Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Patchings Art Festival 2020

We are sad to announce that Patchings Art Festival has been postponed, and will now go ahead Thursday 8 - 11 July, 2021. We have been in touch with artists who were due to demonstrate for us, and we are delighted that they will be with us in 2021. Stay well all, and we'll see you then!

Monday, 30 March 2020

Artist Sarah Gillard 

The artist Sarah Gillard is still currently in France. Obviously we are all struggling somewhat with the lockdowns that are in place all over the world. Its more important than ever to have a focus of some kind. Painting and drawing can be amazingly therapeutic. These images shared by Sarah depict the incredible vibrancy of nature. An uplifting display that I think we can all appreciate right now. Thank you Sarah!

“Despite our current turmoil and adjusting to the enormity of ' Lockdown ', I am continuing to paint and be inspired. I recently set up a still life of flowers and decided on a black background to produce a bold semi abstract. I work in Winsor & Newton gouache and painted this on St Cuthberts Mill Saunders Waterford watercolour paper, High White, 12" x 9".

I am becoming increasingly grateful for having the art materials as I have no idea when or where I will be able to purchase more, (living in rural France in the Pyrenees).

I wish anyone reading this 'joy and inspiration' within your own creative practise, as so vital at this time in our lives....I would also like to thank St Cuthberts Mill for their beautiful watercolour blocks.” Sarah Gillard

'Joy in Flowers' - Sarah Gillard
(Created on Saunders Waterford White CP(NOT) paper, 10"x7")

View more of Sarah’s work on her website & instagram pages:

For more info about Saunders Waterford:

Friday, 13 March 2020

Sarah Gillard Artist

The contemporary floral gouache artist, Sarah Gillard, was kindly introduced to us by Sarah Edmonds at Pegasus Art. We are now delighted to have a collaborative working relationship with Sarah Gillard.
Sarah is an artist who was born in rural Kent and studied at Banbury College before going on to graduate in Fashion Textiles at Middlesex University.
Having a passion for nature, Sarah applies this inspiration into her vibrant paintings. St Cuthberts Mill, and our followers, are fortunate to follow Sarah on her latest journey to France. Sarah will be updating us on a regular basis with her creative experiences along the way. And sharing what she’s produced in her trusty Saunders Waterford block!

#1 Painting in the sunshine - Sarah Gillard
“I am currently on a painting trip in the French Pyrenees in the heart of the AriĆ©ge. The nature is stunning, and I am fortunate to be able to paint outdoors due to brilliant sunshine. I have spent the last couple of days painting wild daffodils next to a rampaging river.
I work in gouache which I discovered when I joined the Liberty Design Studio as a colourist. As a professional artist I tend to stick with materials I can rely on for their quality. I love the Saunders Waterford watercolour blocks by St Cuthberts Mill. I have brought a selection of sizes with me as I intend to be busy.”

Make sure to keep popping back for updates!

View more of Sarah’s work on her website & instagram pages:

For more info about Saunders Waterford:

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Harwood King Prints
at Creativeworld 2020

We're excited that we are now able to share these three amazing prints that were displayed at the F.IL.A. stand at Creativeworld this year! Kindly loaned to F.I.L.A. by Harwood King Printmakers.

Harwood King is an award-winning and innovative fine art print studio with over 30 years’ experience. Their dedicated team produces high-quality fine art limited edition prints for artists, galleries and publishers from around the world.

'Flower Girl' by Lizzy Richards -
35 colour silkscreen that won Gold in the Serigraphies category and Best in Show at the FESPA 2018 Awards.

'Flower Girl' by Lizzy Richards - Printed on Somerset Satin 410gsm paper, 67x87cm
( Available from Red Dot Gallery )

"In this 35 colour silkscreen multiple colours were used to create a painted texture to the final image. Creating the separations for the print required us the think about where the texture would be created. A set of cmyk screen printed colours was used as a starting point but then individual colours were separated and printed using artist pigments to closely match that of the original." Harwood King

'Norwich Castle' by Barry Morris - 
Silkscreen with gloss and leafing on Somerset Satin 410gsm paper
(Available from Red Dot Gallery )

'Gold Excess' by Wayne Warren - Gold leaf with silkscreen over the top, 
printed on Somerset Velvet 300gsm paper
(created by applying a gold leaf background and then
printing a series of silkscreen colours on top to create the image)

We'd like to say a huge thank you to all the artists and Harwood King Printmakers for allowing us to display these fantastic works at Creativeworld 2020!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Association of Animal Artists
St Cuthberts Mill sponsorship of the 2019 Inaugural Chairmans Award

Huge Congratulations to artist Lisa Ann Watkins for being chosen for the 2019 Inaugural Chairmans Award, sponsored by St Cuthberts Mill! 

Artist, Lisa Ann Watkins

A bit more about the talented recipient of this prestigious award: Lisa Ann Watkins

"Lisa is a multi-award winning colour pencil artist and tutor who has won the Inaugural Chairmans Award at an important juncture in her career, as she begins to explore exciting new ventures - including working on her first book and tutoring overseas. Her stunning artwork has gained her an impressive social media following, and Lisa uses this as a platform to inspire her followers to progress their artistic skills and knowledge. Lisa's passion for animals is truly infectious, and she works hard to engage with animal rescues and conservation organisations worldwide - raising funds, promoting their work, and educating her followers on the animals we share the planet with and how we can best support them. 

Anne Corless wrote how "The judges [Anne Corless, Alison Stafford, Karen Sillar, and Christina Hopkinson] admire the way Lisa Ann manages a multi-faceted career as a coloured pencil artist, generously sharing her own artistic practise whilst all the while giving a voice to animals she not only shares her life with, but loves to create images of." Lisa herself was hugely grateful to receive the award, saying "I cannot put into words just how much this award means to me. Although it is always lovely to win a competition or prize through a popular vote, to be selected by a jury of your peers is such a special thing & this one has truly lifted me to have belief in what I do...Winning the Inaugural Chairman's Award for 2019 is something that for once I am truly proud of & to be following in the footsteps of former winner Pollyanna Pickering is beyond words & truly humbling"- Liselle Jackson. 

You can find out more about Lisa over on her website:

Friday, 17 January 2020

Want to join our team?

We are looking for a ‘Production Apprentice’.

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:

Want to join our team?

We are looking for a ‘Finishing & Despatch Supervisor’ at St Cuthberts Mill in Haybridge, Wells, Somerset.

Start:      Available immediately, full time permanent position
Requirements:  GCSE Maths, English, ICT
Hours:                  7.45 – 16.45 Mon to Thurs and 6.00 – 13.00 Fri, 39 hours per week
Holiday:                               25 days
Starting Pay:      £9.50 per hour, with incremental increases throughout training
How to Apply: Email your CV to Phil Staple, Production Manager:

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Somerset® Photo Fine Art Inkjet Paper

Somerset® Photo has been developed to give professional photographers a fine art inkjet paper with excellent colour rendition. The superior inkjet coating gives amazing detail on an exquisite smooth matte surface, with subtle hints of surface texture.
These papers are traditionally mould made from 100% cotton, to high archival standards, providing a paper with a genuine heritage.

Manufacture: Cylinder mould made

Ingredients: 100% cotton

Longevity: Acid free & archival
Calcium carbonate buffered
pH 7-9
Fade resistant prints achievable with pigmented inksets

Characteristics: Internally sized
Water resistance – good
Inkjet coating to one side (felt side)
Natural woollen felt textured
Drying - almost instant
Core size (rolls): 76mm (3”)
Shade (Bright White): 97% TAPPI Whiteness value
Low OBAs (Optical brightening agents)
Highly lightfast (minimum 6+ on Blue Wool Scale)

Approved by: Fine Art Trade Guild

Suitable for: Inkjet printing

Liability: Since all dyes, pigments and media change over time, St Cuthberts Mill does not warrant this product against colour changes and fading. St Cuthberts Mill's liability for any defects in manufacturing and packaging is limited to the replacement cost of this product.

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!