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St Cuthberts Mill - Somerset
Bockingford Digital Inkjet & Somerset Enhanced DFA Papers

Situated in the South West of England, St Cuthberts Mill has, since the 1700s, consistently produced the finest quality artist papers. These Digital Fine Art Paper additions to the range are made to the same archival standards as the Traditional Fine Art Papers bearing the same name. Those familiar with Bockingford and Somerset traditional fine art papers can now reproduce their art on familiar surfaces with qualities in which they can have absolute confidence.

Both qualities are mould made & Somerset Enhanced is 100% pure cotton. St Cuthberts Mill artists papers are acid free, archival, buffered with calcium carbonate (for added protection against atmospheric pollutants) and made to a high level of consistency. Online Paper are proud to have had these papers as part of our catalogue for many years.

At On-LinePaper ?we have a great relationship with St Cuthberts Mill, a world leading manufacturer of quality mould made artist papers. Situated in the southwest of England, this historic paper mill has been making paper since the 1700's.? More recently we have been testing their papers on a range of Epson Stylus Pro machines using both Epson and Lyson inks and have also created a range of remote ICC profiles that can be used with their papers.

St Cuthberts Mill specialises in making high quality artist papers. These papers are all mould made using a traditional cylinder mould machine, giving the sheet excellent surface stability and superior strength when compared to standard fourdrinier/machine made papers. Mould made papers offer consistent quality with each sheet guaranteed to perform the same as the last. The papers are manufactured to museum grade archivability using pure raw materials. The sheets are buffered with calcium carbonate to help defend finished pieces of work from discolouration caused by acids present in pollution.

St Cuthberts Mill was responsible for first developing genuine fine art inkjet papers back in 1999. There are three very different types of papers in the range. The NEW Somerset Photo paper, Somerset Enhanced (also know as Somerset Photo Enhanced in the US), and Bockingford Inkjet which was developed from the Bockingford watercolour paper range with a special double sided coating.

What they say about their paper:

Mould Made Paper

Mould made papers simulate the handmade process on a mechanised paper machine. These papers can be mistaken for handmade but there are distinct differences.

The mould is not held by the hand; instead it?s replaced by a slowly rotating cylinder mould, which picks up the paper stock from the vat. The paper is then deposited onto a continuously moving woollen felt.

Mould made paper combines the consistent quality of machine made (fourdrinier) papers, but with the individual character of handmade papers. They are of particular interest to artists because of their increased surface strength and beautiful surface texture. Mould made papers won't easily tear because the fibres lay randomly across the sheet, whereas, the fibres in fourdrinier papers tend to lie in one direction, making the sheet weak in this area. This is why you can tear newsprint in one direction creating clean torn lines but not in the other way.

Depending on the grade of paper, one of the characterists of mould made paper is very clear watermarks and gorgeous deckle edges. All St Cuthberts Mill artist papers are mould made.

'Felt' and 'Mould' Sides of the Paper
All paper has two distinctly different sides. With mould made paper they are called the 'felt' and 'mould' sides. The 'felt' side relates to the top side of the paper, and gets its name because it touches the natural woollen felt first during manufacture. The 'mould' side in contrast is the side that is in contact with the wire mesh of the cylinder mould that rotates inside the vat of pulp. The 'felt' side is considered superior to the 'mould' side by many artists.

The 'felt' side has a more ramdom pattern associated with it, while the 'mould' side is more regular, as the wire mesh is still partly visible.
The paper is made so that both sides of the paper are suitable for use. All paper made at St Cuthberts Mill is packed so that the 'felt' side uppermost.

Watermarks, Embossed Marks and Deckle Edges

Identifying marks are added to some of our papers so they are easily identified as an authentic paper.

Watermarks are one of the oldest ways of putting a name in the paper to prove it is an original paper and not a counterfeit. Saunders Waterford and Somerset both have watermarks bearing the papers name.

The watermark is quite clear in mould made papers, however, the heavier the paper the more difficult it is to read. If the watermark is the correct way round, you are looking at the 'felt side' (generally the preferred painting side) of the paper.

Watermarks are created by sewing letters or a design onto the wire mesh of the 'mould'. This causes the paper to be made thinner around the mark, allowing us to see it when it is held to the light.

Embossed marks
These are literally stamped into the sheet of paper, to help identify the paper. Saunders Waterford carries the embossed mark of the St Cuthberts Cross.

Deckle Edges
Deckle edges are added to premium quality watercolour and printmaking papers to improve the visual appearance of the sheet. Deckle edges are the naturally rough feathery edge seen on the edge of the paper. Many artists take advantage of the deckle edge by 'float framing' their work. Both Saunders Waterford and Somerset have four deckle edges.

Metric vs Imperial measurments
Watercolour papers are weighed in g/m? (gsm) or lbs. It is rather confusing to most people because the g/m? and lbs weights do not correspond to each other. The simplest way to refer to paperweights is using the g/m? method, as it is measuring the grams per square metre. The lbs method is measuring the weight of a ream of paper (usually 500 sheets) in a given size (normally in imperial size which is 560 x 760mm - 22" x 30"). This means if the paper size changes to say half imperial, the lb weight will also change for a sheet that is exactly the same thickness.