Tuesday, 29 September 2015


St Cuthberts Mill is proud to sponsor our resident artist Kim Lintern for ‘Somerset Arts Week’ at The Red Brick Building in Glastonbury.

The Red Brick Building has a strong community ethos focusing on Arts, Enterprise and Education. Each year they are a part of Somerset Arts Week. This year Red Brick have an exhibition titled ‘Festival of Arts’ which is a collaboration of 24 artists, and runs till 18th Oct, 2015.

Kim uses a wide range of mediums, styles and content, and has done so for many years. She likes to experiment with a variety of techniques and create her own interpretations of different subjects. Kim has been producing compositions with a variety of papers made by St Cuthberts Mill. The four pieces of work at the ‘Festival of Arts’ exhibition were produced on Saunders Waterford paper.

Two pieces of work by Kim Lintern
on Saunders Waterford paper

If you're in the area the exhibition is a must! See the link provided for further info!

Friday, 11 September 2015

Mould-Made Paper

The earliest papers were hand-made by dipping a rigid wooden frame with a fine wire mesh into a vat of ground up cellulose (cotton or wood) fibres and water. The fibres in the resulting sheet would be arranged in a random fashion. This would mean there were no significant differences in properties of the sheet, in the long or short direction, and the sheet would be very strong and stable.

At St Cuthberts Mill our cylinder mould machine is one of only six producing artists paper, and the second widest in the world. It replicates the hand-made process but in a continuous operation. The resultant sheet has only slight differences between the long and short direction. This means exceptional sheet stability.

We have a cylinder around which there are 3-joined wire mesh frames. These lift the fibres from the vat to form a sheet that is joined to the next sheet and therefore continues down the machine. This strip of paper then passes through natural woolen felts that both add surface texture and remove water from the sheet.

The paper passes through a number of cylinders full of steam that dry the sheet. This dry paper then passes through a bath where any surface sizing (e.g. Gelatine) can be added. If it is going to be a smooth paper it will pass through the calendars (hot press) after final drying. The paper then proceeds to the reel up where it rolls up on a cardboard core.

In the case of four deckled edged sheets this reel of paper is then split and inspected by hand, in a department called the 'Salle'. We have photos dating from the Edwardian era that show very little has changed!

Mould-made paper machines produce paper very slowly and that is why it is often more expensive, but it is a far superior product. Machine-made or Fourdrinier machines produce larger quantities of cheaper paper at high speed using lower quality pulp, which show marked differences in properties between the long and short direction of the sheet. 

You can see our paper being made at www.stcuthbertsmill.com or at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK1L8jLkRKc