For once, I had some idea what I was going to do and was prepared to put in the fiddly hours removing intricate little bits of paper, then more because it wasn't deep enough, then cussing because all the little leftover bits of top surface wanted to fall off. I allowed any number of branches on trees to remain uncut, because of the miniscule confetti it would leave behind clinging (or rather not clinging) to the surface. We then coated the plates several times with shellac dissolved (dissolved? Is that right? That's what I'm assuming for now) in meths. I thought I had got used to the appalling stink of meths, but it turns out I haven't - I hate it.
The annoying possibility is that all those same little bits will desert the plate as soon as I ink it up. I have probably ignored all of the helpful advice we were given as to how to produce a viable plate, but once I'd decided my design and seen that it would look good, I couldn't bear to change it. And I do like it - I'm going to feel pleased now because it's liable to be short-lived. So bearing in mind that everything might go horribly wrong next week, here's the plate as it is at the moment.