Binding & Boxmaking

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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Box Building Magic

with Erin Maurelli
Wednesdays: July 24, 31, August 14; 7–9pm CT

Inspired by the Jacob’s Ladder, the magic box is a double-hinged container made of book board wrapped in paper that opens in two directions, revealing unique compartments on each side. Designed for functionality, the box contains compartments big enough to hold a standard deck of playing cards. The magic box can also serve as a jewelry box or a beautiful container for other small, important items. 

In this virtual workshop, learn how to build this unique and playful structure with an artist who has fine-tuned this box design over the last several years. Build both an unwrapped model and a finished box in this workshop. Learn how to source materials to make more magic boxes independently after the workshop ends. Participation in any other boxmaking workshop is required so participants come with experience wrapping boards and can check to make sure boards and compartments are square. Continue reading “Box Building Magic”

Criss-Cross Binding (AKA Secret Belgian Binding)

with Rachel Payne
Tuesday, July 30; 10am–4pm CT

Come learn this not-so-secret binding designed by Belgian bookbinder Anne Goy who named the structure “Criss-Cross Binding.” Fun fact: This structure was re-created by an English binder who didn’t know the source and decided to call it “Secret Belgian Binding,” which is what this structure is commonly referred to as today.

In this in-person workshop, learn how to make a criss-cross binding and explore how this structure uses sewing similar to that of a Jacob’s ladder to create a binding that opens flat and allows the cover to flip to the back. The criss-cross binding is great for thin books, sketchbooks, and artist’s books. Come away with one completed binding, a second partially or fully complete binding, and the know-how to make more independently after the workshop. Continue reading “Criss-Cross Binding (AKA Secret Belgian Binding)”

Artist’s Books from Start to Finish

with Rosae Reeder
Wednesdays: July 31, August 7, 14, 21; 4:30–6:30pm CT

Want to make an artist’s book but don’t know how to start? Have you made artist’s books but want guidance on how to structure the process? This virtual workshop will take you through the process of making an artist’s book from start to finish. We’ll begin by demystifying and defining the book form. Then, we’ll dive into tips for ideation and idea mapping, connecting intention to execution. Instruction will cover ways to connect structure to content and how to approach the interactivity/passivity of the viewer. We’ll make models of simple structures and discuss more difficult ones. Discussion will include an overview of various mark-making and image-making methods and materials. At the end of the workshop, we’ll discuss how to plan and prepare for the final construction of your artist book. Depending on how much you’re able to work on your project outside of the workshop, you will come away with either a finished artist’s book or a working mock-up (or in-progress artist’s book) that you can use as a reference for completing your polished version after the workshop.  Continue reading “Artist’s Books from Start to Finish”

Bilingual Bookmaking Bonanza: Ages 8–12/Locura de libritos bilingüe (edades 8–12)

with Cori Adams
con Cori Adams
Thursday, August 1; 1–4pm CT
el jueves 1 de agosto; 1–4pm CT

Join Cori Adams, Spanish immersion teacher and book artist, in a bilingual bookmaking bonanza! In this in-person workshop, unleash your imagination while creating unique books to cherish and share. Start by designing your own mini journal, where you can express your thoughts, feelings, and creativity through words, images, and mixed-media techniques. Then, create an origami star book, personalize a journal using recycled materials like calendars and magazines, or make a mini-book necklace. Through these engaging activities, students will develop their artistic skills by immersing themselves in a world of imagination, exploration, and endless possibilities! From cover to cover, this bookmaking workshop will have kids hanging on to every word (and page)!

¡Únase con Cori Adams, maestra de inmersión del español y artista, en una locura de libros! En esta sesión l@s niñ@s abrirán su imaginación mientras crean libros únicos y queridos. Empezarán por diseñar su propio mini diario, donde pueden expresar sus pensamientos, sentimientos y creatividad por palabras, imágenes y técnicas mixtas. De ahí, quizá escogen construir un libro de origami de estrellas, personalizar un diario con materiales reciclados tal como calendarios o revistas, o crear un librito para llevar como collar. A través de estas actividades fascinantes, l@s niñ@s podrán desarrollar sus habilidades artísticas al sumergirse en un mundo lleno de imaginación, exploración e infinitas posibilidades. ¡De principio a fin, este taller hará que l@s niñ@s se enganchen a cada palabra…y a cada página! Continue reading “Bilingual Bookmaking Bonanza: Ages 8–12/Locura de libritos bilingüe (edades 8–12)”

Birds of a Feather Mechanical Postcards: Swan, Robin, Duck!

with Shawn Sheehy
Tuesday, August 6; 5–6:30pm CT

Quick! What’s a figure of speech that involves birds? (Take another look at the workshop title if you need a little help.) This whimsical trio of mechanical postcards features three different bird idioms and volvelle-based mechanisms that will help you solve the idiomatic riddles. Build each using a simple set of hand tools and a kit of pre-cut pieces. This virtual workshop is especially friendly for beginners. Perfect for bird and word nerds! Continue reading “Birds of a Feather Mechanical Postcards: Swan, Robin, Duck!”

Headbands: History, Use & Techniques

with María Carolina Ceballos
Tuesdays: August 6, 13, 20; 7–9pm CT

In this virtual workshop, learn how to make headbands for a variety of styles of bindings such as case binding, Coptic, slotted tapes, etc. Learn the basic logic and principles of headbands so you can, in the future, sew more complex types or use them in different applications without having to re-learn for each structure. This workshop is designed for those with previous bookbinding experience so they can apply the techniques learned in their own practice. Knowledge of how to make a case binding and a Coptic binding is preferred since those are the structures on which most headband styles can be applied. Continue reading “Headbands: History, Use & Techniques”

Narrative World Building with Interactive Structures

with Yuka Petz and Julia Sarcone-Roach
Saturday, August 10; 12–4pm CT

How can simple book structures allow us to think with our brains and hands to expand our creative brainstorming process? In this combination skill-building and idea-generating workshop, we will make three tools to grow and develop character-based backstories. Projects will include the Character Caterpillar, World Building Pocketbook, and the Exquisite Twist Book. All structures are designed to be easily added to and made again independently. Continue reading “Narrative World Building with Interactive Structures”

Design-a-Character Volvelles for Kids & Their Grown-Ups!

with Yuka Petz and Clotilde Curry
Saturday, August 17; 9:30am–12pm CT

Let’s use simple paper tools to design fun characters in this workshop for kids and their grown-ups! Volvelles are types of spinnable wheel charts. First, we will make volvelles for faces and bodies. Then we’ll mix and match the faces, heads, and bodies to create unexpected and playful characters in a simple “stick bound” album. Characters will get names and descriptions like where they live, their special abilities, and more.

This in-person workshop will be led by a mother-and-daughter team, designed after activities that they regularly enjoy together. We will prioritize kids and their grown-ups working together on creative projects. Continue reading “Design-a-Character Volvelles for Kids & Their Grown-Ups!”

Bilingual Bookmaking Bonanza: Ages 8–12/Locura de libritos bilingüe (edades 8–12)

with Cori Adams
con Cori Adams
Saturday, August 17; 1–4pm CT
el sábado 17 de agosto; 1–4pm CT

Join Cori Adams, Spanish immersion teacher and book artist, in a bilingual bookmaking bonanza! In this in-person workshop, unleash your imagination while creating unique books to cherish and share. Start by designing your own mini journal, where you can express your thoughts, feelings, and creativity through words, images, and mixed-media techniques. Then, create an origami star book, personalize a journal using recycled materials like calendars and magazines, or make a mini-book necklace. Through these engaging activities, students will develop their artistic skills by immersing themselves in a world of imagination, exploration, and endless possibilities! From cover to cover, this bookmaking workshop will have kids hanging on to every word (and page)!

¡Únase con Cori Adams, maestra de inmersión del español y artista, en una locura de libros! En esta sesión l@s niñ@s abrirán su imaginación mientras crean libros únicos y queridos. Empezarán por diseñar su propio mini diario, donde pueden expresar sus pensamientos, sentimientos y creatividad por palabras, imágenes y técnicas mixtas. De ahí, quizá escogen construir un libro de origami de estrellas, personalizar un diario con materiales reciclados tal como calendarios o revistas, o crear un librito para llevar como collar. A través de estas actividades fascinantes, l@s niñ@s podrán desarrollar sus habilidades artísticas al sumergirse en un mundo lleno de imaginación, exploración e infinitas posibilidades. ¡De principio a fin, este taller hará que l@s niñ@s se enganchen a cada palabra…y a cada página! Continue reading “Bilingual Bookmaking Bonanza: Ages 8–12/Locura de libritos bilingüe (edades 8–12)”

Cutting Equipment Orientation: August 20

Tuesday, August 20; 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: August 20”

Folding All the Accordions

with Mary Leikvold
Saturday, August 24; 10am–4pm CT

Accordion or concertina folds form the basis for many structures in bookbinding. In this in-person workshop, learn how to make an array of accordion-based book structures including the floating accordion, the pocketed- and the double-pocketed accordion book, the meander (or maze) book, and others. Examples of each structure will be available to examine. Discuss and explore ideas for generating content and for changing up and personalizing the structures. Participants will come away with a collection of intriguing structures and a new set of skills to further explore the art of folding paper and making books. Some experience with folding paper and/or making books is helpful but not required. Continue reading “Folding All the Accordions”