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!

Monday, 10 September 2018

We had a fantastic time at 'Impact 10' in Santander. A really positive experience for St Cuthberts Mill, with huge interest regarding our papers. We'd like to say a big 'thank you', to everyone involved with making our time at Impact 10 so enjoyable.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

6 / 7 / 8 Sept 2018

St Cuthberts Mill will be at with John Purcell Paper in Santander this week! 
Muestra Insumos de Arte - Art Supplies´ Show: *Paraninfo Universidad de Cantabria: Día / Day 6 & 7 De / From 9AM to 2PM. *Palacio de Exposiciones: Día / Day 8 De / From 3 to 8PM.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Paper Pyrography
with Adrian Timmins

Following an introduction into the world of Pyrography, courtesy of artist Adrian Timmins, we thought that we'd ask him to give us, and you, an insight into his practises. We'd like to thank Adrian immensely for writing this article for us!

Pyrography Term:

'Pyrography or pyrogravure is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or wood burning.'

Adrian Timmins:

“After sharing some of my artwork with one of the representatives at St Cuthberts Mill, I was asked to write an article concerning pyrography (burned art) and my work on paper.

Pyrography has a reasonable following worldwide, but is extremely popular in the USA. I run a facebook group where advice concerning pyrography machines, techniques, and materials are discussed on a frequent basis. For the most part there is a tendency to use wood for pyrography and this is also how I got started. Burning wood has the benefit of being quite cheap, and forgiving, if you make a mistake, simply grab the sander and remove the offensive area.

Two different pyrography pens

The tools used by pyrography artists range from the very low end soldering type tools with no temperature controls, (these are known as solid point pens, and some do have temperature controls) up to specialist machines made by various companies where there are a plethora of different shaped tips available. Much as an artist will have various brushes / pencils or pens, I will add we have some artists who produce incredible work with any of the above tools So start up costs can be as low as £15.00, up to approximately £115.00 for something like a Peter Child's machine (Made in the UK and the most popular machine here in the USA.)

A Peter Childs pyrography machine

It was just over a year into my wood pyrography I saw a few paper pyrography works. I was instantly attracted to the beauty of paper burning, and decided there was no time like the present. I headed straight to a local craft store purchased some cheap art paper, got home, and was somewhat dissuaded after burning many holes in it. Frustrated, I sought advice on the papers currently being used by the few artists’ who do paper pyrography. At this point I had very little knowledge of paper in general, and had previously done most of my charcoal work on very cheap papers.

The next piece of work I produced on slightly better paper, looked reasonable and I was pleased with the overall effort. I continued on accepting that a lot of practice would be needed in order to avoid burning through the paper, and getting nice dark shades in certain areas.

Adrian Timmins - pyrography on Bockingford paper

I started adding some Sepia and Black inks to certain pieces to achieve the desired effect, not realizing that to a great degree it was the paper I was using that was holding my pyrography shading back. My work was being noticed and commented on by a lot more people, but I still wanted to achieve everything using solely pyrography and not use inks to get those lovely dark tones.

During recent months, I had started wondering whether there could possibly be a paper made specifically for pyrography, or at least a more suitable paper than I was currently using. I browsed and contacted a few paper mills receiving a few raised eyebrows along the way when asking, "How does your paper burn, as I am a pyrography artist", Most of the comments were "What's pyrography?” 

I received samples from some of the mills and most of these were simply not suitable. One of the things you instantly look for when doing paper pyrography is the "Burn through" point. This is the depth you can achieve with Brown or Black before you are risking burning a hole through the paper.

Eliminating, or at least severely minimizing this risk, leaves a pyrography artist concentrating more on their work than fearing how long it will be before the work is possibly ruined.

Adrian Timmins - pyrography on Saunders Waterford CP(NOT) paper

I eventually came to work on some CP (Cold Press) Saunders (Waterford) 100 % cotton samples, which were stunning for pyrography in every respect. I could finally achieve great contrast without even coming close to burning through the paper. I could also correct mistakes, and much to my delight no buckling to deal with. My first piece on CP Saunders paper was burned and went straight to the frame without problem. Since this time I have used many of the St Cuthbert’s papers, even their printmaking paper, which gave lovely results. Each paper requires a different temperature, and a slightly different approach to be successfully burned.

Adrian Timmins - pyrography on Somerset paper

If you have any interest in pyrography, please feel free to contact me, or join my group. Advice within the group is completely free, and myself or another experienced pyrography artist is usually available to help with any questions concerning Pyrography, or supplies. We have artists of all levels worldwide, and we keep a friendly open environment.” 

(It is a closed group so please answer the questions is you apply)

Facebook – Ade Timmins:

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Our Archives

We've been searching through, and preserving, some of our historical samples and papers. We thought we'd take a few photos to share with you all. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

MILLFORD BLOCKS – NOW AVAILABLE! Our amazing UK distributors R K Burt & Company Ltd are filtering them to retailers NOW!

Millford Blocks are 100% Cotton, Acid free, and Archival. Currently available in size 310mm x 230mm, (12” x 9”.) Each block contains 20 sheets of CP(NOT), 300gsm paper.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

David Parfitt RI at St Cuthberts Mill

These three films celebrate the artist, David Parfitt RI, painting en plein air at St Cuthberts Mill in Somerset, UK. This collaboration between The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and St Cuthberts Mill are to promote the competition. Thanks to Steve Gammond for his filming expertise, Parker Harris, The Sunday Times, and of course David Parfitt!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Filming at St Cuthberts Mill

St Cuthberts Mill are honoured to be involved with The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition again this year.

This week we were filming with Parker Harris, in collaboration with The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, on location at St Cuthberts Mill. We invited the amazing artist David A Parfitt, to learn more about our papermaking processes, and to paint on site. David was also filmed for the launch of The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition during his visit. Cameraman/filmmaker Steve Gammond, along with assistant Russell, were filming and directing. A fabulous, and sweltering hot day, but very exciting. A big thank you to everyone involved. And keep a lookout for the film, which will be coming soon! Here are a few photos from the day!

Cameraman Steve Gammond

Filming artist David Parfitt

Filming by the River Axe

Russell and David

Steve Gammond, David Parfitt, and St Cuthberts Quality Technician, Nicola Dobson

St Cuthberts Catherine Frood and Nicola Dobson, with David Parfitt

Monday, 5 March 2018

Artist Terry Spurgeon

Terry Spurgeon 1993.

Artist Terry Spurgeon is a former employee of St Cuthberts Mill. Terry started at the mill in 1989 as the Chief Engineer, and worked at St Cuthberts for 9 years. He has had a long career in the papermaking industry, even working in Belgium for a period of time.

Terry’s creative career began in 1962 and he worked as a draughtsman for a company called De La Rue, designing printing presses and minting machinery. His work is of an illustrative style, with a clever a sense of humour. He projects this by using pen and ink with watercolour pencils, blending the colours with a wet brush. Terry’s paper of choice is Saunders Waterford HP (Hot Press).

Terry mainly does private commission work, but is exhibiting soon at the A2 Gallery in Wells, Somerset. He will have approximately 30 pieces of work on display, including the commission he completed for St Cuthberts Mill back in 1993. The mill is loaning this amazing illustration for the exhibition, which runs from 29th March to 12th April 2018.

Good luck with the exhibition Terry!

Terry Spurgeon's comedic illustration of St Cuthberts Mill, 1993.

Terry with his illustration 2018.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Dandy Roll Watermarks

We have a unique collection of Fourdrinier watermarks in our new boardroom. Our current PM2 mould machine was a Fourdrinier machine up until the 1980’s, after this time it was converted into the mould machine it is today. To create watermarks Fourdrinier’s use what are known as Dandy Roll’s, with the watermark presented on each separate roll. The watermarks displayed in our boardroom were all taken from these old Dandy Roll’s. 

'Hang Seng' Bank watermark

The ‘Hang Seng’ Bank watermark would have been used on our previous machine PM1, and on PM2 as a Dandy Roll. Our papermakers couldn’t read Chinese so were unable to figure out which way round the watermark should go. The answer came by visiting a local Chinese takeaway, who were more than helpful in reading which way round the watermark should go!

 We hope you enjoy viewing more of these exceptional watermarks.

*PM1 & PM2 (Paper Machine 1 & 2)*