Bookbinding and paper marbling

Experimental papermaking with Jane Ponsford

Ref: S3D09816

Suitable for all


Course cancelled - scroll down for other

About this course

Explore colour and form in papermaking using thread, wire, natural dyes and materials. Use traditional papermaking techniques with cotton pulp and other methods, to make hand-made paper artworks.

Course Description

Artist and papermaker, Jane Ponsford will lead you in an exploration of colour and form in papermaking using natural dyes and materials including some from the beautiful West Dean Gardens.

After an initial practical session running through basic Western papermaking techniques using cotton and other pulps to form sheets, you will move on to marking, embossing paper and thinking about how this alters the structure of the paper. Over the following days you will respond to this to develop more work, experimenting with incorporating natural inclusions, thread or wires and joining, layering and collaging paper. Referring back to the pieces made in the first session, you will investigate working with dyed pulps and pigments to overlay marks. You will also think about how drying and pressing the paper can alter it, which can be used in a creative way to enhance the structure and shape of the paper.

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. You will explore easily accessible and experimental techniques.

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

At the end of the course you will have made a series of beautiful handmade three-dimensional paper artworks. You will have experimented with making and dyeing pulps and casting (couching) sheets of paper using a range of techniques including laminating, embossing, pressing, building in insertions and you will have gained and built upon skills to take further in your own work.


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 will be taking short walks in the garden so please bring suitable footwear

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Scissors / scalpels / craft knife
  • Pencils / sketchbooks
  • Paper including handmade paper
  • Muslin and thread
  • Available from tutor:
  • 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).

"The course was very professionally run.  We were treated as equals and professionals.  We were set tasks to acquire skills and then encouraged to experiment freely but not without some focus on our ultimate personal goals.  Due time was given to the display and presentation of the work or experiments produced which further enhanced the feeling of professional endeavour."

Fiona, 2019


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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