Introduction to Marbling: March

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, March 11; 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 Savannah Bustillo
Saturday, March 11; 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)”

Autobiographical Comics

with Camilo Aguirre
Saturdays: March 11, 18, 25; 1–2:30pm CT

As part of his art practice, Camilo Aguirre explores relationships between personal anecdotes and historical narratives to highlight the participation of every person in the weaving of the social fabric. Learn strategies and formats for autobiographical comics that feature your experience through written memoir and drawings. Each session will feature a topic—language of comics, memoir comics references, and script structure and approaches—and will begin with a presentation and examples followed by exercises designed to support participants in building their skills to write their own autobiographical comics. Sessions two and three will begin with friendly group conversation about works-in-progress. Demonstrations will be drawn digitally but participants are welcome to draw in any format they choose, from digital drawing on a tablet to pen/pencil on paper. This workshop is designed for those who would like instruction and guided practice in illustration and drawing. Intermediate-level illustrators are welcome as well. Continue reading “Autobiographical Comics”

Storytelling with Mixed Media Collage

with grace (ge) gilbert
Tuesdays: March 14, 21, 28; 5–6:30pm CT

In telling our own story, we tend to putter around trying to find the proper container, oftentimes bracing up against the limitations of genre. A “hybrid form,” however, is a form that borrows from multiple genres. Experimenting with multiple genres can help us discover how to tell the stories we’ve been meaning to tell. In this workshop, we will discuss how to use artifacts and found materials around the home (including personal photographs and documents) to create 2D collages and how to incorporate these collages into a hybrid narrative project. Learn simple tools and tricks for creating mixed-media collages, and ways to form relationships between text and image. In each session, learn by examining a sample hybrid text together as a group, followed by a demo by the teaching artist. Then, put your new skills to practice with generative prompts inspired by the sample examined earlier. Come away with a generous reading list, new collage skills, and the beginnings of a hybrid text/image project idea.  Continue reading “Storytelling with Mixed Media Collage”

Mini Modeled Books

with Amanda D’Amico
Tuesdays: March 14 & 28; 6–8:30pm CT

What happens when you combine historical Coptic bindings with contemporary craft materials? You get small, playful book objects! For the bookbinder who loves sculpture, this virtual workshop will cover how to make a three-dimensional book cover using Crayola Model Magic, a non-toxic, lightweight modeling material. Part one of the workshop will cover tips and tricks for working with the modeling material, as well as how to design your book object for success. Part two of the workshop will cover instruction on the two-needle Coptic stitch binding, a traditional and wonderfully adaptable sewing technique that can be used for many sculptural structures. Previous bookbinding experience is helpful but not necessary. Participants will leave the workshop with a finished three-dimensional book object and the skills to make many more! Continue reading “Mini Modeled Books”

Cutting Equipment Orientation: March 14

Tuesday, March 14; 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: March 14”

The Book as Sculpture

with India Johnson
Thursdays: March 16, 23, 30; 6–9pm CT

This in-person workshop is an exploration of the book as sculpture. Consider the book’s objectness in terms of volume, weight, and space/location. In each session, get inspired by images of sculptural books and book installations by various artists. Then, learn how to make a sculptural book or a structure that lends itself well to installation (for example, it may be constructed of various folded units that can be arranged sequentially on a wall). Experiment with ideas based on what you learned in addition to guided prompts that push you to think about books in 3D.

During the last session of the workshop, participants will be guided through the process of installation, presentation (this includes photographing work and drafting “wall text” to label your work for potential exhibitions), and lighting a sculptural bookwork or work-in-progress in MCBA’s bindery and reference library before taking home finished work. Friendly group feedback may be shared, if time allows. Continue reading “The Book as Sculpture”

Basic Boxmaking

with Savannah Bustillo
Saturday, March 18; 10am–4pm CT

Join in the fun of decorative boxes! If you are curious about how to make your own little decorative boxes to hold small objects like jewelry, mementos, or dice, this in-person workshop is a great start and will provide a strong foundation to continue building your skills in making boxes. Begin by creating a simple box without a lid (4 x 4 x 2 inches), wrapped in decorative paper. Learn the basics of cutting book board (both by hand and with MCBA’s board shear), a method to wrap book board with paper, and techniques to glue effectively. Then, make simple dividers to add to your box to create compartments. Lastly, make an additional box with a hinged lid (also 4 x 4 x 2 inches). Continue reading “Basic Boxmaking”

Developing Contemporary Marbling Patterns

with Sally Power
Saturday, March 18; 10am–4pm CT

Marbling is a very old art form and it is constantly evolving! Most marbling workshops at MCBA focus on traditional and popular patterns from the 1980s and 1990s, but no one knows exactly when these patterns were first developed. Recently, marbling artists started developing patterns inspired by new comb designs. This new, in-person workshop will introduce patterns based on new combs, as well as well-known marbling artists such as Antonio Vélez Celemín, Chena River Marblers, and Cockerell papers. While learning how others have developed new patterns, participants may practice developing their own new patterns. Participants will come away with their own papers to use as end papers or in other ways.  Continue reading “Developing Contemporary Marbling Patterns”

Introduction to Screen Printing

with Ben Etten and Michelle Lee Lagerroos
Saturday, March 18; 10am–4pm CT

Get familiar with MCBA’s 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 Print Labs. Some screen printing experience may be helpful, but is not necessary. Continue reading “Introduction to Screen Printing”

Paper Beater Training: March 21

Tuesday, March 21; 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: March 21”

Butterfly-Wing Paper

with Hannah O’Hare Bennett
Saturday, March 25; 10am–4pm CT

Butterfly-wing paper is a technique developed by the teaching artist in which a frame is wrapped tightly with thread and then dipped in various pulp fibers to create thin sheets with thread inclusions (or thread embedded in the paper). There are endless possibilities to explore with this unique technique—threads can be woven, different kinds of pulp can create a variety of interesting effects with translucency and opacity, and frames can be designed to create specific patterns. In this in-person workshop, learn this papermaking technique, as well as how to use natural pigments to add color, while experimenting with different kinds of pulp. Participants will come away with a basic understanding of the butterfly-wing papermaking technique for continued independent experimentation. Please wear clothing that can get dirty and shoes that can get wet (i.e. rubber boots, garden clogs, etc.).  Continue reading “Butterfly-Wing Paper”

Cross Structure Binding

with Bridget O’Malley
Saturday, March 25; 10am–4pm CT

In this in-person workshop, learn the cross structure binding, a versatile softcover binding that features a decorative woven cover. The quires, also known as signatures or gatherings of text pages, are sewn to the cover to make a sturdy journal that opens flat for ease of use. Paper covers can be made from a single sheet of paper or from any cover stock papers of contrasting color or design to create unique design possibilities. This workshop provides an introduction to basic tools and materials, and will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to make your own notebooks and journals again at home in different sizes and with a variety of materials. Learn how to find the grain direction in a variety of papers and come away with a foundation for growing your skills in bookbinding. Continue reading “Cross Structure Binding”

Cloud Paper: Reverse Pulp Painting

with Hannah O’Hare Bennett
Sunday, March 26; 10am–4pm CT

Paper is typically made in a sheet by pulling pulp up from a vat of water and pulp (called “slurry”) with a mold and deckle (a papermaking tool which looks like a screen with a frame around it). Pulp painting is made by applying layers of pulp carefully (or not so carefully!) onto a freshly pulled sheet of paper. 

In this in-person workshop learn reverse pulp painting, a technique developed by the teaching artist that allows papermakers the ability to create very thin pulp painting compositions. In this method, the pulp drains more slowly, allowing papermakers more time to work on a composition. Continue reading “Cloud Paper: Reverse Pulp Painting”

Single, Double, and Triple Section Bindings

with Rosae Reeder
Saturdays: April 1 & 8; 1–4pm CT

In this virtual workshop, learn three non-adhesive bindings that feature decorative stitching on the spine. Sew books with one, two, and three sections (or gatherings of pages) using sewing patterns including the chain stitch, Lazy Ns or Standing Zs, and a surprise sewing for the triple-section binding. Instruction will cover how these sewings can be combined to make a larger and thicker structure with multiple decorations on the spine. Techniques for making punching jigs and using different cover materials will also be shared. Continue reading “Single, Double, and Triple Section Bindings”