Couture Creations GoPress & Foil Machine - Long Post
I have had a lot of fun at the weekend working very hard with this foiling machine, so I can let you know how I feel about it. Actually, it was a lot of fun and I can honestly say it has been easy to use and given wonderful results with the things I have tried so far.
Here are a number of things I have found out using my GoPress & Foil and my Sizzix Big Shot.
The GoPress & Foil is small enough to sit comfortably on most tables at 34cm long x 17cm wide. It is 6cm high and weighs just over 1kg. It has two suction cup type feet on the bottom to keep it in place and I found it to be very stable.
It has a lid!! After using the GoPress & Foil I can honestly say that having a lid really made a difference especially when you are adding shims or embossing folders or layers and when moving it from the GoPress & Foil to your die cutting machine.
I had mine on for quite a few hours while I was experimenting and found that the initial heat up took a few minutes, however as long as you don't leave it for more than about 30mins re-heating is quite quick. It senses the heat somehow and as soon as you add extra layers or new dies, foil etc it starts to flash a red light and starts to heat. As soon as it has reached optimum heat the light turns green and you are ready to remove the platform. There were a few times I got a little distracted doing something else while using it however, it never got too hot and never did any damage to dies, cards, embossing folders or itself.
I cannot emphasise too much how important it is to experiment with the GoPress & Foil and YOUR die cutting machine. It will work in most die cutting machines with a 2.5cm gap between the rollers. This does not include Crafters Companion Gemini that has a propriety gap that is less than that.
There are so many factors that affect how your machine will work with the foiling, but my suggestion is to start by using the instructions in the well written manual and if necessary, add shims of card of various weights, one at a time, until you get the best results you can. Start with small things so you aren't wasting foil.
PLEASE NOTE: At no time did I use paper. I used card between 160gsm and 250gsm for foiling, embossing folders and ordinary dies which obviously affects the amount of pressure you produce when putting it through your die cutting machine. Always make sure that the plates are aligned properly on your die cutting machine and the GoPress & Foil. Never force things that don't move easily through the rollers. You will be surprised at how little pressure you need to foil perfectly. Too much pressure will cause foil to be put in places you do not want it to be.
I started by using the Hot Foil Stamps on 175gsm card and found that I didn't need a shim to get a perfect image. Just for the sake of experimenting, I added a shim and found that I got stray foil on the card. I used a Sand Eraser that removed the excess foil easily and left no marks on the card. The images from left to right are hot foil stamp, using the waste from the previous image, using distress ink over the hot foiled stamp as the foil creates a resist, hot foil stamp with pigment ink not foiled.
The next thing I really wanted to try was foiling with embossing folders. This took a little time for me to get right but in the end, I found that with 170gsm card and standard thickness embossing folders (I didn’t try any of the double sided or 3d embossing folders) I got the best results when using the thin metal shim by Couture Creations and three 200gsm shims. I got even coverage and no stray foil. Left image, embossing folder foiled, right image using distress ink after the folder was foiled as the foiling creates a resist.
I then went onto using a die cut. I used 250gsm card with the side I wanted to foil on facing me, I added the foil, coloured side up, the die with the flat side against the foil then the metal shim so the cutting edge was against the metal shim and added one 200gsm shim. Once it was all heated properly, I put it through the die cutting machine. Do remember to go very slowly. I removed the foil, turned the die over and aligned it with the card with the cutting edge down. I found this easy to do as the card had also been debossed and the die just slipped into the debossed, foiled shape. This meant that with the die I was using the cutting edge was in the middle of the foiled edges. Then I die cut it as I would any other die using my die cutting machine and plates, not the GoPress & Foil. The benefit of foiling the flat edge first is that you get the inner edge of the die foiled and the outer edge, so you have both a foiled die cut and a frame. This was just a simple square frame but you can see the left hand image is the part you would normally use and the right hand image is the part that often gets thrown away.
Here are three cards made using the above techniques. The left hand card uses the foiled embossing folder, hot foil stamp greeting and surrounding the greeting a hot foiled die cut. The middle image uses a foiled embossing folder surrounding the greeting and hot foiled stamp greeting. The Christmas card just uses a foiled die cut from red metallic card behind the Happy Christmas greeting.
That's all for now, I am off to try some of the other techniques, hope you find this useful.