Design and screenprint with natural dyes on paper with Lara Mantell


Ref: S1D11231

Join waiting list

Course full - scroll down for other

About this course

Explore screen-printing onto paper with natural dye. Make inks from leaves, flowers, roots and shoots; using kitchen bio-waste, found and foraged plants. Design with cut-paper stencils, and print layers of pattern and beautiful sustainable colour.

Course Description

Explore screen printing onto paper using natural dyes to make rich and colourful designs.
This course is a creative and practical interpretation of traditional craft techniques. Initially you will learn how to make botanical print pastes; focusing on ecologically sourced indigenous and bio-waste plant materials. These pastes, enriched by natural dye extracts, allow for vibrant or subtle prints.  You will discover the excitement of printing with colour modifiers, and use them to enhance and transform designs.

The tutor will show examples of work that demonstrate the design process and her passion for colour, pattern and drawing.  After an introductory session, where the techniques of printing and making cut paper stencils are explained, you will start on your own work with the guidance of the tutor.

Through a series of playful studies you will explore design ideas, producing complex patterns by over-printing colour and imagery. You can expect to achieve at least one finished multi-layered print, together with some experimental research work.

You are invited to bring visual references for inspiration, or alternatively encouraged to explore the decorative features of the architecture and gardens at West Dean College.

The course is structured to be suitable for those who are beginners to print, as well as those with more experience wanting to widen their knowledge and update their skills using natural dyes.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


The tutor will supply some of the materials including:
Cornstarch for thickening,
Kitchen bio-waste for print colours (e.g; onion skins, avocado pits, red cabbage, pomegrate rind, carrot tops, turmeric peel)
Selection of dried natural dye roots/leaves/flowers to make colours from (e.g. weld, madder)
Natutral dye extracts (logwood and chlorophyllin)
Colour modifiers; citric acid, bicarbonate of soda, ferroius sulphate, alum.

The College will supply some additional materials including: Newsprint (5 sheets), Khadi paper (1 sheet), Somerset satin paper (2 sheets) and masking tape.

What students need to bring

An inspiring piece of visual research material in the form of a sketchbook, drawing, postcard, piece of fabric.
Any extra paper you may wish to print on (white, 300g or heavier)
Marigold gloves, an apron, and wear old clothes.
A general art kit including pencils, brushes, scissors, craft knife or scalpel, ruler, sellotape etc.
Any items listed below

Available to buy

Available from shop:
General art materials such as pencils, rulers, rubbers, brushes, sellotape, masking tape, scalpel, craft knife, scissors.
Paper (heavy weight 220 – 300gms smooth surface) and newsprint

Please note that some of the dye materials and equipment used on this course may not be suitable for those with nut allergies or sensitivity to dye plant materials.


Lara Mantell

Lara studied textiles in Brighton, and is an inspirational, creative print designer. She has sold work to major fashion brands, printed scarfs and hangings, and exhibited her intricate fabric designs. Lara paints, researches sustainability, and collaborates on artistic projects. She is an experienced and accomplished drawing and fabric design tutor.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.