I hope I can articulate the depth of knowledge and inspiration that is contained in this book. The audience is printers and artists who print on either paper or fabric or anything else. I've read the book probably three times cover to cover and countless times I have gone back to specific pages or images. While Val Holmes primarily speaks of printing on paper she writes and creates her own art onto many mediums. The difference between this book and many others is that this book focuses on the plate....that which is created in myriad ways and then printed. The printing is goes far beyond brayers, etc. although she devotes time to household items to apply pressure to create the prints but also talks about etching presses (the queen of printing), and includes how to make a simple press (depends on your perspective as to the simpleness of the process), screw-down hand press (also with instructions on how to make which is doable for the general audience) and flower presses (also with instructions for macho press - not a child's flower press and is very easy to make) and if all else fails you can always use your car as a press! There is a chart on page 31 that rates the effectiveness of each of these methods on various types of material. You know you have arrived at the mother ship of information by the time you get this far and the chart sets you up for the rest of the book. The author is European. I only mention that because the vernacular is a bit different than ours, but not to worry, she's very clear in her descriptions and she has a glossary in the back which I found helpful. This book is so beyond slapping a little paint, dye, whatever onto a plate and running over it with a brayer for the printing process it is absolutely mind boggling.
Caveat - I have done some printing but I'm not terribly experienced so some of my enthusiasm might be caused by my naiveté. If you have a lot of experience or have a degree in printing I dare say there is a thing or two for you here, too. There is a wonderful section on how to use one color for the valleys (impressions) and another color for the relief areas that allows you to print two colors simultaneously, unlike silk screening. Further, once you have your prints there is much info regarding the embellishment of the print such as stitching, felting, etc. I can hardly wait to begin playing with many of her ideas and have asked my husband to make a flower/leaf/print press. I have room for that!