 12 cm centre, or a similar frame
Gold mirror card
Background paper of your choice
Silhouette double adhesive
Gold foil (available on Ebay or Amazon)
Damask pattern by Rivka Williams #39099

Preparing the frame:
Cut a square of background paper to go behind the mount. I used a fairly neutral background with a slight pattern from my stash. My gold mirror card was not quite wide enough to cover all the mounting board so I simply made it as wide as I could and cut a 12.5 x 12.5 cm square from the centre with my Cameo. I stuck the background to the back of the mount and the gold mirror card to the front.

Preparing the letters:
I wanted to do something Peacock inspired, so using the Text tool I typed a "P" and selected the classic Times New Roman for the font. The topmost letter I will call layer one, going down to layer four that is next the background.
  • Layer one was sized 15 x 7.5 cm. Select layer one and make an outer offset of 0.25. This is layer two. Move layer two to the side. 
  • With layer two selected, do the same again. Make an outer offset of 0.25. This is layer three. Move layer three to the side. 
  • With layer three selected, do the same again. Make an outer offset of 0.25. This is layer four. Move layer four to the side. 
Layer 1 - Pattern layer
* Select layer one and make an offset of 0.2. 
N.B. If you are going to use a pattern or colour fill, it is a good idea to apply the pattern to the offset so that if the Cameo miss-cuts just a fraction, you don't see white card. See below where I failed to do this. The first two letters are imperfect and have an annoying white area at some of the cuts. The third letter cut well, but time and supplies were wasted.

Selecting the Offset shape, fill it with the damask pattern which is black and white. With the outer shape still selected, go to Shader effects/Tint. Play with the sliders to see what colours you can achieve. As I was using some royal blue Guinea fowl feathers, I made my letter a royal blue by selecting Red -100 Green -57 Blue 0.

Now importantly, you do not want this "outer letter" to cut, so select No cut for it. Check that the "inner" letter still has a Cut line!

Layers 2 & 3 - coloured layers
Repeat these steps from * for letter layers two and three that you made in "Preparing the letters". Instead of filling with a pattern, simply fill with a colour of your choice. I used a purple and a teal. Notice that each layer is slightly bigger if you have cut everything correctly.

Layer 4 - Gold layer
I cut layer four from white card stock and then cut the same shape from Silhouette double adhesive. Peeling off one layer from the double sided adhesive, I stuck it to the front of the layer four letter. I then placed the sticky side down on the foil and rubbed hard on both the back and the front of the letter to get good foil adhesion. It worked really well!

Constructing the 3D letter.
Cut and stick sticky foam pads to the back of the thinnest letter and carefully stick layer one to layer two. Do the same for all four layers, sticking the final gold layer onto the background of your picture.

This is the fun part, and totally up to you. I was determined to use up some bits and bobs that have been hanging around for ages, so I stuck on some beautifully coloured Guinea fowl feathers, made some swirls from coloured craft wire and stuck them on with my glue gun. Some sticky gems finished the bling. I am so pleased with how this turned out. I hope you have fun with it too!
Gold Illuminated letters by Hilary Milne for Silhouette UK Design Team


1 comment: