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!

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.)