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Feb 13th 2024

An example of a detailed embossed copper sheet image, photo taken by Ad Mesken[3].

What is embossing?

According to Wikipedia, the term refers to several techniques for creating a raised pattern on a material. Often embossing is used on paper for official documentation, that typically contain a seal, but can also be used for creating aesthetically pleasing designs on different types of materials. The designs add dimension to an art piece that would otherwise be flat if it were just a painting or drawing [1].

Copper, especially in the form of a sheet, is a malleable material that can be shaped through embossing. While not required (but it does it make it easier), a mold can be used as a template to form detailed shapes by pressing the sheet into the mold and gradually sculpting the sheet until it forms to it. When the desired detail and shape is achieved, you have yourself an embossed sheet of copper, sculpted, to the desired shape.

How this is achieved without tearing the copper has a lot to do with the properties of the metal as a crystalline structure. Without going into extensive detail, the reason why copper is a great material for embossing is because the atomic structure rearranges itself by redistributing the atoms whenever the copper is re-positioned. The latice structure of the atoms when moved retain its integrity. This makes copper well suited for bending or embossing especially as a sheet.

The YouTube channel AlphaPhoenix provides a great video on embossing techniques and why copper, with its crystalline structure, is well suited to be flexible [2].

Why emboss?

Well, without a doubt, the science behind embossing is interesting but what is more interesting is what can be created with this technique. Not only does it open up the opportunities to expand creativity but you can literally add dimension to art that would otherwise fall flat.

For more information of how you can acquire sheets of copper, cut to your desired size and shape, to start your your next project, for business or some creative endeavor (ie a gift for Valentines Day), visit us on location at 47 Nauset St. in New Bedford, MA or 

Call +1-508-999-6257 or  fill out the form!

Happy Valentine's Day from your friends and family at General Supply and Metals, Inc. 

General Supply and Metals, Inc. is a industrial hardware, supplies, and materials distributor for infrastructure projects, machine and maintenance shops, engineered products, built homes, DIY/hobbyist, and more. We can custom cut and design using the latest in CAD, sheers, saws, plasma, flame, and water jet technologies.

Disclaimer: Copyrighted and trademarked materials shown are for demonstration purposes only to show detail and capabilities. In this instance, examples are provided to show what people can do with copper sheet metal. References available below.


[1]: Embossing

[2]: Why are metals so stretchy?

[3]: Malle Renesse embossed copper.JPG Ad Meskens from Wikimedia