Bookbinding and paper marbling

Papermaking unearthed – artworks informed by landscape with Jane Ponsford

Ref: S4D09462

Suitable for all

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About this course

Explore the landscape through papermaking using natural dyes, iron, clay and chalk. Develop your skills and use traditional and experimental papermaking techniques to make beautiful artworks and bookforms inspired and coloured by the earth.

Course Description

In this enjoyable course we aim to investigate the creative possibilities of papermaking using colours from the landscape as our starting point, both in terms of raw material as well as inspiration. We will be incorporating colour using dyed pulps, plant and bark dyes, iron, clay and chalk. After an initial practical workshop session during the first evening in which we run through traditional Western papermaking techniques using molds and deckles with cotton rag pulp, we will begin to experiment with making and using coloured pulps and working with other fibres to form sheets and casting paper into three-dimensional forms before moving on to incorporate inclusions and foraged materials in response the the beautiful local landscape and gardens of West Dean.

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 be making paper traditionally using a Hollander Beater and professional equipment but will also explore both more easily accessible and more experimental techniques. The core teaching hours are 9.15 - 5pm though by arrangement students can use the workshop after dinner.

By the end of the course you will have experimented with making and colouring pulps, dip-dyeing sheets of paper, casting (couching) sheets of paper using a range of techniques including laminating, embossing, pressing and building in insertions and you will have gained and build upon skills which you will be able to take further in your own work.

Materials Week: Earth Matters

This course is part of a themed week, Earth Matters. This set of six courses explore sustainable, natural or re-purposed materials, ranging from raw materials, local clays, natural pigments, foraged dye sources and eco-jewellery. The courses start on Sunday evening and finish on Thursday afternoon. You are encouraged to engage with those on other courses.

On Monday evening, tutors will each give a short illustrated presentation on their practice, 5.15-6.30 pm and on Wednesday morning, 9.00-10.30 am, will be a swapover session where you can sign up to a different course subject and explore a different material or technique.


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


  • On this course the tutor will supply most of the materials including pulp made from cotton rag and other fibres, pigments and dyestuffs, thread and wire.

What students need to bring

  • A sketchbook and / or notebook
  • Pencils, pens, old brushes
  • An apron
  • Rubber gloves or similar
  • It might be useful if for you to bring some natural materials which are local to you, as an individual starting point for example, twigs, found clay or charcoal etc. and to think about what your own local landscape might provide.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Handmade paper sheets
  • Inks
  • Glue
  • Available from tutor:
  • Dry prepared pulp will be available if you would like to buy supplies at the end of the course for future use or if you are making extremely large-scale work during the course.


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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