Friday, 22 November 2019


Apprenticeship: Performing Manufacturing Operations (PMO) incorporating an NVQ Level 2
Start: September 2020
Requirements: GCSE Maths, English, ICT - Grade 4 or above.

Interested candidates are also invited to book a visit to see the apprenticeship role on offer. 
Email Philip Staple:

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Why can a paper lose its sizing?

Sizing is what gives water resistance to a sheet of paper and can also help improve surface strength. All of our papers are internally sized with a neutral/alkaline sizing agent (a.k.d). Others also have a surface size applied. There are different types of sizing depending on what paper you use. Our Saunders Waterford range has a gelatin surface sizing. Bockingford has a starch solution, and Somerset doesn’t have surface sizing.

There are a variety of factors when it comes to a sheet losing its sizing, or the sizing becoming ‘patchy’. The biggest problem is usually contamination of some kind. Numerous types of contamination can cause this.

Soaking and stretching paper in a bath is one example. The sheets sizing can be affected by residue left from shampoo, soaps, etc. These chemicals are detergents which break down the water resistance. This will eat into the sizing and break it down.

Contamination from washing brushes poorly can also cause problems. Here are a few other reasons for a paper becoming overly absorbent and sizing being affected.

Environmental pollution - High temperatures increase chemical reactions. Acids from the environment like air pollution, react and degrade the sizing. Hence all our sheets are buffered with calcium carbonate.
Storage - There are times when older paper may have sizing problems. Especially if not stored correctly. Papers stored in the right conditions are able to last a vast amount of time. Maybe even hundreds of years.
Humidity can cause the sizing to degrade. Moisture in the air can also increase chemical reactions. Over a period of time this can weaken the paper and cause a loss of strength.
Light - Sunlight and UV light can be extremely damaging to paper. These can cause a paper to fade and adversely affect sizing.

Always store paper in a cool dry place, preferably away from direct light.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Patchings Art Festival 2019

As always, we had a fantastic time at Patchings Art Festival, and the weather was glorious!

We had immense enthusiasm for the soaking and stretching tutorials provided by our very own Steve Carroll. And our Somerset Black paper, along with the excellent Daler Rowney FW Acrylic inks, went down a storm! Patrons were in awe of the vibrancy that could be achieved on the black. Our 'Try & Test' area, run by Kate Taylor (St Cuthberts), was inundated with people wanting to try our range of papers for themselves, resulting in it being a massive hit again this year.

Steve Carroll with visitor

Our demonstrations were wonderful, and we'd like to say a big thank you to artists David Bellamy, Soraya French, Carne Griffiths, Peter Cronin and Andrew Hucklesby, all of whom gave such detailed and informative demonstrations.

Carne Griffiths, Cathy Frood and Andrew Hucklesby

David Bellamy

Soraya French

Peter Cronin

Each demonstration was uniquely fascinating and incorporated a variety of themes. These included wild exploration to the wilderness, expressive mixed media, coastal scenes and geometric floral human forms. Each of these explorative works were produced on a selection of our papers.

We'd also like to thank all the fabulous volunteers and staff at Patchings for another successful year! Thank you all!

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Patchings Art Festival

It's that time of year again! We are gearing up for this years Patchings Art Festival. We will be selling our products through Tindalls, and the mighty fine Yew Tree Studios manned by the lovely Charlie Downes. We will also have our 'Try and Test' area (s12) in the Art Materials Marquee, staffed by Kate Taylor and Steve Carroll, who will both be happy to help with any questions. Steve will be demonstrating how to 'soak and stretch' paper throughout our time at the festival. 

Steve Carroll, St Cuthberts Mill

Make sure to save some time to head over to the paint 'Pouring station' at the Daler-Rowney stand (s10) too. It sounds like its going to be exciting!

We also have a fantastic range of artists demonstrating their techniques in the main marquee. This years fantastic line up are David Bellamy, Peter Cronin, Soraya French, Andrew Hucklesby and Carne Griffiths. To view times and details head over to the Patchings Art Festival site!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Patchings Art Festival, 11-14 July 2019 

Fancy going to Patchings Art Festival? At Patchings you will have the chance to meet over 250 Artists, Photographers, Craft Makers and Designers selling and demonstrating. Also, there are hands-on-workshops and Art Material offers, all set in 60 Acres of the Nottinghamshire Countryside.

We have one Complimentary Ticket which will admit two people for free! All you need to do to be in with a chance to win, is email your name and address to: and include ‘Giveawayin the header!

The lucky winner will be chosen at random. Deadline to enter is 11am on Tues 25th June. Please note we are providing this entry ticket only. You will have to make your own travel arrangements!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Congratulations to our Giveaway winners!

Congratulations to our five giveaway winners! 
And a huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered. We'll have another Giveaway soon!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019


We are giving away x5 Saunders Waterford blocks!

All you have to do to enter is email: stating ‘Giveaway’ in the header. Please make sure to include your full name and address. (Entries - over 18’s only please) Winner's will be selected at random.
The 5 lucky winners of this giveaway will each receive one of the following: Saunders Waterford Rough White block (20 sheets), 300gsm(140lb), 260mm x 180mm (10’’X7’’). (RRP £20.64)
Deadline to enter: Wednesday 22nd May 2019, at 11.00am.
The winners will be contacted via email after this date.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You are providing your information to St Cuthberts Mill Ltd and not to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
**Please note that this giveaway is not open to employees, and immediate family members of employees of St Cuthberts Mill Ltd.
Please click on the link to see our Privacy Policy:

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Somerset Velvet Black

Following the re-launch of our Somerset Velvet Black paper, we wanted to share a few images of the black being made on our mould machine at St Cuthberts Mill, Wells.

“I would like to express my delight that black is back.” Dr Carinna Parraman (Director Centre for Fine Print Research, CFPR, University of the West of England, Bristol.)

Tuesday, 19 March 2019


Big Skies, Land and Sea
4 April - 4 May 2019

'Pale Moon's Quiet' - Watercolour on Saunders Waterford paper (104 x 104 cm)

Lucy Marks is a contemporary landscape painter working in oil and watercolour. Her dynamic compositions communicate the changing energy and movement within the landscape. Her unique, instinctive approach captures a feeling of place through her works, creating a sensory and emotive experience which encourages an exploration of memories and subliminal perceptions of the landscape. Lucy’s works are recognisable by their highly textural nature, generated through a combination of painterly mark-making, layering and the application of found materials directly onto the canvas. She uses Watercolour in innovative and bold ways.  Lucy holds an MA in Fine Art from Brighton University and has participated in numerous group shows. She has also won two awards through The Artist and Leisure Painter Open Exhibition, Calverton (2017, 2018).

'Where the Wild Things Run Free' - Watercolour on Saunders Waterford paper (28x28cm)

Her exhibition: ‘Big Skies, Land and Sea’ will be showing at the Piers Feetham Gallery, Fulham, runs 4th April - 4th May 

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


Great news, Somerset® Black is back! 

After an absence of nearly five years, Somerset® Velvet Black is being relaunched. Made with improved black pigments, Somerset Black has a deep warm shade combined with a soft velvet surface. The internal structure of the sheet exhibits even darker fibres, which gives dramatic results, especially when laser etched. It's made to archival standards from 100% cotton, and is fade resistant to the Blue Wool scale 6+. 

**Currently available in loose sheets. Weight 280gsm, Sizes 76x112cm (4 deckle edges) and 76x56cm (3 deckle edges.)

Contact our UK distributors, RK Burt & Co, or, John Purcell Paper for further information. 

RK Burt
Phone: +44 (0)20 7407 6474
Fax : +44 (0)20 7403 3672
John Purcell Paper

Tel: 020 7737 5199 
Fax: 020 7737 6765 

Monday, 24 September 2018

The Print Show

The Print Show is home to independent print, design and marketing. St Cuthberts Mill were delighted to join John Purcell Paper in the Printmaster Class area, at this years show. We took a huge supply of our printmaking paper, Somerset, to showcase at the event. The images below were created by a number of amazing letterpress artists, including Kluge, New North Press, St Bride’s Foundation, The Letterpress Collective and Signature Bindings. The crew from Jealous Gallery also loaned John Purcell some fabulous prints too. Thank you to all involved!