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.

Handmade Paper in Color: Mineral Earth and Lake Pigments

with Hannah O’Hare Bennett
Sat–Sun, January 28 & 29; 10am–4pm CT

Add color to handmade paper with natural pigments! On day one of this in-person workshop, begin with a review or introduction to basic European sheet formation, followed by instruction on how to extract lake pigments from natural dye vats using soda ash and alum. On the second day, spend the morning learning how to integrate mineral earth pigments and the lake pigments into pulp using retention aid. Then, pulling sheets of western-style papers in rich, natural hues ranging from oranges and yellows to light and dark reds and grays. If time allows, use citric acid and iron solutions to shift the colors of the papers. Participants will come away with a portfolio of colorful 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 “Handmade Paper in Color: Mineral Earth and Lake Pigments”

Developing Creative Content for Artist’s Books

with Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder
Wednesday, February 1; 7–9pm CT

Spend an evening stretching your creative muscles! This virtual workshop is a combination of artist’s talk, discussion, and hands-on making. Together we will explore methods of developing stories, imagery, and book structures through creative writing prompts, model making, and thought exercises. Participants will gain new tools for their creative ideation toolkit and spark ideas for future projects. This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels, from the book art curious to artists looking for a creative boost. Discussion and sharing is encouraged, although interactive participation is entirely up to your individual comfort level. Continue reading “Developing Creative Content for Artist’s Books”

Art Practice Circle: February

with Laura Brown
Monday, February 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: February”

Introduction to Marbling: February

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

Japanese Papermaking

with Bridget O’Malley
Saturday, February 18; 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 skills needed to make Japanese paper independently during MCBA’s Papermaking Labs. Continue reading “Japanese Papermaking”

Paper Beater Training: February 21

Tuesday, February 21; 6:30-7:30pm 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: February 21”

Paste Paper

with Michelle Blodgett
Thursday, February 23; 6–9pm CT

Paste paper is a historic, playful, and accessible way to make decorative paper. In this in-person workshop, learn the steps of making paste paper including recipes for paste, considerations for selecting paper for this process, color mixing, and methods of creating images and designs. Instruction will also cover how to make simple drawing tools from everyday objects. Come away inspired and ready to make more paste paper to use in bindings, collage work, and more! Continue reading “Paste Paper”

Guided Marbling Practice

with Sally Power
Saturday, February 25; 10am–4pm CT

Is there a pattern you want to master, a special project you want to work on, a recurring frustration with your practice, or do you want to polish your technique generally? This in-person workshop will start with a review of each participant’s goals, both in a group and one-to-one setting. Then, you and the teaching artist will work on steps and strategies to support achieving your goals. Participants are encouraged to bring their own paper to marble as well as any pertinent papers they have that show specific challenges or what they want to achieve. Continue reading “Guided Marbling Practice”

European Papermaking

with Bridget O’Malley
Thursdays: March 2, 9, 16; 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, empowering participants with a solid grounding in materials and techniques for future independent papermaking in MCBA’s Papermaking Labs Continue reading “European Papermaking”

Introduction to Marbling: March

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

Developing Contemporary Marbling Patterns

with Sally Power
Saturday, March 18; 10am–4pm CT

Marbling is a very old art form and it is constantly evolving! Most marbling workshops at MCBA focus on traditional and popular patterns from the 1980s and 1990s, but no one knows exactly when these patterns were first developed. Recently, marbling artists started developing patterns inspired by new comb designs. This new, in-person workshop will introduce patterns based on new combs, as well as well-known marbling artists such as Antonio Vélez Celemín, Chena River Marblers, and Cockerell papers. While learning how others have developed new patterns, participants may practice developing their own new patterns. Participants will come away with their own papers to use as end papers or in other ways.  Continue reading “Developing Contemporary Marbling Patterns”

Paper Beater Training: March 21

Tuesday, March 21; 6:30-7:30pm 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: March 21”

Butterfly-Wing Paper

with Hannah O’Hare Bennett
Saturday, March 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”