Binding & Boxmaking

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.

Folding All The Accordions

with Mary Leikvold
Tuesdays: April 4, 11, 18; 6–8pm CT

Accordion folds make up the foundation for countless structures in bookmaking. In this hands-on, virtual workshop, learn the basic accordion fold and explore all the ways that simple structure can be expanded and elaborated upon. Instruction will include the basic accordion fold with variations, pocket and double pocket accordions, a floating accordion with covers, a map fold, a maze book, and a blizzard book. Examples of each structure will be shared and discussion will include possible uses for the books and ideas for generating content. Participants will come away with a collection of engaging structures and a new set of skills to continue to develop their own structures after the workshop. The skills learned in this workshop will serve as the basis for further exploration in the art of folding and in the book arts generally. Some experience with folding or making books is helpful but not required. Continue reading “Folding All The Accordions”

Movement in Pop-Ups: Cards Celebrating Our Planet!

with Shawn Sheehy
Wednesday, April 5; 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 workshop—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 with an Earth Day theme 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 “Movement in Pop-Ups: Cards Celebrating Our Planet!”

Cutting Equipment Orientation: April 11

Tuesday, April 11; 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: April 11”

Laced Unsupported Case Binding

with Karen Hanmer
Wednesdays: April 12 & 19; 6–8pm CT

For centuries paper has served as a quick, elegant, and economical covering material for books. This versatile material can create structures ranging from pocket notebooks to conservation-friendly bindings, featuring a case durable enough for a heavily-used manual.

Historically, the text block for a paper case was sewn on narrow fiber or leather supports. The supports were laced into the case at the spine folds for a non-adhesive attachment. In this version, the text block is sewn without supports. Added straps of strong, flexible handmade paper are both decorative and structural. Continue reading “Laced Unsupported Case Binding”

Bookbinding 1: Sewn and Folded Books

with India Johnson
Thursdays: April 13, 20, 27; 6–9pm CT

In this in-person workshop, learn foundational skills in bookbinding while making three book structures: pamphlet, stab binding, and hardcover four-signature book. 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. Practice finding grain direction, cutting book board, and covering board with paper. 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”

Slow-Stitched Scroll

with Lynn Salmon-Easter
Saturday, April 15; 1–4pm CT

Come mend your heart and stitch your way to more calm and ease while you create your own hand-stitched fabric scroll. Learn various techniques for mark-making with needle and thread. Together, we will practice collaging pieces of fabric in simple compositional ways. Using a variety of stitch types, explore line and negative space in different ways to create pattern and visual texture within your scroll. All techniques are simple and require no previous stitching experience. An interest in exploring intuitive ways of creating that are open, expressive, and not based on rigid rules will be helpful. Continue reading “Slow-Stitched Scroll”

Dos-à-Dos Binding

with Rosae Reeder
Saturday, April 29; 1–4pm CT

In this virtual workshop, learn how to create books that are bound together—sharing a back cover—and open in opposite directions. First, create a simple single-page dos-à-dos to get familiar with the concept of the structure. Next, make a softcover book with two sections sewn in. Finally, create a hardcover dos-à-dos structure with a sewn open spine. The stories or imagery in these versatile books can be viewed as one continuous story, or as two parallel stories. Basic binding skills are helpful, but not required. Continue reading “Dos-à-Dos Binding”