Bookbinding and paper marbling

Creative papermaking with natural colours with Jane Ponsford

Ref: S3D08921

Suitable for all


About this course

Explore colour in papermaking using natural dyes and pigments including some from the gardens at West Dean. Use traditional papermaking techniques with cotton pulp, and other accessible methods, then dye and stain your papers, to make simple books or hand-made paper artworks.

Course Description

Artist and papermaker, Jane Ponsford will lead an exploration colour in papermaking using natural dyes and pigments including some from the beautiful gardens at West Dean. After an initial practical session running through traditional papermaking techniques we will take a short walk to draw inspiration and materials from the gardens.

The course will be taught by means of demonstrations and practical work as well as individual attention to support your project. There will be information and handouts to allow you to take these skills further independently after the course. We will make paper traditionally using a Hollander beater and professional equipment making and using cotton pulp to form sheets but will also explore more easily accessible techniques before experimenting with dyeing and dip-dyeing and making natural inks to mark and stain our paper.

At the end of the course you will have made some beautiful zig-zag books and other two- and three- dimensional handmade paper artworks. You will have experimented with papermaking and making and using natural dyes using a range of techniques and you will have gained and built upon skills to take further in your own work.

This course is suitable particularly for those with an interest in papermaking and fibre crafts.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • General materials, thread, string, wire, natural dyestuffs, natural inks, use of papermaking and dye equipment and moulds and deckles, felts, and a pack of J type cloths per student, cotton pulp, cotton linters for pulping and a materials / methods booklet.
  • If you are contemplating extremely large work in size and quantity then expect to pay extra if requested by the tutor. All other or additional materials will be purchased individually.

What students need to bring

  • Please think about colours and textures found in the natural landscape, for instance the colour and texture of bark or leaves and flowers. It would be useful if you brought a sketchbook or notebook.
  • We will be working with wet material and with inks and dyes so be prepared with older clothing/rubber gloves/an apron.
  • A camera might be useful
  • We'll be taking short walks in the garden so please have suitable footwear

Available to buy

  • Scissors / scalpels / craft knife
  • Pencils / sketchbooks
  • Paper including handmade paper
  • Muslin
  • Thread
  • Extra bags of pulped cotton or sheets of cotton linters for large work can be purchased at cost price from the tutor (as a guideline £3.50 per pack of cotton linters / bag of pulp).


Jane Ponsford

Jane is an experienced tutor who teaches papermaking workshops in a variety of settings from museums and galleries to schools and in the landscape. Recently she has run workshops for Stroud International Textiles and The British Museum. She is a member of IAPMA and has exhibited nationally and internationally.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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