Introduction to Marbling: July

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday, July 1; 10am–4pm CT

Experience the magic of marbling firsthand with this single-day, in-person workshop! Learn the basic process of paper marbling with acrylics, including recipes for the various components of the process. Make four basic patterns (stones, moire/waved, git-gel, and nonpareil), explore seasonal color palettes, and take home your own marbled papers ready to be used in bookbinding and other arts. Participants will leave the workshop with the confidence to work independently at MCBA’s Marbling Labs. Continue reading “Introduction to Marbling: July”

Printing for Preschoolers: Let’s Go Fishing

with Ellen Ferrari
Saturday, July 1; 10am–12pm CT

Catch a reading of Kevin Sherry’s I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean. Print a lake with fish stamps and cookie cutters. Create creatures with letters F-I-S-H, etc. Safely make a series of cuts in a printing block to create a big ocean image and print with brayers and barens. Use a roller stamp for schools of fish. Last, try gyotaku, Japanese fish printing (with a rubber fish).

In this in-person workshop, preschoolers learn the basics of object and relief printing, work with tools like brayers and barens, and build fine motor skills using stamps and inking blocks. They also grow their interest in books and visual arts and feel pride as they engage in artmaking in a book arts studio regularly accessed by working artists. Ellen designed this workshop to meet preschoolers where they are both developmentally and in their interests. Continue reading “Printing for Preschoolers: Let’s Go Fishing”

Alternative Printmaking at Home

with Rosae Reeder
Wednesdays: July 5, 12, 19; 5–8pm CT

This virtual printmaking workshop focuses on using accessible materials to make prints and embellish existing art projects. Explore several techniques including packing tape transfer, Matte Medium transfer, watercolor monoprint, and Gelli plate printing. All of these processes can be done safely at home without caustic materials, chemicals, or printing presses. After learning printing techniques, participants will construct a single-page book structure to experiment with creating simple artist’s books from prints. No prior bookbinding or printmaking experience is needed. Continue reading “Alternative Printmaking at Home”

Hardcore Petal-Fold Book

with Erica Spitzer Rasmussen
Thursday, July 6; 6–9pm CT

Inspired by origami folding techniques, learn how to make a 4 x 4 inch petal-fold book, covered with decorative Japanese paper. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore variations on this book form by modifying the shape of the page and by attaching the sheets in different configurations. The petal-fold book is a nonlinear book format that can be read from multiple vantage points depending on how the reader engages with it. This creates exciting opportunities when arranging text and imagery, which will be discussed further during this in-person workshop. Continue reading “Hardcore Petal-Fold Book”

Screen Print Totes

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Thursday, July 6; 6–9pm CT

Screen print your own unique design on a set of three tote bags! In this in-person workshop, discover how to screen print without a darkroom, using hand-cut wax paper stencils instead. Instruction will cover stencil design, hand-cutting techniques, fabric ink, and tips for printing on fabric. 

Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Your design may be a way to get your message out into the world with themes around equality, justice, or anything close to your heart! Final designs should fit on a letter-sized sheet of paper (maximum width 8.5 inches). Simple designs are encouraged. Continue reading “Screen Print Totes”

Cutting Equipment Orientation: July 11

Tuesday, July 11; 6:30-7:30pm CT

If you aren’t already trained to use our cutting equipment, here is your opportunity! Through hands-on training you will learn the capabilities of each piece of MCBA’s bindery cutting equipment, and how to use them correctly and safely. Completion of this training will allow you to rent this equipment and use it independently. This orientation was previously titled Cutting Equipment Training. Studio Labs are not eligible for Certificate credit.

Continue reading “Cutting Equipment Orientation: July 11”

Art Practice Circle: July

with Laura Brown
Tuesday, July 11; 7–8:30pm CT

Art Practice Circle meets virtually and offers a friendly community space to listen and share about artmaking. The benefits of connecting with fellow makers are multiple: to inspire and encourage one another, to be an audience for one another’s work and creative process, and to move our work forward by talking about it out loud. This gathering will provide time for each person to share about their work—a particular work in progress, an idea that needs exploring, or a struggle with a specific work—as well as a conversation about what inspires us and strategies for tracking progress. Recommended for those who practice some form of book arts (book/paper/print) or related process (such as calligraphy, papercutting, marbling, etc.). Continue reading “Art Practice Circle: July”

Screen Print Cards

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Thursday, July 13; 6–9pm CT

Get familiar with MCBA’s screen printing studio and print your unique design on a set of cards! Learn the basics of screen printing using hand-drawn artwork, cut-paper stencils, and darkroom techniques. Instruction will cover design, screen exposure, ink, and printing on paper. Cards may be a call for action, kind words for a loved one, or anything else you think up! Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Each participant will come away with ten cards approximately 4.25 x 5.5 inches in size. Continue reading “Screen Print Cards”

Birch Bark Bitings

with Kelly Church
Saturday, July 15; 1–4pm CT

Birch bark has a wide variety of uses and has been utilized by the Native Tribes of the US who had it available to them to harvest. As it is buoyant, birch bark can be used for making a canoe and it is also a great fire starter. In summer months, birch bark is used for lodging, to store food, and to wrap and cook fish. Because of its ability to be etched upon, birch bark can share moments and stories with marks made by tools or teeth. In this in-person workshop, bite thin peeled pieces of bark to create “dental pictographs.”

Learn the cultural context for Indigenous birch bark bitings and the process of creating them with Kelly Church, an Ottawa/Pottawatomi black ash basket maker, fiber artist, educator, activist, and culture keeper. Kelly will share her practice, teachings, and process for birch bark biting as well as technical skills while participants make two birch bark bitings of their own.

All skill levels welcome
Certificate: 3 hours, Category A, B, or D

$8/participant; if this presents a barrier, please reach out to to register free of charge

Kelly Church’s art is part of Paper Is People: Decolonizing Global Paper Cultures, an exhibition curated by Tia Blassingame and Stephanie Sauer, which offers a new definition of paper­ within a global and decolonial framework. The exhibition is on view in MCBA’s Main Gallery April 14 through August 12, with a reception on Thursday, June 22.

Kelly Church (she/her) is an Ottawa/Pottawatomi black ash basket maker, fiber artist, educator, activist and culture keeper. A member of the Gun Lake Band in Michigan and a Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Ojibwe descendent, she comes from an unbroken line of black ash basket makers and from the largest black ash weaving family in the Great Lakes region.

Church’s journey as an advocate for the survival of Native traditions and the black ash tree has involved many national and international art programs, exhibitions, and partnerships with government agencies such as tribal offices and the US Forest Service. She has received multiple honors and awards, including being named a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, earning a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s National Artist Fellowship, and being a four-time Artist Leadership Program participant of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Her artwork has been exhibited and purchased by both public and private collectors around the world.

Paper Is People is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and a Craft Research Fund grant from the Center for Craft.

Masks are strongly recommended for program participants working close to others in MCBA’s studios. See our Covid Safety Guidelines for more information.

Please note: Registration closes 7/10 at midnight (CT).

Experimental Marbling Intensive

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday–Sunday, July 15 & 16; 10am–4pm CT

Combine traditional marbling and painterly suminagashi techniques in this in-person marbling intensive. Use non-traditional tools to create landscapes, simple botanical pictures, and graphic abstract designs. Use the same techniques on the second day to over-marble some of the marbled papers from the previous day. This intensive workshop is perfect for those who want to step out of traditional pattern-making and explore ways to create unique decorative paper. Come away with several marbled papers and notes to continue experimenting in Marbling Labs or elsewhere after the workshop. Introduction to Marbling or equivalent experience is helpful, but not required. Continue reading “Experimental Marbling Intensive”

Garden Monotypes

with Claudia Danielson and Mary Leikvold
Saturday, July 15; 10am–4pm CT

Calling all garden lovers! In this lively in-person workshop, transform plant material from your garden (or someone else’s) into beautiful one-of-a-kind prints. Monotypes offer artists the spontaneity of painting combined with the structure and deliberation of printmaking. The process is fun and freeing for everyonefrom beginners to experienced artists. Learn the basics, then experiment and explore the medium under the guidance of two experienced printmakers and teachers. Come away from the workshop with a portfolio of prints celebrating the garden. Continue reading “Garden Monotypes”

Artist Panel: Paper Is People

moderated by Tia Blassingame and Stephanie Sauer
Tuesday, July 18; 6–7:30pm CT

Join us for a panel conversation between co-curators, Tia Blassingame and Stephanie Sauer, and select exhibiting artists: Page Chang, Hong Hong, Chenta Laury, and Skye Tafoya. This virtual conversation will explore the importance of each artist’s relationship to the tradition of papermaking they practice, and what they are doing to revitalize and adapt those traditions.

Paper Is People: Decolonizing Global Paper Cultures offers a new definition of paper­ within a global and decolonial framework. This exhibition features works by local, national, and international artists and explores the vital role substrates play in human communities and how meaning is made from what we might call paper and papermaking. The exhibition is on view in MCBA’s Main Gallery April 14 through August 12, with a reception on Thursday, June 22. Continue reading “Artist Panel: Paper Is People

Paper Beater Training: July 18

Tuesday, July 18; 6:30-7:30pm CT
Papermaking Experience Required

If you aren’t already trained to use our paper beaters, here is your opportunity! Through hands-on training you will learn the capabilities of each piece of MCBA’s paper beaters, and how to use them correctly and safely. Completion of this training will allow you to rent this equipment and use it independently. Studio Labs are not eligible for Certificate credit.
Continue reading “Paper Beater Training: July 18”

Letterpress Cards with Hebrew Type

with Robyn Awend
Thursday, July 20; 6–9pm CT

Mazel Tov (Congratulations)! Shalom (Peace)! Ahavah (Love)! Experience letterpress printing while making cards with MCBA’s new collection of Hebrew wood type. This in-person workshop is designed for those new to letterpress printing with a desire to build skills and community through playful experimentation with Jewish-themed designs! Text and simple backgrounds will be pre-designed with type locked up in presses in advance to maximize printing time and allow for the basic concepts of printing to be introduced. Participants will have some creative input with ink colors and may select and hand-set a word or short phrase (as a group) in wood type to print. Participants can choose from a selection of cards at the end of the workshop and all will come away with ten to fifteen cards and envelopes. Continue reading “Letterpress Cards with Hebrew Type”