West Moss-side Organic Farm and Centre nr Stirling Scotland

Course Details - Natural Paper-making

This is a two day workshop where we will go through the process of creating beautiful papers from natural materials including birch and other plant material from West Moss-side and Flanders Moss. All will be done in an environmentally friendly way.

Title Natural Paper-making with Charmian Pollok
Description Learn to make your own alkali from wood ash, pick your own plants from the surrounding countryside, process them and make them into paperpulp which you will learn to manipulate into beautiful sheets of paper. Papermaking from native plants in an environmentally-friendly way is my favourite type of workshop and to do one in the wonderful environment of West Moss-side could not be bettered. The course will be taught in such a way as to enable the participants to continue the process, later on, in a domestic setting without specialist equipment.
About the tutor
Imagine my delight when Charmian agreed to come to West Moss-side to run a workshop to share her expertise and excitement in paper making from native plants. She brought some of her most wondeful pieces for display in the Centre too. I particularly love the strong and beautiful connections which her work conveys between the natural and human worlds. (Kate Sankey)

You can find a more comprehensive bio here.
Prerequisite knowledge/skills
No previous skills are required to come on this workshop.
Course format
Day 1 - Using the plentiful materials afforded by West Moss-side's wonderful environment, participants will identify and gather suitable plant materials for papermaking.  They will start, though, by making wood ash lye, the gentlest of all alkalis. An alkaline substance is needed to separate the cellulose of a plant from the other substances such as lignin and waxes etc. which lead to a paper's deterioration. The safe disposal of the alkali will also be covered as will the use of other chemicals.
Participants will learn how to identify which parts of particular plants yield the cellulose and then how to access this cellulose.  After this, the plants will be cooked, rinsed and then beaten before being made into paper pulp.
Day 2 - Participants will begin to make sheets of paper, learning how to handle the different pulps, becoming familiar with the different ways of pressing the paper and of drying it.  How to store pulps will also be covered.  Other techniques such as embedding, embossing, using inclusions etc. will be covered including the preparation of plants for these purposes. Preparing the papers for other purposes such as writing or printing upon will also feature.
A set of fact sheets covering the above processes will be available free for participants. there will be DVDs shown over lunchtimes.
After completing this course...
You will have learnt about what makes paper paper!! The charateristics of cellulose, how to extract it, pulp it and make beautiful papers for all sorts of purposes - decorative or practical. The fact sheets and hand outs will equip you will all you need to continue this wonderful art at home.

Duration This is a two-day course, starting at 10:00 and finishing at 16:30
Dates There are no current scheduled dates for this course, please click here to send us a message indicating your interest in receiving details when they become available
Meals Country farmhouse fare will be provided together with generous supplies of teas and coffee.
Disabled facilities

More information
How do I book a place? There are no current scheduled dates for this course, please click here to send us a message indicating your interest in receiving details when they become available
What should I bring with me?
You will need a notebook.  Don't forget your camera too!
Are there any other related courses I can attend?
Other workshops which Charmian runs include Papermaking for the Classroom and Papermaking for Special Educational Needs. These workshops may be run in the future at West  Moss-side. If you are interested please contact Charmian or Kate
What have other attendess said about this course?

Wonderful, inspiring and many thanks. Jan 2008