Binding & Box Making

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.

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”

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”

Visual Poetry & Artist’s Books

with Ellen Sheffield
Wednesdays: January 11, 18, 25; 7–9pm CT

What is visual poetry (VISPO)? Visual poetry incorporates multiple forms of experimental poetry and literature. It has been described as the natural fusion of poetry and visual art with a history in concrete poetry. This makes it an ideal genre for the hybrid nature of the artist’s book, which happily accommodates the convergence of visual and literary impulses. Of the multiple ways artists use language or write text for artists’ books, the poetic approach is among the most evocative.

This is an intermediate level virtual workshop for artists and writers interested in taking a deep dive into more experimental poetic uses of text in artists’ books. We’ll look at examples of VISPO approaches such as lettering, handwriting, text objects, typography, and collage. Through prompts, exercises, and homework assignments, participants will explore and experiment with creating visual poetry and make a soft cover sampler book as a guide for future book projects. Continue reading “Visual Poetry & Artist’s Books”

Box Building for Beginners

with Erin Maurelli
Thursdays: January 12, 19, 26; 6–9pm CT

This in-person workshop is perfect for anyone new to book arts who would like to learn something a little different. Building boxes with high-density board, often called “book board,” is a time-honored tradition within book arts. Hand-built boxes serve many functions, from holding tools to preserving fragile books. Participants will learn the basics of box building while creating two unique boxes with lids. Continue reading “Box Building for Beginners”

Non-Adhesive “Double X” Binding

with Laurel Jedamus
Saturday, January 14; 1–4pm CT

Add a new non-adhesive binding to your repertoire of sewn bindings in this single-session in-person workshop. This attractive and unusual softcover binding was developed by Keith Smith and originally named dos equis for the double “X” pattern the stitching makes on the spine. As it is made from two types of paper and thread, this binding is an accessible structure to make again and again with tools you may already have at home. Continue reading “Non-Adhesive “Double X” Binding”

Print and Stitch: Make a Journal

with Ben Etten and Skyler Hawkins
Saturdays: January 14, 21; 1–4pm CT

This in-person workshop is designed to offer a brief introduction to two book arts processes—screen printing and bookbinding—while having a lot of fun creating a hand-bound notebook featuring your artwork on the cover! First, learn basic tools, techniques, and terminology used in screen printing. Create an image, transfer it to a screen, and print onto a few sheets of paper, which will be the covers of your notebook. The second session will focus on building skills in basic bookbinding using tools such as a bone folder, awl, and utility knife. Learn the pamphlet stitch binding and come away with at least one finished notebook, plus the skills needed to continue making notebooks using previously printed, handmade, or marbled papers. Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Each participant will come away with 1–3 notebooks (approximately 7 x 5 inches in size) and a few extra prints. Continue reading “Print and Stitch: Make a Journal”

Box Building: Drawers & Dividers

with Erin Maurelli
Tuesdays: January 17, 24, 31, February 7; 6:30–9pm CT

Create custom boxes to hold your treasures, tools, and collections. In this virtual workshop, learn to create drawers that slide and storage dividers within the box. Build a box that has a lid with a hinge, a divided tray, and a drawer. Basic box building experience is required, including experience covering boards and checking that boards and compartments are square. Continue reading “Box Building: Drawers & Dividers”

Single Sheet Books: Infinite Creativity

with Jill Weese
Saturday, January 28; 1–4pm CT

Learn how to create endless types of simple books from a single sheet of paper with only a little folding and cutting. Explore different perspectives to create several unique meander and pop-out books, ranging from simple, traditional books to three-dimensional, shaped books. Great for making zines, these structures are easy to learn and fun to make! This hands-on workshop will provide plenty of time and materials to experiment with these structures and you’ll come away with models to reference for future bookmaking. Continue reading “Single Sheet Books: Infinite Creativity”

Mystery Box Artist’s Book

with Yuka Petz
Tuesday, January 31; 5–7:30pm CT

It’s time to break out of your material comfort zone and think with your hands! Participants will be mailed a Mini-But-Mighty Mystery Box of Materials, which must not be opened until the virtual workshop. After a brief discussion of what defines a book and “bookness,” participants will open their boxes and make an artist’s book following three simple rules:

    1. You must complete your artist’s book in 60 minutes.
    2. You must use all materials in the box.
    3. You may only use the materials in the box.

After our intuitive creation time is up, we will show and share our finished artist’s books. This workshop is designed for all levels of book artists, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Please note: Materials in the workshop image are representative. Actual mystery box contents will differ. Continue reading “Mystery Box Artist’s Book”