Aluminum foil printing dates back thousands of years. Before the publication of Gutenberg, this process was done entirely by hand. It used to take a skilled artist, molten gold, and a lot of time to create a gold leaf book. After determining the dimensions of a book, gold leaf is hand-laid over selected areas. The book cover is then placed in a gas-powered hot stamping machine. Fortunately, in the Middle Ages, there wasn't much demand for books.
However, as the availability and demand for books grew, so did the demand for bronzing. Real gold leaf is an expensive material. Bookbinder Ernest Oeser is credited with pioneering the foil printing press. That is a metallic material that can be imprinted on the surface by heating, rather than using real gold. Bronzing is a very special thing. It's a balance of heat, foil, paper, pressure, magnesium, and accuracy. It is both an art and a science.
The process is the intricate interweaving of foil material through a series of rollers. There the pegboard-type boards are heated to temperatures exceeding one hundred degrees. This temperature, combined with the pressure of a closed press, squeezes the foil material between the magnesium sheet (your design) and the paper. The combination of heat and pressure leaves beautiful foil details on the paper.
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