Tag Archives: papermaking

Upcoming events and workshops: Early bird booking

In October 2015 I’m involved in quite a few things. I will be taking part in a new event in Cheltenham, SITselect SHOWCASE organised by Stroud International Textiles. This promises to be an exciting addition to the art / craft calendar. It runs over three days, Friday 23 October, Saturday 24 October and Sunday 25 October and includes talks, exhibitions, book signings, a conference, workshops and over 70 maker stands. Until the end of July there is a 20% discount on entrance ticket prices. An early bird day ticket is £6 and for 3 days is £18. Children 14 and under go free and there are concessions tickets also. SITselectShowcaseSquareSml web320

Do go look at the website www.sitselect.org/showcase to find out more. Highlights for me are the talks ‘In Conversation’ between Isamini Samanido and Jilly Edwards and between Isamini and Theo Wright on Friday 23 October. Details about these and other talks can be found on this page: www.sitselect.org/showcase/showcasetalks

I will be there for the three days as I have a stand. I’m very excited to take part and am looking forward to meeting visitors to the show. I will also be running a one-day experimental papermaking workshop on Saturday 24 October. The workshop will be very much hand-on and we will explore textures and patterns to make a simple zig-zag or pamphlet book. Starting simple means that we can try out all sorts of techniques that participants will be able to use in their own work. The course will include using cotton rag pulps, casting and couching, laminating and embossing. We will use a Hollander beater and we will also explore processes that can be used at home. As part of this day I am giving a short talk about my work and inviting you to participate in my latest project by making and dip dying a sheet of paper.

The workshop is suitable for all.

Tickets: £55. Concessions: £35.

Entrance ticket required. There will be ample time to go round and look at all the other things going on as part of a really enjoyable day.

At the end of that week I am running a short course at lovely West Dean, ‘An Introduction to Creative Papermaking’, Friday 30 October – Sunday 1 November. (Suitable for all)

Course Reference: WE 5743westdeanlogo

At West Dean we will be exploring traditional western papermaking techniques to create paper artworks inspired by the landscape. We will make pulps using cotton rag, and learn casting and couching, laminating and embossing, using a Hollander beater but also learn other pulping processes that can be used at home. More information here: pdf

To book please visit the West Dean Short Course booking page here: https://www.westdean.org.uk/CollegeChannel/ShortCourses/Courses/CourseSubCat.aspx?group=boo

Or phone for a brochure: Tel: +44 (0)1243 811301

There is a new on-line booking log-in system which allows one to view the various options (non-residential, single room, double etc) but setting up a log-in doesn’t commit you anything. I really enjoyed my last visit and am looking forward to this one a great deal. As anyone will attest who has attended a course here, the setting is wonderful, the facilities are great, the food is ample and good and there is a very friendly creative atmosphere (and a lovely bar).

The course cost without the residential element is £230.


Also in October I will be showing an installation of some recent work inspired by walks along the Downland paths of Southern England. I can’t say more about it than that as details are still to be confirmed but there will be more information soon.

Land, material and memory, ongoing

Land, material and memory, ongoing

Websites and some links

I’m pleased to say that I have been selected to be on the new Crafts Council directory. It’s a useful resource to help to find all sorts of artists and makers who work in all sorts of mediums and really worth a browse. New makers are joining all the time so its good to come back from time to time. I’m going to be updating and adding to my profile there so its not just a static thing. I’m very pleased that my work is there alongside that of artists whose work I really like.

Click on the image to go to the directory.

Crafts Council page

Another place that is worth a good browse especially if you are interested in paper as a medium is the IAPMA website.

The International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA) is the world leading organisation for paper artists. It was founded in 1986 in Düren, Germany, when paper as an art medium was far less well-known than it is today. While paper history and production are one facet of the Association’s activities, the central focus is paper role as art form and as a contemporary artistic medium.


Click on the IAPMA logo to go to the directory. Although the link takes you to my page it is easy to navigate from there to the pages of all the other members.

A last link is to my Instagram page. I have found Instagram such an interesting way of seeing the work of other artists, craftspeople and visually minded people. Often you can get insight into the working processes of people in a way that you can’t through more formal websites or newsletters. My favourites at the moment are people and galleries getting ready for Crafts Week or Collect. My Instagram page is here:


Painswick papermaking workshop

On the 10 and 11 May I ran some workshops in Painswick as part of the Stroud International Textiles events. There were two events scheduled at the Painswick Centre, my papermaking workshop and a one day workshop with Sian Martin. The studio for the first day’s event was a little overcrowded but on the second day we moved to a bigger room and had a brilliant time. I always enjoy meeting the people who sign up to my papermaking workshops. Often they have an interest in textiles and related fibre / art things so there is a great deal of common ground. Quite often I feel that we are exchanging information; it isn’t just a one way street. Many of the participants were using the workshop to think over things that would feed into their other art work rather than just using the papermaking as a stand alone project. Anyway, if any of you are reading this, it was lovely to meet you and I found your ability to pick up and run with a new technique really encouraging.

Paper drying during the workshop

Paper drying during the workshop

Painswick itself is a beautiful town with the most extraordinary churchyard filled with yew trees carved into looming shapes. I was asked if I know the story of the yews. Apparently there are 99 of them and whenever anyone tries to even the number up by planting another to make a round 100, one of the older trees dies. I didn’t count them to check up on the facts but it is definitely the kind of place that grows stories as well as trees.


Some small pieces of handmade cotton rag paper after drying

Some small pieces of handmade cotton rag paper after drying

Venue: The Painswick Centre, Bisley Street, Painswick, Stroud GL6 6QQ


‘A landscape in ten parts’

I wrote in an earlier post about my interest in collecting pigments, stains and impressions from the landscape and the materials of particular places. These traces and the process of collecting them shape the form of pieces of work as well as providing the colours that I use.

When I’m collecting materials towards some work I frequently come back with pockets full of bags of clay or sand or chalk. These samples end up in jars with strips of paper tests to show the colours derived from them. This collecting and classifying urge shows itself in the work that I  make which often takes the form of accumulations of cast paper shapes.  Process and material are different ends of the same thing in my work. I find it extraordinarily difficult to think about or plan new work without material in my hands but I also need a process or framework of approach to be able to make. Working in relation to the landscape gives me both matter and method.

For the work that is going to be shown at Newark Park I was very interested to be able to respond both to the surrounding outdoor landscape but also to the indoor ‘landscape’ of the house where objects placed in relation to each other form a connection.

The photo was taken in my studio while I was finishing things off last week. I don’t want to show whole pieces of work yet before they have arrived at Newark Park but I am pleased to see the way that individual parts work, overlapped with others.

'Selected' detail 2 jponsford


West Dean

westdeanlogoI had an exciting trip yesterday to West Dean to discuss running some papermaking workshops for them next year. I’ll post up more information soon but I can say that the initial course will be part of a themed week on cloth and thread with three artist / makers, me, Matthew Harris (who has recently worked on ‘Field Notes’, a brilliant collaboration with composer Howard Skempton) and Liz Clay the author and textile artist who works with nuno felt. Each of us will take a different approach to working with cloth and thread. Mine of course will involve using cotton and linen to make paper pulp but will also investigate the creative possibilities of incorporating thread into cast sheets of paper. Pigments and dyes may well be involved too! I am so looking forward to this.

West Dean is an extraordinary setting for creative courses. Do go look at their website


Materials week 15 – 19 February 2015 at West Dean

A two-day Papermaking Workshop with Jane Ponsford


Saturday, May 10, 2014 10.00-5.00 and Sunday, May 11, 2014 10.00-5.00

As an artist and papermaker I am inspired by the landscape around us. Join me for two hands-on and enjoyable days exploring your landscape through papermaking.

The workshop will include making pulps using cotton and linen rag, casting and couching, laminating and embossing. We will use a Hollander beater (a ‘Critter’) and we will also explore processes that can be used at home. On the first day we will take a short walk to draw inspiration from the local landscape so please have suitable footwear.

The ticket includes a light lunch on both days.

Suitable for all. Click on the link to book through Eventbrite. Price £80.

The workshop is part of the Select Festival 2014 organised by Lizzi Walton of Stroud International Textiles. I have work in the Newark Park exhibition Select 2014.

The Painswick Centre
Bisley Street
Painswick nr Stroud

Community book, 2007, Jane Ponsford

Community book, 2007, Jane Ponsford

Recent workshops

‘People, Places and Papermaking’ workshops on 8 and 9 September at The Witham, Woodleigh, Barnard Castle, DL12 8AA and Winston Village Hall, Winston, County Durham, DL2 3RJ

There were short drop-in sessions on Saturday 8 September teaching the basic techniques involved in papermaking through a demonstration, having a go and making two or three sheets of paper in to the beautiful setting of the Castle and the River Tees.

On Sunday 9 September there were half day workshops developing techniques in papermaking in relation to the natural landscape. This workshop involved an introduction to the history of paper making and a short walk to find materials and inspiration. It included learning the basic techniques of papermaking through a demonstration, having a go yourself and making paper artwork to take home. The Heart of Teasdale Landscape Partnership is supported by Durham County Council / Barnard Castle Vision / The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.