Make decorative papers and books with Tracey Bush

Bookbinding and paper marbling

Ref: SSS11658

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1 place available

About this course

Use Suminagashi, Orizomegami and print, to make decorative papers to create books. You will explore surface and pattern further as you make a series of simple, yet effective book structures to free up your creative bookbinding potential.

Course Description

Immerse yourself in the creation of decorated books. Learn how to create a range of decorative surfaces on paper, utilising Japanese paper decorating processes: Suminagashi, (a form of paper marbling) Orizomegami (paper folding and dyeing) and Momigami (crumpled, dyed paper) to make papers which can be used to create unique books. You will explore surface and pattern further on book cloth as you make a series of simple, yet effective book structures to free up your creative bookbinding potential.

Tracey has developed a range of simple and effective book structures with covers made of paper or bookcloth to teach you. There will be opportunities to explore decorative techniques such as hand foiling and transfer printing to create cover designs. You will be guided through the safe use of small bookbinding tools, preparing paper and how to choose the right format for the paper. This course will free up your creative bookbinding potential and develop understanding of the materials and processes for further artists’ books.

Your tutor, Tracey Bush, has made artists books for the past two decades and is an experienced tutor with lots of skills and techniques to share.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio

• A celebration dinner on the last evening, with a surrealist theme inspired by Salvador Dalí, who was one of West Dean founder, Edward James’ friends and collaborators. (Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.)

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully. A detailed timetable will be given to all students on arrival.

(Please note that plans may be subject to change depending on GOV.UK guidance at the time.)


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply most of the materials including those to make the decorated papers, papers, boards and cloth for the further book structures and materials for foiling and transfer printing. Any special papers or additional materials would need to be purchased from the Craft Shop.

What students need to bring

  • Any ideas or image references for pattern and decoration.
  • A cutting mat, bone folder, ruler, set square, scissors, craft knife with retractable blade and a sketchbook – if you have them (may also be purchased in the College Craft Shop)
  • An apron, pencil case,
  • Please note you must wear covered-toe shoes at all times in the workshop.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Extra paper, board or cloth, small tools including bone folders and items listed to bring
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Tracey Bush

Tracey Bush trained as an illustrator, and successfully freelanced for many years. She has produced a series of books, which have been acquired by the Yale Centre for British Art, Tate Britain and the Marvin Sackner Collection of Concrete Poetry. In 2014 Tracey was commissioned to create the large scale 'Ports of the World' butterfly box, which is installed on the P&O cruise ship, Britannia.


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

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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