This afternoon I created embossed designs on heavy watercolor paper with the press. The results were very good, but I'll have to figure out a way to photograph the work so it shows up. The scanner doesn't do very well when it's "seeing" just white paper with indentations in it.
The paper I used is some that I've had stored away for a long time. It is Arches watercolor paper and I'm guessing it is probably 300lb weight cold-press. This paper is heavy enough to take some real serious pressure under the press, but at the end of the session I wondered if a lighter weight and less textured paper might give even better results (and possibly with less pressure under the press.) The paper soaked in a tray of water for at least an hour before I used it.
I used scraps of mat-board (standard thickness) to make the raised areas of the designs. This works well enough but, as the printing process gradually compresses the mat-board pieces, there is a limit to the number of top quality embossings any one design can produce. In addition to the mat-board, I used some pennies.
There are plenty of other materials that can be used for the embossing - lots of other materials. And not only for embossing, but printing too. When I prepared dinner this evening, I noticed the styro-foam tray the pork steaks were packaged in has an interesting pattern on the bottom. Hmm. Maybe that tray can be inked and printed. I opened a jar of sauerkraut and thought, hmm, maybe the lid can be used for embossing. And on and on. So many potential objects - I will be counting them instead of sheep when I go to bed.