19th Century Bookcloth with Natural Dyes

with India Johnson
Saturday, March 21; 9am-5pm

Unlike today’s cloth, bookcloth at the beginning of the 19th century was not backed with paper. Instead, it was coated with layers of dyed wheat starch paste. Learn how to recreate this durable covering material, which can be used for repair, as a leather alternative, or simply for its beauty. The workshop focuses on using natural dyes as colorants because they produce particularly rich and deep hues. However, participants will also learn to use XSL pigments, which are more suitable for conservation applications.

Certificate: 8 hours, Category C or D

$184 (10% discount for MCBA members) + $25 supply fee


Marbling Lab

$45 (10% discount for MCBA members) +$15 supply fee
Marbling experience required
Multiple Saturday offerings; 10am-4pm

Marbling experience required

Marbling lab provides access to marbling tools and equipment in MCBA’s wet studio for practitioners to build their skills outside of classes. Work on your own projects in the company of other artists in a friendly and supportive environment. Fee covers use of 16×20 inch tanks of carrageenan, rakes, alum, brushes, ice cube trays (for paints), and eye droppers; supply your own Golden Fluid Acrylic paint and paper. Please note: Carrageenan is used for western-style marbling only. If you plan to practice suminagashi, please call the Shop to let a staff member know so carrageenan is not prepared for you unnecessarily.


Modern Marbling

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday & Sunday, March 28-29; 10am-5pm
Intro to Marbling and Patterns I required

Take your marbling skills to a new level! In this two-day workshop, learn to make newly-designed, contemporary patterns. Explore how to over marble with intention. Learn to use new combs with different spacing. Inspired by traditional marbling, these patterns bring a familiar but fresh take on a centuries-old art form.

Certificate: 14 hours, Category B or D

$252 (10% discount for MCBA members) + $25 supply fee


Introduction to Western Papermaking

with Bridget O’Malley
Thursdays, April 2-May 7; 6-9pm

Learn the tools, terminology, and procedures of Western-style papermaking as you process cotton and abaca fibers in the Hollander beaters, use moulds and deckles to form sheets, and explore traditional drying techniques. Then, up the ante by adding pigments, inclusions, and/or sizing! Focus will be on consistent sheet formation and on a solid grounding in materials and technique.

Certificate: 18 hours, Category A or D, fulfills papermaking requirement

$324 (10% discount for MCBA members) + $35 supply fee


Dirty Works: Suminagashi

with Erin Maurelli
Friday, April 3; 6–8pm
Great for beginners

Suminagashi is a traditional form of paper marbling from Japan. The word suminagashi literally translates to “floating ink.” Create lovely and unpredictable patterns using this ancient decorative technique.

Join MCBA for Dirty Works, a series of casual classes, taking place on the first Friday of each month. Activities are designed for the bookishly curious and the creatively apprehensive; no experience needed.

$35 + $5 supply fee


Marbling Wall Art

with Sally Power
Saturday-Sunday, April 4 & 5; 10am-4pm

Go beyond patterns and explore how to make pictures via marbling. These pictures can be applied to a patterned background or a blank background and allows you to further decorate papers for binding or wall art. This class draws on techniques from Turkish marbling (Ebru) but with an American twist. Methods include: how to make the colors more intense, learning to draw/paint by managing the paint on the surface, and using a stylus as well as combs.

Certificate: 12 hours, Category C or D

$252 (10% discount for MCBA members) + $25 supply fee


Paper: An Ancient Medium in East Asian Contemporary Art

with Peng Wu
Sundays, April 19 & 26; 9am-4pm

Understanding the historical and social context of a medium is critical to art making. The class will start with a brief survey of paper as a historically significant medium used in ancient China, and its presence in Asian contemporary art and design, specifically in China, Japan, and Korea.

The survey will give you a broad understanding of the evolving role of paper in artistic expression, inspiring you to step out of the preconception of what paper is and can do. Two sessions of hands-on papermaking will allow for open-minded experimentation and play. Participate in a friendly culminating critique session so that you can practice articulating your work, a key component of contemporary art making.

Certificate: 14 hours, Category B or D

$252 (10% discount for MCBA members) + $60 supply fee