Thursday, 18 December 2014

'Printmaking Today' Magazine

Printmaking Today Magazine! Following a visit to the mill by Jane Waterhouse (artist), Jane has written an awesome article about St Cuthberts Mill in this edition. 

Such a great title for the article too - 'Paper Saints'! Head out and get a copy guys, It's brilliant! !

Printmaking Today - Volume 23, 2014, Issue 4 WINTER edition. 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


St Cuthberts Mill maintains the beautiful British countryside
where the mill is situated. Green fields, quiet country lanes
and abundant wildlife surround the mill.

• The River Axe, which supplies the mill with water, is
 naturally very clean (the water’s properties are very
 constant because St Cuthberts Mill is close to the water’s

• St Cuthberts Mill returns the clean water to the river having
 removed all solids and papermaking additives.

• Trout live beside the mill in the River Axe. The water around
 the mill carries the highest level of classifi cation for
 cleanliness and biodiversity.

Raw Materials
• Wood is only used from sustainable sources.

• No rainforests harmed in the making of our paper.

• Pulp is oxygen bleached and Elemental Chlorine Free.

• Cotton linters come from the by-product of the textile

• All materials are screened in the mill to ensure minimal
 environmental effect.

Waste Handling
• We reuse or recycle as much as possible.

Local Wildlife
• Ducks in the ponds, trout in the river, heron, pheasant,
 buzzards, foxes, badgers, roe deer and rabbits. 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

A4 Bockingford promotion!

A4 Bockingford promotional pads containing 65% extra free! 20 sheets for the price of 12!
Available from all good art shops now! (UK Only)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Facebook Cover Image Winners

Big thank you to all who entered our Facebook Cover Competition!

The lucky winners are:

1. Jocelyn Roberts
2. Edo Hannema
3. Jill Griffin
4. Mo Awkati
5. Carol Davidson
6. Mai-Britt Schultz
7. Sara Glendinning 
8. Chris Turner
9. Judith Crown
10. Mick McAndrews

Please could each of you email 2 images of your work (jpg format) to Kim Lintern -  
Email: Also make sure to include your web address, facebook page details and a short description of your work.

Each artists work will be used as our facebook cover image for a period of two weeks. And run consecutively in the order listed above.

Again a massive thank you and we cannot wait to see your work!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

St Cuthberts Mill - Making Paper a Fine Art

St Cuthberts Mill are experts in manufacturing high quality artists papers. Our accomplished papermakers carefully make professional mould made papers, using one of the few remaining cylinder mould machines left in the world.

The appeal of mould made papers is the stunning texture created using natural woollen felts, and the remarkable surface stability created by the paper fibres lying randomly across the sheet.

To make its distinguished paper, St Cuthberts Mill uses

• Specialist chemists devoted to creating high quality papers
• Natural ingredients used wherever possible
• Only high quality pulps and cotton linters and no acids
 are added
• All paper is thoroughly tested for quality
• Paper is made to highest archival standards

St Cuthberts Mill are specialists in despatching quantities of paper across the world to customer’s warehouses. Every pallet of paper is professionally wrapped to ensure the paper arrives in perfect condition.

We are able to provide cost efficient transport solutions for customer orders from the mill. Our trained export staff have a close working relationship with European hauliers, shipping lines and airfreight brokers ensuring products reach customers in good condition, and when required. Export paperwork is completed by our Sales Office, which ensures every shipment leaves the mill with all the correct export documentation.

For further info, please contact our Sales team!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Taking a look at the 'Chemical Charges of Pulp'

We were looking at the chemical charges of the pulp. Seeing how the addition of each chemical effects the charge of the pulp. We used samples of the pulps we use on the machine, both cotton and wood. The first step was to soak the pulp.

Then the pulp is beaten in the beater. A specific amount of pulp is weighed out and water is added. This gives us a similar consistency as is used on the machine. The pulp is added a strip at a time to the beater until it is all in. 


Then the pulp is beaten to break up the fibres. We beat the pulp to 25 °SR, a measure of beating. We test this using the Schopper Reigler. Take a measured sample of the pulp from the beater. Make this up to 1litre and pour into the top of the Schopper Reigler. Release the lid. The water will drain through the mesh and come out of 2 funnels. The fibres will catch in  the mesh. The amount of water that comes out through the front spout gives us our reading. This test tells us how 'well beaten the fibres are.

Once we have beaten the stock to 25 °SR we take a sample and test the charge of the stock using the Zeta Potential machine. This measures whether the pulp is positively or negatively charged. (Cellulose fibres have a negative charge.)

We then return to the beater and add in the chemicals used in production, in the order they would be added during production. They are added one at a time, mixed in and the charge is tested.

The charge of the paper effects how the chemicals might perform, how well they are bonded to the fibres, etc.

Huge thanks to Nicola Dobson, our Quality Control Apprentice and Steve Carroll (Paper Chemist/Quality Control) for all the photos and info!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Bockingford Blocks

Bockingford Block's are available in CP(NOT), HP and Rough surfaces, this glued block will make life easier especially when painting 'plein air'. There is no need to soak and stretch, and each sheet will dry flat! 

Available in:
White, CP(NOT), HP and Rough surfaces, 12 sheets. 

In sizes: 
12" x 9" (310 x 230mm), 
14" x 10" (360 x 260mm),
16" x 12" (410 x 310mm).

Head out and pick one (or two) up now folks!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

History of St Cuthberts Mill,
Wells, Somerset.

1736 Hand made paper production started on the St Cuthberts site under the name Lower Wookey Mill.

1835 First paper making machine installed.

1850 Present frontage of the mill is built using local stone.

1862 The mill is named Mendip Mill after the local hills.

1887 The mill is renamed again to St Cuthberts Mill, after the Parish of the local church in which the mill resides.

1897 Office building built.

1899 Somerset watermark first used for writing paper.

1907 Cylinder mould machine (still used today to make artists papers) originally built.

1931 St Cuthberts Mill is bought by Inveresk.

1950 Inveresk bought nearby Wookey Hole Mill (first established in 1425.)

1952 Cylinder mould machine installed at Wookey Hole.

1954 PM1 Fourdrinier machine installed.

1957 ‘Melamon’ Resin loaded board first developed at Wookey Hole Mill.

1959 Wookey Hole purchases the rights to produce TH Saunders (originally developed in 1920.)

1972 Wookey Hole Mill now sold (now a tourist attraction.) The mould machine transferred to St Cuthberts Mill. Watercolour paper production now solely made at St Cuthberts Mill (including handmade which continued until 1976.)

1975 Bockingford rights purchased from Whatman.

1976 Somerset traditional printmaking paper developed and launched.

1981 Inveresk including St Cuthberts Mill is sold to Georgia Pacific and becomes GP Inveresk.

1985 TH Saunders developed to improve the surface strength of the paper and re-named Saunders Waterford.

1990 Inveresk is sold by Georgia Pacific to the Inveresk management, in a management buyout.

1991 £3 million investment in PM1 machine for preimpregnated decorative papers.

1993 Inveresk floated on the stock exchange.

1999 Fine Art inkjet papers developed and Somerset Enhanced launched.

2002 Bockingford inkjet launched.

2007 Somerset Photo launched.

2009 Saunders Waterford High White paper launched.

2010 St Cuthberts Mill Ltd created.

2013 Bockingford Hot Press and Rough, spirals and pads launched.

2014 Bockingford Blocks launched.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Visitors Day 15/10/14

Yesterday was another successful day giving a tour to RK Burt & Co, retailers and artists around St Cuthberts Mill. Thanks to everyone who came along!

That's the last one for this year, but more are being organised for 2015! Below are a few of the fab photos from yesterdays visit.


Dom Cooper, one of our Papermakers with visitors

Tour of Papermaking machine

Tour of Paper machine

More great photos can be found at

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Saunders Waterford Giveaway - Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of our recent Facebook 'Saunders Waterford' Giveaway!

The winners are:

1. Jelena Krilova
2. Ann Whitelock
3. Ellie Oliver
4. Dana Mallon
5. Kathryn Coyle

Congratulations again and your prize (Saunders Waterford HP block) will be with you shortly!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Sculpture by Sam Moulsdale at Quarter Jack pub in Wells, Somerset

If you visit 'The Quarter Jack' pub in Wells, Somerset, look out for this amazing sculpture by Sam Moulsdale. The details below are inscribed next to this impressive piece that was created using St Cuthberts Mill papers!

"The original paper sculpture was commissioned by JD Wetherspoon and includes the lines from a poem entitled “Mendip Hills over Wells” by Henry Alford. Alford was born in Somerset in 1810. In 1853 he moved to London and then onto the Cathedral at Canterbury where he was made Dean in 1857, he died in 1871.

The sculpture by Sam Moulsdale is made from paper manufactured at St Cuthberts Mill, Wells. The inspiration for this piece and the materials used share their origins with the vast and captivating landscape of the Mendip Hills. Drawing from the atmospheric light, the undulating horizons and the rugged nature of the weather, the suggestion of these elements are juxtaposed, producing a sense of the constantly changing nature of the view.

Detail from the sculpture by Sam Moulsdale

The key material, taken from nature itself, is hand worked at the Local St Cuthberts Paper Mill, located in the small hamlet of Haybridge outside the Cathedral City of Wells. When ripped and torn it provides a subtlety of interpretation that closely echoes the rough shapes, promontories and undulations of the hills. The organic material is a metaphor for the organic landscape. The weaving, floating and overlaying implying dynamism of perpetual atmospheric change.

St Cuthberts Mill history began around 1738 when it was known as “Kingston’s Mill” and was owned by Rev Robert Kingston. In 1742 the mill was described as Lower Wookey Mill and in 1786 was leased to Joseph Coles who in 1797 recorded the first Joseph Coles watermarks.

In 1886 the name was changed to St Cuthberts Mill and four years later £38,000 was spent on expanding buildings (to present frontage – the “Buckingham Palace” of paper mills.) The following year St Cuthberts stock papers were marked with a lion but lobbying of the company persuaded them to change the watermark to the City of Wells shield from 1897. In this same year the landmark new chimney was constructed from 300,000 specially made bricks.

Chimney at St Cuthberts Mill

In 1907 the new No.2 machine, the 86” Bertram was installed and is still in use today. In 1973 St Cuthberts Mill sold the Wookey Hole Mill site to Madam Tussauds."

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

St Cuthberts Mill

St Cuthberts Mill is situated in the South West of England. This historic paper mill has been making paper since the 1700’s, taking advantage of the River Axe. The mill is on the edge of the ancient Cathedral City of Wells and named after the local church dedicated to the 7th Century saint. The St Cuthberts Cross illustrated on the mill’s artist papers is inspired by the cross found on St Cuthbert’s tomb in Durham Cathedral.

Nearly four hundred years ago papermaking started in the Axe valley at Wookey Hole. It is now over two hundred years – the date cannot be precise – since papermaking started on the St Cuthberts site in Somerset. St Cuthberts Mill is the only surviving commercial papermill out of the six once operating in the upper Axe valley.

Photos from the book: 

Mill 364 - Paper making at St. Cuthberts Mill

B G Luker; C R Whitcombe

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge #4

Another mighty fine Ice Bucket Challenge completed! The latest to be 'iced' was Catherine Frood, our Marketing Executive. Cathy's chosen charity is ALS. Well done Catherine!

To donate:
  • text ICED55 £5 (or other amount) to 70070 (only available in the UK)
  • call 01604 611860 referencing the 'Ice Bucket Challenge'.
Thank you!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge #3

Another Ice Bucket Challenge completed! This time by our Social Media Administrator/Artist, Kim Lintern. To donate to Kim's chosen charity just text 'ICE' to 70550 to give £3 to Macmillan Cancer Support! Thank you!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge #2

Well done to Nicola Dobson, one of our many talented apprentices here at St Cuthberts Mill!

To donate to Nicola's chosen charity click here:

Friday, 29 August 2014

External Causes of Deterioration to Paper


Atmospheric pollution can be a cause of damage.

Calcium carbonate is added when making the paper. This is to give it a buffering to combat acids present in the air from pollution. Atmospheric pollutions are more commonly an issue in major cities.The paper would become acidic after it came into contact with atmospheric pollutants. So with the alkaline buffering it shouldn’t become acidic and degrade.

White spots showing through wash
 - Contamination from handling whilst wearing hand cream!

It is advisable to avoid storing paper where there is excessive or fluctuating heat and humidity. It is advisable to store papers covered and in an area away from direct light.

Light fades and discolours most papers. Direct sunlight can damage everything from paper to carpets! We use pigments (not dyes) in our papermaking. These are lightfast up to Blue Wool scale 7, which help to protect each sheet from light/fade issues.

Contamination through handling is a common problem. When wet, a gelatine surface is especially fragile and at risk of ‘finger’ marks. Detergents (ie; soap, washing up liquid, shampoo, cleaning fluids) are another concern as the contamination from them will make the sheet very absorbent. This usually occurs if soaked and stretched in contaminated water or having contaminated brushes. The sheet will become unstable and soft sized.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge!

Neil Mays, our Engineering Manager doing the Ice Bucket Challenge at St Cuthberts Mill.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Surface Textures

Felts can be made of wool(worsted) or synthetics. They have two main purposes, to aid with water removal from the sheet and to add texture to the papers’ surface.

Different felts are used to give different textures. A more open weave gives deeper troughs and peaks that is a required of rough watercolour papers. A closer knit felt weave is used for the other textures, eg HP, Not, Velvet, Satin.

The point where the texture is imparted to the sheet is at the press section. The fibrous matrix is still very wet and malleable, allowing the surface of the sheet to be moulded to the contours of the felt.

Woollen felts are preferred to synthetics as the weave is less mechanical. Woollen felts are almost hand made; no two are exactly the same, thus giving  random textures.

Woollen felts wear over a relatively short time. Our skilled papermakers are adept at altering the paper machine to ensure the surface of the paper is a good match to paper surface standards throughout the felt’s life

Grading of the paper’s surface texture is done by eye using a grazing light.