Japanese Paper Summerschool – Elaine Cooper Master Papermaker


Monday 15 August – Friday 19 August 2022


Refreshments included

This five-day master class introduces Washi Japanese paper, through a mixture of teaching and hands-on practical experience. Suitable for those with little or no previous experience or those wishing to expand their technical range.

 Washi has considerable distinctions according to the type of fibre to the strength of  fibre and most of all to the skills of the maker.

A truly inspirational five days where the ancient art of papermaking is explored and the many aspects of washi and its versatility as an art medium are shared.

Each day will be assigned to a different approach of working with the medium, experimenting with traditional techniques and creating contemporary papers suitable for print, textile and bookbinding.

Almost a millennium before paper was made in the West, Japanese papermakers were producing fantastic varieties of paper for a multitude of uses. The essentials have changed little over the centuries but the vision and finesse of papermaking endures.

Artist/papermaker Elaine Cooper will bring to this summer school the skills she perfected whilst working with master papermakers in Japan. Students will find the subject and the teaching methods enthralling and will be keen to experiment themselves using traditional Japanese equipment and materials.

Students will focus on the making of washi Japanese paper from Kozo fibre. The course will cover the fundamentals of fibre preparation, beating and hands-on papermaking, including laminating and creation of decorative papers.

Beginning with Nagashizuki (Japanese sheet forming) before moving on to create four different types of washi, Kinkarakami (paper leather), Momigami (textile), and Uchigumo – one of Japan’s oldest decorated papers.

Part of the course involves working with relief print, lino, woodblocks and other surfaces. These will be used to explore a range of printmaking techniques and finally cut, spliced and joined together to form one unique Kiritsugi sheet.

Students will have an exclusive talk about the rare paper exhibition which will run alongside the summer school.

Grasp this  unique opportunity to work with a Master – Elaine Cooper is the only person qualified to teach the Nagashizuki methods of sheet forming in UK.

Elaine Cooper is recognised as a world expert on handmade paper and is a leading exponent on the use of Washi in art and design. In 2002 she was presented with an Ambassadors Commendation by the Japanese Embassy in recognition of her contribution to the deepening understanding and friendship between Japan and the UK.


Blue image of dots 

Kyo Katazomegami


300 x 375mm
Nishida Wafu-do
“Samekomon” provides an exemplary example of drill engraving. Engraving as well as dyeing requires expert skill and experience.  Pattern used traditionally for dyeing cloth here it is used on washi paper, the beauty of vertical curves is fully demonstrated.

Spike Print Studio is a partner with the Centre for Fine Print Research for the international printmaking conference Impact 12, which is taking place in Bristol 21-25 September. We are running these lead-in workshops for the conference.

A summer of Print: Listening to each other’s voices

*Please note that the course price has increased since out leaflet was printed due to cost of materials.

Images:  Young Elaine; Boiled Kozo fibre; drying Kozo


Spaces available