Printing

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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Print Poetry with Arabic Type

with Andrea Shaker
Saturday, June 22; 1–4pm CT

Experience letterpress printing while printing lines of Arabic poetry with MCBA’s new collection of Arabic wood type. This in-person workshop is designed for those with little or no letterpress experience with a desire to build skills and community through playful experimentation with Arabic typography! Text will be pre-designed with type locked up in presses in advance to maximize printing time and allow for the basic concepts of printing to be introduced. We will make 2-3 distinct prints (approximately 10 x 14 inches in size), each with a line of poetry in Arabic. Participants will have some creative input with ink colors and may select and hand-set a word (as a group) in wood type to print. Participants can take home a selection of ten to fifteen prints at the end of the workshop. Continue reading “Print Poetry with Arabic Type”

Color Theory for Book Artists

with Louise Fisher
Saturday, June 29; 10am–4pm CT

Learn how to mix any color imaginable using Pantone letterpress inks. This in-person workshop is great for any artist who wants to expand their palette or feels intimidated by color. Special attention will be placed on printing, but what’s learned can be easily translated to other art mediums such as painting. Instruction in the morning will focus on color theory, developing your own palette, and color mixing demonstrations. In the afternoon, participants will create color swatch prints using pre-cut blocks on the Vandercook press. Continue reading “Color Theory for Book Artists”

Gelatin Plate Printing for Collage

with Hope Amico
Wednesdays: July 10 & 17; 7–9pm CT

Gelatin plates are a versatile tool to experiment with monoprinting, a painterly printmaking process that creates subtle layers and textures. In this virtual workshop, learn a variety of monoprinting techniques to create unique textures and layers in your prints. Use drawing, mark-making, and printing techniques to create several experimental prints to be used as backgrounds, cut into shapes and elements for collage, and to add transparent layers. On the second night, we will look through what we created and discuss how to reproduce our favorite prints. Then, we will use our papers in collage and discuss other material options. Continue reading “Gelatin Plate Printing for Collage”

Laser-Cut Letterpress: Type & Ornaments

with Louise Fisher
Saturday, July 13; 10am–4pm CT

Discover the powerful possibilities of combining laser cutting and letterpress printing! During this in-person workshop, learn how to design and fabricate laser-cut wood blocks for letterpress printing. In the first half of the workshop, the instructor will give tutorials in Adobe Illustrator for designing letterforms and images that can be cut or engraved, in addition to file set-up for the laser-cutting machine. The instructor will also demonstrate how to assemble the laser-cut wood to be type-high. In the second half of the workshop, participants will get hands-on experience printing premade laser-cut wood type and ornaments on the Vandercook press. While MCBA does not have a laser cutter on site, instruction will be provided on where and how to access one in the Twin Cities area for future projects. Continue reading “Laser-Cut Letterpress: Type & Ornaments”

Woodcut Printmaking: Ages 7–11

with Leah Klister
Tuesday-Friday, July 16–19; 9am–12pm CT

Explore a new art medium in MCBA’s print studio! Experience relief printing while carving and printing your own design in this in-person workshop. Learn all of the steps, from copying your design to the printing block (a soft eraser-like block) to signing your name on your finished prints. Practice carving your block, printing with a baren (a smooth pad used to apply pressure when printing) by hand, and how to repeat the carving and printing process to achieve more depth and layers on your prints. Continue reading “Woodcut Printmaking: Ages 7–11”

Introduction to Screen Printing: July

with Ben Etten
Saturday, July 20; 10am–4pm and Sunday, July 21; 10am–1pm CT

Get familiar with MCBA’s screen printing studio and practice the photo emulsion process, from positive creation and screen coating to exposure and reclaiming. Each participant will complete an edition of multi-layered screen prints and come away from the workshop with the confidence to work independently at MCBA’s Screen Print Labs. Continue reading “Introduction to Screen Printing: July”

Letterpress 3: Two-Color Prints (July)

with Bethany Rahn
Saturday, July 20; 10am–4pm CT

Letterpress 3: Two-Color Prints focuses on printing multiple layers and building printers’ confidence using Vandercook presses through practice. Printing more than one layer involves printing the same piece of paper multiple times with unique forms (raised type or image) and ink colors for each layer. Careful registration to make each layer align as designed requires planning and troubleshooting. In this in-person workshop, learn how to choose colors and mix ink as well as techniques for adjusting color on the press to create unique effects. Participants will also be introduced to MCBA’s larger Vandercooks, the 219 and Uni 3, which have the capacity to print larger forms and can be more comfortable for taller printers. Procedures for maintaining a community print studio will be reviewed in addition to basic press operation, care, and safety.  Continue reading “Letterpress 3: Two-Color Prints (July)”

Woodcut Printmaking: Ages 12–18

with Leah Klister
Thursday & Friday, July 25 & 26; 10am–4pm CT

Explore a new art medium in MCBA’s print studio! Experience relief printing while carving and printing your own design in this in-person workshop. Learn all of the steps, from copying your design to the printing block to signing your name on your finished prints. Practice carving your block, printing with a baren (a smooth pad used to apply pressure when printing) by hand, and how to repeat the carving and printing process to achieve more depth and layers on your prints.

The instructor will demonstrate each step of the process and provide one-to-one instruction along the way. Students will print by hand using a baren to make their set of prints, but they will also see a demonstration of the Vandercook press and pull a print or two with assistance. At the end of the workshop, students will share about their projects with each other and any adult caregivers who arrive for pick-up ten minutes early. Continue reading “Woodcut Printmaking: Ages 12–18”

Experimental Letterpress: Texture & Pressure Printing

with Bethany Rahn
Thursdays: July 25 & August 1; 6–9pm CT

Learn experimental techniques in letterpress through this in-person workshop focused on texture and pressure printing. Participants will work together to create pressure prints using different masking techniques and learn how to safely print experimental textures. This hands-on experience is tailored for individuals seeking to expand their skills and creativity in letterpress printing. Continue reading “Experimental Letterpress: Texture & Pressure Printing”

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”

Polymer Plates for Letterpress

with Kerri Sandve
Thursday, August 8; 6–9pm CT

Polymer plates allow printers to translate drawings, etchings, and photographs into letterpress prints. In this in-person letterpress workshop, learn how to mount, register, and print polymer plates on the Vandercook press. Instruction will focus on inking polymer plates, ideal paper options, and how to clean and store polymer plates.  Continue reading “Polymer Plates for Letterpress”

Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (August)

with Bethany Rahn
Saturday, August 10; 10am–4pm CT

This in-person letterpress workshop offers an introduction to MCBA’s print studio—including key equipment, tools, and terminology—in addition to an opportunity to experience the satisfaction of printing a message through the hands-on process of letterpress printing. Get to know MCBA’s wood type collection and learn beginning typesetting with wood type. Learn the basics of working with a flatbed cylinder press, including operation, safety, and care while building skills using the equipment with support from a teaching artist. In pairs, choose a text (three to five words) and print your own small edition of posters on a Vandercook press.  Continue reading “Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (August)”

Letterpress 2: Setting Type (August)

with Laura Brown
Saturday, August 17; 10am–4pm CT

This in-person letterpress workshop focuses on setting metal type and building familiarity with printing on the Vandercook press. Learn how to navigate MCBA’s type collection, how type is stored and organized, and how to arrange it in a composing stick for setting a text. Training will be provided on line justification, kerning (space between letters and words), and methods for holding type together (or “locking up” a form) for printing. Procedures for maintaining a community type collection and print studio will also be covered, in addition to a review of basic press operation, care, and safety. This workshop is an excellent refresher and opportunity to get reacquainted with MCBA’s presses and print studio. Continue reading “Letterpress 2: Setting Type (August)”

Laser-Cut Letterpress: Stencils for Pressure Printing

with Louise Fisher
Saturday, August 24; 10am–4pm CT

Discover the powerful possibilities of combining laser cutting and pressure printing on the Vandercook press! During this in-person workshop, learn how to design and fabricate laser-cut paper stencils for pressure printing. In the first half of the workshop, the instructor will give a tutorial in Adobe Illustrator for designing geometric patterns and file set-up for the laser cutting machine. Participants will then get hands-on experience making a pressure-printing plate from pre-made, laser-cut paper stencils and printing them on the Vandercook press. While MCBA does not have a laser cutter on site, instruction will be provided on where and how to access one in the Twin Cities area for future projects. Continue reading “Laser-Cut Letterpress: Stencils for Pressure Printing”