Adult Workshops

MCBA’s in-person and virtual workshops in book arts are designed for adults looking to spark their creativity and professionals aiming to hone their practice. Our in-studio workshops offer hands-on experiences with specialized equipment and small class sizes, and often include a physical takeaway like a book, poster, or handmade paper. Virtual workshops feature processes that require easy-to-source materials and the opportunity to connect with artists from near and far. Our teaching artists—who bring a wide range of experience and education—thoughtfully balance lecture, demonstration, work time, and group sharing.

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Artist Panel: Shift-lab

with Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Sarah Bryant, Macy Chadwick, and Tricia Treacy
Thursday, February 29; 6–7:15pm CT

Shift-lab is Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Sarah Bryant, Macy Chadwick, and Tricia Treacy. This collective of five women artists—working across the United States—has produced print and book-based projects for more than a decade. Since 2013, Shift-lab has cultivated a collaborative practice through writing, curating, and making print- and book-based projects. In this virtual artist panel, learn more about Shift-lab’s collaborative process and the interdisciplinary work that seeks to find the intersections among language, sequence, structure, and narrative.
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Introduction to Book Design for Visual Artists

with Sarah Stengle
Thursdays: February 29, March 7, 14; 6–9pm CT

This introduction to book design is tailored to the needs of visual artists, with a focus on both traditional and experimental approaches to typography, layout, and book structure. During the first week, we’ll focus on typography, followed by designing page spreads and sequencing text and/or imagery in the second session. The third week, we’ll focus on supporting participants’ individual design goals. Each session will begin with a presentation followed by time working with materials related to the session’s topic with individual guidance from the teaching artist. During the last session, participants will learn how to attach a flexible paper (Kozo or Gampi) album-hinge onto watercolor paintings, drawings, or prints so that inflexible artwork can be bound together into a book format that opens fully even if the pages of artwork are inflexible. Continue reading “Introduction to Book Design for Visual Artists”

Paper Beater Training: March 2

Saturday, March 2; 11am-12pm 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.
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Cutting Equipment Orientation: March 5

Tuesday, March 5; 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.

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Postcard Pocket Notebook: Collaboration & Exchange

with Shift-lab members Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Sarah Bryant, and Macy Chadwick
Saturday, March 9; 9am–5pm CT

Exchange ideas, make new connections, and forge paths together in this collaborative workshop. Make an artist’s book containing language paired with mark-making exploration. Methods used for image-making are non-toxic, do not require equipment or complex setup, and are ideal for home studios and community engagement activities. 

Unlike traditional workshops, participants will be divided into groups and move from station to station, building their projects iteratively as they progress. At each station, Shift-lab members Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Sarah Bryant, and Macy Chadwick will demonstrate relief printing, pochoir, writing, and bookbinding techniques with time to work with individuals on their projects over 90-minute intervals. Continue reading “Postcard Pocket Notebook: Collaboration & Exchange”

All in the Spine: Long Stitch Binding

with Suzanne Glémot
Tuesdays: March 12, 19, 26; 6–9pm CT

Learn the foundations of the long stitch binding, a non-adhesive structure in which the sewing pattern’s design seems endlessly variable. Drawing from its history of use in account and record books across Early Modern Europe, this technique beautifully balances structural function with decorative elements.

In this virtual workshop, learn how to design and transpose a sewing pattern onto the spine of a paper case, based on a chosen number of signatures. Then, with step-by-step instructions, sew your text block into the covering materials through leather supports. Decorative elements such as button closures and stitching/embroidering into case paper will also be covered in demos throughout the workshop, and participants will learn how to strategize an ‘order of operations’ that fits their design choices. Continue reading “All in the Spine: Long Stitch Binding”

Alternative Printmaking at Home

with Rosae Reeder
Wednesdays: March 13, 20, 27; 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”

Screen Print Totes

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Thursday, March 14; 6–9pm CT

Screen print your unique design on three totes ahead of the gift-giving season! 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. These tote bags make wonderful reusable gift bags! Continue reading “Screen Print Totes”

Introduction to Marbling: March

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, March 16; 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: March”

Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (March)

with Bethany Rahn
Saturday, March 16; 10am–4pm CT

This in-person letterpress workshop offers an introduction to MCBA’s print studio—including key equipment, tools, and terminology—in addition to an opportunity to experience the satisfaction of printing a message through the hands-on process of letterpress printing. Get to know MCBA’s wood type collection and learn beginning typesetting with wood type. Learn the basics of working with a flatbed cylinder press, including operation, safety, and care while building skills using the equipment with support from a teaching artist. In pairs, choose a text (three to five words) and print your own small edition of posters on a Vandercook press.  Continue reading “Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (March)”

Printing for Preschoolers: Shapes, Letters, Patterns!

with Ellen Ferrari
Saturday, March 16; 10am–12pm CT

Circle around with friends to read Shape Spotters by Megan E. Bryant. Print pictures with geometrically shaped objects. Print patterns with wacky objects. Print placemats with fruits and vegetables. Print bookmarks with an alphabet stamp you make. Print a table runner with a stamp you make that rolls! Dress for mess.

In this in-person workshop, preschoolers get to work with a printing press, learn about type (used to print letters) and the parts of a printing press, and build fine motor skills using scissors and stylus. Preschoolers 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: Shapes, Letters, Patterns!”

Intermediate Hand Bookbinding

with India Johnson
Thursdays: March 21, 28, April 4, 11; 6–9pm CT

In this in-person workshop, build on foundational bookbinding skills to make two hardcover books (also known as case bindings) with a rounded spine. The two books will be bound the same way except for variations with the cover: One book features a cloth spine and decorative paper sides (known as a quarter binding), while the other pairs decorative paper with a cloth spine and corners (known as a half binding). Continue reading “Intermediate Hand Bookbinding”

Letterpress 3: Two-Color Postcards

with Jason Yoh
Thursdays: March 21 & 28; 6–9pm CT

Letterpress 3: Two-Color Postcards focuses on printing multiple layers and building printers’ confidence using Vandercook presses through practice. Printing more than one layer involves printing the same piece of paper multiple times with unique forms (raised type or image) and ink colors for each layer. Careful registration to make each layer align as designed requires planning and troubleshooting. In this in-person workshop, learn how to choose colors and mix ink as well as techniques for adjusting color on the press to create unique effects. Participants will also be introduced to MCBA’s larger Vandercooks, the 219 and Uni 3, which have the capacity to print larger forms and can be more comfortable for taller printers. Procedures for maintaining a community print studio will be reviewed in addition to basic press operation, care, and safety.  Continue reading “Letterpress 3: Two-Color Postcards”

European Papermaking

with Bridget O’Malley
Saturday, March 23; 10am–4pm and Sunday, March 24; 1–4pm CT

Learn the tools, terminology, and procedures of European-style papermaking in this in-person studio workshop. Participants will be guided through fiber preparation, the process of using moulds and deckles to form sheets, and techniques for pressing and drying. Our focus will be on consistent sheet formation and safe, effective beater use, empowering participants with a solid grounding in materials and techniques for future independent papermaking in MCBA’s Papermaking Labs Continue reading “European Papermaking”