Papermaking & Paper Marbling

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.

Art Practice Circle: June

with Mary Leikvold
Monday, June 6; 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 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: June”

Introduction to Marbling

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, June 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. Continue reading “Introduction to Marbling”

Suminagashi

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday, June 18; 10am–4pm CT

Suminagashi is a 12th century Japanese art form and precursor to modern marbling. In this in-person (hooray!) intensive, participants learn the basics of this centuries-old monoprint technique, including the tools and materials it requires and the ideology shaping suminagashi. Participants will develop a suite of patterns on paper and fabric using the natural forces of wind and vibration, and will learn how to use a “frisk” (a type of resist used to prevent ink from going into certain areas). Paper is provided; however, participants may bring natural cotton or silk fabrics to experiment. Continue reading “Suminagashi”

Butterfly-Wing Paper

with Hannah O’Hare Bennett
Saturday, June 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”

Cloud Paper: Reverse Pulp Painting

with Hannah O’Hare Bennett
Sunday, June 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). In this in-person workshop, paper is made by applying layers of pulp carefully (or not so carefully!) onto a mold lined with a backing sheet. This process is called pulp painting. The pulp is abaca fiber (a plant related to the banana plant) which has been processed in the paper beater for one hour. Experiment with building compositions using naturally pigmented abaca fiber as paint. Also learn how to incorporate inclusions (objects which can be embedded in the paper) like thread, ribbon, and other lightweight two-dimensional objects. Participants will come away with about four finished experimental sheets of paper and a basic understanding of the papermaking process. Please wear clothing that can get dirty and shoes that can get wet (i.e. rubber boots, garden clogs, etc.). Continue reading “Cloud Paper: Reverse Pulp Painting”

Introduction to Marbling: July

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, July 9; 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. Continue reading “Introduction to Marbling: July”

European Papermaking

with Bridget O’Malley
Thursdays: July 28, August 4, 11; 6–9pm 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 molds and deckles to form sheets, and techniques for pressing and drying. Our focus will be on consistent sheet formation and safe, effective beater use, thereby giving participants a solid grounding in materials and techniques for future independent papermaking in MCBA’s studios.  Continue reading “European Papermaking”

Modern Marbling 1: July

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday, July 16; 10am–4pm CT

Take your marbling skills to a new level! In this in-studio workshop, learn to make newly-designed, contemporary patterns. Inspired by traditional marbling, these patterns bring a familiar but fresh take on a centuries-old art form. Discussions will include the science of marbling, critiques, and troubleshooting. Participants will come away with marbled paper ready for use in bookbinding and other arts! Participation in Intro to Marbling and Patterns I are required to register for this workshop. Continue reading “Modern Marbling 1: July”

Papermaking: Formation and Decoration

with Erica Spitzer Rasmussen
Saturday, July 23; 10am–4pm CT

In this in-person introductory workshop, learn the history of papermaking and try your hand at Western sheet formation. After pulling colorful one and twoply sheets, participants will personalize their paper with embossments, stencils, and inclusions. Finally, the papers will be pressed and dried using three different methods so participants may compare the various physical characteristics of each drying technique. Participants are encouraged to experiment with various techniques and materials in an effort to discover possibilities for creating imagery with this playful process. Finished sheets will be returned to participants via the US Mail. Continue reading “Papermaking: Formation and Decoration”

Marbling Wall Art

with Sally Power
Saturday, July 30; 10am–4pm CT

Go beyond patterns and explore how to set your marbling off as a figure with a background. These pictures are suitable for framing as wall art and could be used for binding projects as well. This in-person workshop draws on techniques from Turkish marbling (Ebru) but with an American twist. Methods include: how to make the colors more intense, how to draw/paint by managing the paint on the surface, and how to use both a stylus and combs to create patterns. Past participation in Introduction to Marbling or an equivalent workshop is required in order to register for this workshop. Continue reading “Marbling Wall Art”

Modern Marbling 1: August

with Heather RJ Fletcher
Saturday, August 13; 10am–4pm CT

Take your marbling skills to a new level! In this in-studio workshop, learn to make newly-designed, contemporary patterns. Inspired by traditional marbling, these patterns bring a familiar but fresh take on a centuries-old art form. Discussions will include the science of marbling, critiques, and troubleshooting. Participants will come away with marbled paper ready for use in bookbinding and other arts! Participation in Intro to Marbling and Patterns I are required to register for this workshop. Continue reading “Modern Marbling 1: August”