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.

Screen Print: Cards

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Thursday, December 8; 6–9pm CT

Get familiar with MCBA’s screen printing studio and print your unique design on a set of holiday cards! In this in-person workshop, 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 celebrate holidays, winter, 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”

Introduction to Marbling: December

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, December 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. Continue reading “Introduction to Marbling: December”

Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (December)

with Monica Edwards Larson
Saturday, December 10; 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, design and print your own small edition of posters on a Vandercook press. Continue reading “Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (December)”

Pop-Up Cards for Winter Holidays and Beyond

with Jill Weese
Saturday, December 10; 1–4pm CT

Learn a variety of simple pop-up techniques and how to combine them to create one-of-a-kind cards for every occasion, with a focus on winter holidays. An abundance of papers and tools will be available for a playful and inventive session of card making in person at MCBA. Samples will be available to inspire your creativity. Continue reading “Pop-Up Cards for Winter Holidays and Beyond”

Paper Beater Training: December 13

Tuesday, December 13; 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.
Continue reading “Paper Beater Training: December 13”

Screen Print: Totes

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Thursday, December 15; 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 using hand-cut wax paper stencils—this process does not use a darkroom and is easy to do with minimal equipment at home. Instruction will cover stencil design, hand-cutting techniques, fabric ink, and tips for printing on fabric. 

Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. 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”

Modern Marbling 2

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday, December 17; 10am–4pm CT

Learn to make newly-designed, contemporary patterns in this in-person workshop, which is a continuation of Modern Marbling 1. 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 1 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”

Letterpress Topics: Winter Cards

with Molly Poganski
Saturday, December 17; 1–5pm CT

Build your confidence with letterpress printing while making winter holiday cards with other beginning printers and MCBA’s Studio Technician, Molly Poganski. Simple backgrounds will be pre-designed with type locked-up in presses in advance to maximize printing time and to allow for variation in card design. Participants will have some creative input with ink colors and may select and hand-set a word or short phrase in wood type to print. Participants can choose to exchange cards at the end of the workshop and all will come away with twenty cards and envelopes. The focus of this workshop is on skill-building, community, and wintry cheer! Continue reading “Letterpress Topics: Winter Cards”

Art Practice Circle: Winter Series

with Laura Brown
Mondays: January 9, February 6, March 6, April 3; 7–8:30pm CT

Would you like to attend all four Art Practice Circle meetings this winter? 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: Winter Series”

Art Practice Circle: January

with Laura Brown
Monday, January 9; 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: January”

Storage Book

with Rosae Reeder
Tuesdays: January 10, 17; 4:30–7pm CT

Want an elegant and playful way to store collections of small two-dimensional items? Construct a storage book! On night one of this virtual workshop, explore a selection of single page constructions for pockets, envelopes, “fold-outs,” and “tuck-ins,” as well as methods for adhering pages together. Discussion will also cover options for adhesives and materials, and potential embellishments. On the second night, begin to construct your storage book by attaching all of your storage pieces together to make a book. Learn a few mechanisms for binding, including ways that allow slightly dimensional items to be incorporated into your storage book, as well as methods for keeping your book closed with ribbon, a belly band (a paper strip that slides on and off), Velcro, magnets, and more. Come away with a unique hardcover storage book, along with templates for envelopes, lists of materials, tools, and other resources.  Continue reading “Storage Book”

Cutting Equipment Orientation: January 10

Tuesday, January 10; 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.

Continue reading “Cutting Equipment Orientation: January 10”

Altered Book Collage

with Hope Amico
Wednesdays: January 11, 18, 25, February 1; 4:30–6:30pm CT

Interested in collage but need a way to contain your ideas? Looking for inspiration and a place to start? In this virtual workshop, begin with a used trade book as part of a materials kit sent by the teaching artist. With that one book as both material and inspiration, participants will explore many ways of altering the book—through cutting, gluing, folding, building, and excavating stories. Learn strategies for working within a theme, what to do with unwanted text and images, ways to add and remove from an already bound object, and problem solving together.  Continue reading “Altered Book Collage”