Making decorative papers with Tracey Bush

Ref: S3D33483

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About this course

Learn the fascinating Japanese techniques of Suminagashi (marbling), Orizomegami (paper folding and dyeing) and Momigami (kneaded paper) and European paste papers to make a range of decorative papers. You will create an array of surfaces and patterns to develop in other creative work after the course.

Course Description

During this three-day course, you will become immersed in the creation of decorative papers.

On the first evening, you will view a range of finished papers and associated publications to gain an impression of the possibilities of paper decoration.

During the three days, you will learn how to create a range of decorative surfaces on paper, including Japanese decorating processes, such as Suminagashi, which is an ancient technique for marbling paper where ink is floated on water and an impression taken on ‘rice’ paper. Although an apparently simple process, Tracey will guide you through the incredible diversity possible in this technique.

You will also learn the skills needed to create Orizomegami, a technique where paper is folded and dyed, with final results similar to the Shibori technique on fabric. Momigami (kneaded paper) transforms the paper into a soft, fabric-like surface with a myriad of uses.

Finally, Tracey will introduce you to European paste paper decoration, which has been used for book covers for centuries. The final papers can also be polished, which creates a leather like surface.

All the materials and tools used during the course can be replicated at home after the course, and Tracey will provide thorough worksheets, with suggested materials for all the processes covered.

During the course, you will create an array of surfaces and patterns which you can develop in other creative work after the course.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor will supply most of the materials, including papers and inks/colours for Suminagashi, Orizomegami, Momigami and paste papers.
  • The tools and other surface treatments will be provided by the tutor and shared by the group.
  • You may need to buy additional papers if you work very quickly or require alternative colours or sizes to those provided by the tutor, as the materials provided will cover an introductory set for each process.

What students need to bring

  • A notebook and pen
  • Any interesting paper that you might want to try using in the processes described
  • All small tools will be provided by the tutor, so you can be sure before committing to buying anything for your own use.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Paste brushes, pigments, paints, bone folders, a range of papers, e.g. Sumi, Ho-sho paper suitable for decorating
  • Available from tutor:
  • Some additional papers, if required

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Tracey Bush

Tracey Bush trained as an illustrator, and successfully freelanced for many years. She has produced a series of books, which have been acquired by the Yale Centre for British Art, Tate Britain and the Marvin Sackner Collection of Concrete Poetry. In 2014 Tracey was commissioned to create the large scale 'Ports of the World' butterfly box, which is installed on the P&O cruise ship, Britannia.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.