Book Arts 101: Letterpress, Suminagashi, Hardcover Book
MCBA is offering four pre-recorded book arts workshops to support all community members wherever they are learning. Find lists of materials below, as well as a video tour of MCBA’s studios. These workshops are free and available anytime.
Power of the Press
Learn about the history and power of the printing press as a tool for sharing knowledge, and witness the press printing a poster—all in under fifteen minutes. This pre-recorded workshop is recommended for grades 3–12, and is a wonderful supplement to learning about history, printmaking, and/or printing presses!
Note: When first released, this pre-recorded workshop included an opportunity for groups to submit a message that was then printed by MCBA staff and volunteers. That component is not available at this time.
Suminagashi Paper Marbling
Immerse yourself in Suminagashi (“floating ink”) paper marbling! This pre-recorded workshop includes the history of paper marbling across cultures—from its origins in 12th-century Japan to its development in Turkey to the present day—and detailed demonstrations of basic techniques and patterns. Follow along and make unique marbled paper that you can use to make cards, books, or simply just enjoy. Recommended for grades K-12, but adult supervision may be required for younger students. Note: The video lasts twenty minutes, but the activity would take about one hour.
Materials list (per 2-3 students):
- 15+ pieces of paper (we use 8 ½” x 11” in. colored construction paper)
- Suminagashi inks (can be purchased at our shop here)
- 1 tub/tray 9 x 12 in. or larger (we recommend a dish tub, cake pan, or plastic organizing box)
- 6x small cups for ink
- 6x small paint brushes (different colors, if possible)
- 1x toothpick
- 18+ newspaper strips
- 1x pea sized amount of lotion
- 1x pencil
- Materials to hang dry papers (i.e. clothespins and a wire)
- Small scrap of paper to fold into a fan (optional)
- Plastic cutting board or box lid to pull prints onto (optional)
Bookbinding Workshop: Hardcover Book
Learn the step-by-step process of making a hardcover book in this pre-recorded workshop! This book project involves both sewn and tape bindings, and the final product can be used as a hardcover journal or sketchbook perfect for class notes, stories, and more. This technical workshop is recommended for students in grades 5–12 and takes around 1 to 1 ½ hours to complete.
Materials List (per student):
- 2x book boards (5 ¾” x 9” in.)
- 2x decorative cover papers (7 ¾” x 11” in.)
- 1x endsheet (5 ½” x 8 ⅝” in.)
- 1x cover for pamphlet (8 ⅝” x 11 ½” in.)
- 8x sheets copy paper (8 ½” x 11” in.)
- 1x piece book tape (2” x 19 ½” in.)
- 1x 28-inch piece of thread
- 1x 11/16th-inch template
- 2x pencils
- 1x glue stick
- 4x paper clips
- 1x thumbtack
- 1x embroidery needle
- 1x bone folder or bone folder alternative (a ruler, spoon, popsicle stick, etc.)
- 5+ waste sheets (magazine pages work great)
- 1x kitchen sponge or other item to protect work surface from thumbtack (optional)
- Note: Some materials listed above could be sourced by purchasing a hardcover book kit here, if you prefer not to source and prepare all materials yourself.
Minnesota Center for Book Arts Tour Video
Take a virtual tour of Minnesota Center for Book Arts’ studios and gallery, and see where all the magic happens! Learn about the history of our Center, as well as the range of mediums that book arts encompasses, all in ten minutes! This video is a perfect addition to any and all of our virtual workshop offerings, providing context about MCBA and leaving you inspired.