Adult Workshops

MCBA offers in-person and virtual workshops in book arts—from letterpress printing to paper marbling and everything in between! Designed for adults looking to spark their creativity and professionals aiming to hone their technique, MCBA’s workshops feature intimate class sizes and hands-on experiences using process-specific equipment, including technology designed and built in the 19th and 20th centuries, and artisan-built equipment made today. Workshops focus on building skills in a specific process, which often leads to a physical takeaway like a bound book, a letterpress printed poster, a screen printed zine, or a sheet of paper made or marbled by hand.

Teaching artists bring a wide range of education and experience along with a mission to inspire connection and creativity. Workshops are designed to balance lecture, demonstration, work time, and group sharing.

Workshops are eligible for credit toward MCBA’s Certificate programs. Enrollees receive a 20% discount on tuition. MCBA members receive a 10% discount on tuition.

Have questions about registration or recording policies? Check out MCBA’s Workshop & Studio Lab Policies and FAQs. If you are a teaching artist, you can propose a workshop here. Add your name to a wait list if a workshop you’d like to take is full. You’ll be contacted if another section of the workshop is scheduled.

Cutting Equipment Orientation: August 16

Tuesday, August 16; 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.
Continue reading “Cutting Equipment Orientation: August 16”

Pop-Up Curious? Explore Movement!

with Shawn Sheehy
Wednesday, August 17; 6–9pm CT

Do you look at pop-up books and wonder how they are engineered? Do you make greeting cards and harbor the desire to make your cards more spectacular? Do you make artist’s books and yearn to introduce dimension and animation? Even if you are simply compelled to read this description, you might be POP-UP CURIOUS. This class—with a focus on movement—will explore the fundamentals of paper engineering that address movables (pulls and wheels). You’ll build a series of simple models using the tools, techniques, and materials of the trade. You’ll examine trade pop-up books that show how the structures have been used. When finished, you’ll bind your models into a simple case. This quick beginner class is an entertaining gateway into more advanced study. Continue reading “Pop-Up Curious? Explore Movement!”

Teaching Printmaking to Young Children

with Ellen Ferrari
Saturday, August 20; 10am–12pm CT

Printmaking is a fun and engaging way to teach new skills, increase vocabulary and spatial awareness, and develop early childhood literacy. In this in-person workshop, parents, grandparents and caregivers will explore basic printmaking and methods of introducing it to young children. We will begin with age-appropriate books and activities featuring printed images, shapes, and letters. Next, we will work with tools: cookie cutters, tubes, plastic letters, and more, and try techniques including stamping, rolling, and block printing that will illustrate key concepts (positive and negative, single and multiple, forward and reverse). We will have time to experiment with individual projects. Special attention will be paid to using materials that are inexpensive, reusable, and easily found at home or the grocery store. Everyone will have the opportunity to browse through printsmade by commercial presses, artists, and preschoolersfor more ideas. Continue reading “Teaching Printmaking to Young Children”

Modern Marbling 2

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday, August 20; 10am–4pm CT

Learn to make newly-designed, contemporary patterns in this in-person workshop, which is a continuation of Modern Marbling I. Inspired by traditional marbling, these patterns bring a familiar-but-fresh take on a centuries-old art form. A thirty-minute demonstration of advanced patterns learned in Modern Marbling I will be shown at the beginning of the workshop. The rest of the time the instructor will work with each participant one-on-one, answering questions and troubleshooting.  Continue reading “Modern Marbling 2”

Sewn Boards Binding

with Karen Hanmer
Wednesday, August 24; 5–8pm CT

The sewn boards binding is Gary Frost’s elegant, modern adaptation of an ancient method of board attachment. Stiffened outer signatures sewn along with the text block function as the book’s covers. 

The book opens flat. It can be dressed up or down with a variety of spine treatments, board-covering materials, and edge decoration techniques. It can be constructed quickly, lends itself to edition work, and can be made in a sparsely equipped home studio.  Continue reading “Sewn Boards Binding”

Introduction to Marbling: August

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, August 27; 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. Continue reading “Introduction to Marbling: August”

Garden Monotypes

with Claudia Danielson and Mary Leikvold
Saturday, August 27; 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”

Bookbinding 1: Sewn and Folded Books

with Frank Hurley
Thursdays: September 8, 15, 22; 6–9pm CT

In this in-person workshop, learn foundational skills in bookbinding while making three book structures: pamphlet, single-sheet book with hardcover, and stab binding. An introduction to basic tools and materials will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to make these bindings again in different sizes and with other options for materials. Learn how to find the grain direction in a variety of papers along with how to fold and score paper. Learn methods of measuring paper and how to cut a stack of paper with MCBA’s guillotine paper cutters. Come away with a strong foundation for growing your skills in bookbinding and skills needed to make your own notebooks and journals at MCBA’s Bookbinding Labs.
Continue reading “Bookbinding 1: Sewn and Folded Books”

Introduction to Marbling: September

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, September 10; 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: September”

Screen Print: Photo Emulsion

with Ben Etten and Michelle Lee Lagerroos
Saturday, September 10; 10am–4pm CT

Get familiar with MCBA’s newly revamped screen printing studio and practice the photo emulsion process from positive creation and screen coating to exposure and reclaiming. Each participant will complete an edition of multi-layered screen prints and come away from the workshop with the confidence to work independently at MCBA’s Screen Printing Labs. Some screen printing experience may be helpful, but is not necessary.

Create your design positives using hand-drawn artwork and/or cut paper stencils. Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Final designs should fit on a letter-sized sheet of paper (maximum width 8.5 inches) and may include up to two colors. Continue reading “Screen Print: Photo Emulsion”

Art Practice Circle: Fall Series

with Laura Brown
Mondays: September 12, October 3, November 7, December 5; 7–8:30pm CT

Would you like to attend all four Art Practice Circle meetings this fall? Register for them all at once and receive a discount!

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 monthly 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: Fall Series”

Art Practice Circle: September

with Laura Brown
Mondays: September 12; 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 monthly 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: September”