This little book gives an account of one of the primitive crafts, in the practice of which only the simplest tools and materials are used. Their method of use may serve as a means of expression for artist-craftsmen, or may be studied in preparation for, or as a guide towards, more elaborate work in printing, of which the main principles may be seen most clearly in their application in the primitive craft.

In these days the need for reference to primitive handicrafts has not ceased with the advent of the machine. The best achievements of hand-work will always be the standards for reference; and on their study must machine craft be based. The machine can only increase the power and scale of the crafts that have already been perfected by hand-work. Their principles, and the art of their design, do not alter under the machine. If the machine disregards these its work becomes base. And it is under the simple conditions of a handicraft that the principles of an art can be most clearly experienced.

The best of all the wonderful and excellent work that is produced to-day by machinery is that which bears evidence in itself of its derivation from arts under the pure conditions of classic craftsmanship, and shows the influence of their study.

The series of which this book is a part stands for the principles and the spirit of the classic examples. To be associated with those fellow-craftsmen who have been privileged to work for the Series is itself an honour of high estimation in the mind of the present writer. If the book contributes even a little toward the usefulness of the series the experiments which are recorded here will have been well worth while.

To my friend Mr. J. D. Batten is due all the credit of the initial work. He began the search for a pure style of colour-printing, and most generously supported and encouraged my own experiments in the Japanese method.

To my old colleague Mr. A. W. Seaby I would also express my indebtedness for his kind help and advice.

F. M. F.

Edinburgh College of Art, 
September 1916.