If any more than 1/8 (possibly a little more) of the chase is required to make impression in a solid print area), its difficult to get a good uniform impression, and you can forget about deep impressions.
So there go those designs - never mind, I will keep the plates and use when I have a larger press (ha!) or get the wonderful Phil to print them. I need to modify them, and get more plates made.
"For a Pearl #3, I am throwing out for discussion that an image area 1/8 of the chase size is probably closer to the ideal maximum. So, for a 7 X 11 press, which is 77 square inches, the ideal maximum would be 1/8 of that or 9.625 square inches. This would mean for example, that you could print one solid just over 3 X 3 inches, or that you could print a whole page of text, as long as the total image area of the type was not over 9.625 square inches."(thanks to Pearlrestor list serve)
As seen below; The text will print ok and the trees from the first design, but not the hounds tooth, wood or damask. (see below)
I am also experimenting with a press mat which is a thin (2mm) rubber mat that goes directly onto the platen and is then covered with a few sheets of plain photocopy paper and then the tympan sheet. as suggested by a member of Ladies of Letterpress.
The press mat allows you greater impression but the downside is I have had to re level the platen to accommodate for the thicker bed. Leveling the platen is giving me grief. but that all part of the fun...isn't it?...