Papermaking & Paper Marbling

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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Japanese Papermaking: June

with Bridget O’Malley
Saturday, June 22; 10am–5pm CT

Explore the tools and techniques of Japanese papermaking in this in-person workshop. Learn fiber preparation techniques including cooking, cleaning and hand beating, sheet formation, pressing, and drying. Finished papers can be strong yet nearly translucent, and sheet size can range from 5 x 7 inches to 5 x 7 feet! Come away from the workshop with the skills needed to make Japanese paper independently during MCBA’s Papermaking Labs. Continue reading “Japanese Papermaking: June”

Book Arts Camp! Ages 12–15

with Rachel Payne
Tuesday–Friday, July 9–12; 10am–4pm CT

Explore new art mediums in MCBA’s book arts studios! Learn four bindings and several paper decoration techniques in this four-day, in-person book arts immersion designed for ages 12–15! Start by learning the flexagon, an origami-like structure that is part book, part toy! Learn traditional side-stitch bindings, commonly referred to as Japanese, but actually developed in many East Asian countries including Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam—in Southeastern Asia. Make a tunnel book, which is a tiny diorama-like book that can be embellished with collage, drawings, and more. Last, create a perfect binding which you may find similar to a store-bought notebook, made up of sheets of paper glued together at the spine.  Continue reading “Book Arts Camp! Ages 12–15”

Introduction to Marbling: July

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday, July 13; 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: July”

European Papermaking: July

with Bridget O’Malley
Saturday, July 20; 10am–4pm and Sunday, July 21; 1–4pm CT

Learn the tools, terminology, and procedures of European-style papermaking in this in-person studio workshop. Participants will be guided through fiber preparation, the process of using moulds and deckles to form sheets, and techniques for pressing and drying. Our focus will be on consistent sheet formation and safe, effective beater use, empowering participants with a solid grounding in materials and techniques for future independent papermaking in MCBA’s Papermaking Labs Continue reading “European Papermaking: July”

Mini Marbling

with Parry Cadwallader
Saturday, July 27; 10am–4pm CT

Honey, I shrunk the marbling combs! Experience the patterns and designs you know and love, but now at a smaller scale. Work with combs much smaller than the average nonpareil comb—all the way down to 1/16 of an inch between tines. Watch how patterns you’ve been doing for years shine in a new light when reduced to one fourth the size. Continue reading “Mini Marbling”

DIY Papermaking: Additives & Inclusions

with Sophia Hotzler
Tuesday, July 30; 6–9pm CT

Learn how to experiment and play with pulp, paper, and color in this virtual, do-it-yourself workshop. Participants will be given space to experiment with incorporating additives and inclusions into their paper. Instruction will cover tinting pulp, playing with additives in the vat, experimental ways to pull and couch a sheet of paper, and adding found materials (such as thread) to freshly couched paper.  Continue reading “DIY Papermaking: Additives & Inclusions”

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”

Paper Beater Training: August 3

Saturday, August 3; 11am-12pm 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: August 3”

Introduction to Marbling: August

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, August 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. Participants will leave the workshop with the confidence to work independently at MCBA’s Marbling Labs. Continue reading “Introduction to Marbling: August”

Experimental Modern Marbling

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday–Sunday, August 17 & 18; 10am–4pm CT

Combine traditional marbling and painterly suminagashi techniques in this in-person marbling intensive. Use non-traditional tools to create landscapes, simple botanical pictures, and graphic abstract designs. Use the same techniques on the second day to over-marble some of the marbled papers from the previous day. This intensive workshop is perfect for those who want to step out of traditional pattern-making and explore ways to create unique decorative paper. Come away with several marbled papers and notes to continue experimenting in Marbling Labs or elsewhere after the workshop. Introduction to Marbling or equivalent experience is helpful, but not required. Continue reading “Experimental Modern Marbling”

Paper Marbling for Preschoolers!

with Ellen Ferrari
Saturday, August 31; 10am–12pm CT

Be amazed by Shaheen Bilgrami’s Magical Day at the Mall and then amaze yourself by painting ON WATER! In this in-person workshop, preschoolers learn the art of marbling using specially prepared carrageenan water, alum-treated paper, and acrylic paint. Preschoolers build fine motor skills while they create colorful patterns with tools like forks, toothpicks, skewers, and straws. Then, discover art projects you can do with your marbled paper! Continue reading “Paper Marbling for Preschoolers!”