I only carved around the letters and didn't clear the whole block. I cut a stencil from Yupo (synthetic paper) to keep ink off the unwanted areas. I made other stencils to isolate individual words for printing.
I tried proofing on some paper that I made recently, but the paper had too much texture to print consistently, so I decided to calendar it. The proper way to calendar paper is with a metal plate and lots of pressure on the press, but I used plexi-glass and it worked fine, though I couldn't have the pressure so high it would crack the plate. Here is a piece of handmade paper going through the press to flatten out some of the texture and ready for printing.