Creative papermaking – translucency and light with Lucy Baxandall

Bookbinding and paper marbling

Ref: SLW11349

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About this course

Explore the beauty and versatility of thin, translucent papers made from kozo (mulberry) and abaca fibres. You will make your own paper and use it to experiment with making both two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms.

Course Description

The first aim of this course is to familiarise yourself with the special properties of translucent paper and the fibres used to make it. Kozo and Abaca are two fibres that will be used. Kozo is the inner bark of the paper mulberry, used in the making of traditional Japanese washi paper. Abaca is a type of banana plant native to the Philippines, which when processed in a certain way can be used very thinly while maintaining its strength. You will learn about processing these fibres on the first evening of the course. Various processes will be used to affect the final appearance of the papers, including watermarking. You will learn about the additives used to facilitate making very thin sheets.

Having learned or refined the skills needed to process the fibres and form sheets, you will then be able to work experimentally with demonstrations and guidance from the tutor. You will make two- and three-dimensional forms using structural frameworks made from other materials (wood, bamboo, metal). You will also make decorative elements within the paper (plants, textiles, other papers). You will work with both wet and dry papers, taking advantage of the papers’ special shrinking properties where appropriate, and learn to use suitable adhesives to create the more sculptural pieces. You will be encouraged to consider the interplay between paper and light, both natural and artificial, in the course of your experimentation.

At the end of the course, you should feel confident in working with challenging kozo and abaca fibres, using the sheets made to experiment with, and go home with a selection of pieces that reflect your personal style.


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 until 9pm, 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 papermaking fibres, adhesives, decorative elements, materials for armatures.

What students need to bring

  • An apron and non-slip waterproof shoes. A large plastic storage box to take home three-dimensional pieces might be useful but is not essential.
  • Any flat decorative items you might want to incorporate in your papers, though the tutor will provide a good selection.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Lucy Baxandall

Lucy Baxandall is a papermaker and book artist based at Tidekettle Paper in Berwick-upon-Tweed. She has worked as a financial journalist, jewellery designer/maker, translator and teacher of French, German and art in the UK and the USA.


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

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