Printing

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.

Block Printing on Paper and Fabric

with Elaine Chu
Tuesday, May 24; 4:30–6:30pm CT

In this virtual workshop, design and carve your own custom block prints using a clever transfer technique. Then, learn how to print your block on both paper and fabric. The materials kit includes a set of cards, a drawstring bag, and a zip pouch, all of which can be printed with your unique design. Come away from the workshop with knowledge and skills to continue printing independently with blocks on paper and fabric! Continue reading “Block Printing on Paper and Fabric”

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”

Printing with the Sun: Nature Cyanotypes

with Emma Freeman
Wednesdays: June 15, 22, 29; 7–8:30pm CT

Learn how to make cyanotypes and explore how the process can deepen your relationship to the natural world. Instruction includes history of the technique and a survey of artists who use it in unique ways. Learn how to treat paper and fabric with light sensitive emulsion to produce different effects and how to create one-of-a-kind prints (or monoprints) outside in the sun with organic objects and materials found in the natural world. Find inspiration in nature poetry and generative prompts to create from an intuitive, open state of mind. Then, explore ways to combine the process with other artistic mediums including natural dyeing using black tea and coffee. This virtual workshop will be a blend of step-by-step demonstrations, lecture, discussion, and time to work and ask questions. Continue reading “Printing with the Sun: Nature Cyanotypes”

Letterpress 2: Setting Type

with Erin Maurelli
Saturday, June 18; 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”

Letterpress 1: Printing Basics

with Kerri Sandve
Saturday, June 25; 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, design and print your own small edition of posters on a Vandercook press. Continue reading “Letterpress 1: Printing Basics”

Screen Printed Tote

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Saturday, June 25; 2–4pm CT

Screen print your own unique design on a tote bag! In this in-person workshop, discover how to screen print using hand-cut wax paper stencils–without a darkroom! Instruction will cover stencil design, hand-cutting techniques, fabric ink, and tips for printing on fabric. Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Final designs should fit on a letter sized sheet of paper (maximum width 8.5 inches). Continue reading “Screen Printed Tote”

Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (July)

with Monica Edwards Larson
Saturday, July 9; 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, design and print your own small edition of posters on a Vandercook press. Continue reading “Letterpress 1: Printing Basics (July)”

Digital Resources for Printmakers and Illustrators

with Camilo Aguirre
Saturdays: July 9, 16, 23, 30; 1–3pm CT

Designed for illustrators and visual artists, this virtual workshop explores software programs and websites that best support digital image creation (raster and vector) and editorial software for laying out publications. Tour various free online applications, open source software, and the Affinity Suite and get introduced to ways of sketching, color systems, and printing capabilities within these programs. The workshop will focus on the following programs: Krita, Affinity Design, and Affinity Publisher, and will provide an overview of Vectornator (iPad), Procreate (iPad), Inkscape, Separation Studio (Mac), and Scribus. Other open source and freeware resources such as image banks, brush banks, vector archives, and other resources will also be shared. Continue reading “Digital Resources for Printmakers and Illustrators”

Platen Press Printing

with Kerri Sandve
Thursdays: July 14, 21; 6–9pm CT

This in-person letterpress workshop focuses on setting metal type and building familiarity with printing on lever-operated tabletop platen presses. Build agility navigating MCBA’s type collection and get a refresher on setting type with a composing stick, line justification, and kerning. The method for holding type together (or “locking up” a form) is different for a tabletop platen than it is for a flatbed cylinder press in that a chase (which looks like a frame) contains the type for printing. Participants will be reminded of the procedures necessary for maintaining a community type collection and print studio, in addition to basic platen press operation, care, and safety. This workshop is an excellent refresher and opportunity to get acquainted with MCBA’s platen presses. Participants will come away with their own small edition of postcards/broadsides. Past participation in Letterpress 1: Printing Basics and Letterpress 2: Setting Type are required before registering for this workshop. Continue reading “Platen Press Printing”

Letterpress 3: Two-Color Postcards

with Erin Maurelli
Saturday, July 16; 10am–4pm CT

Letterpress 3: Two-Color Postcards 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. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to get reacquainted with MCBA’s presses and print studio for those with experience who haven’t printed for a while.  Continue reading “Letterpress 3: Two-Color Postcards”

Screen Printed Cards

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Saturday, July 16; 1–4pm

Get familiar with MCBA’s newly revamped screen printing studio and print your own unique design on a set of cards! In this in-person workshop, learn the basics of screen printing using hand-drawn artwork, cut-paper stencils, and darkroom techniques. Instruction will cover design, screen exposure, ink, and printing on paper. Cards may celebrate holidays, summer, or anything else you think up! Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Each participant will come away with ten cards approximately 4.25 x 5.5 inches in size. Continue reading “Screen Printed Cards”

Pre-Xerox Copier Technology & DIY Publishing

with Rich Dana
Saturday, July 23; 10am–4pm CT

This in-person workshop explores pre-Xerox copier technology and how contemporary artists and writers can use these low-cost techniques to publish editions of zines, chapbooks, prints, and flyers. We’ll begin by examining the history of office copying technology and how marginalized creators adopted these techniques in the early 20th century. Next, we’ll dive into demos of making master sheets, operating vintage copiers, and creating your own simple copiers from off-the-shelf materials. Finally, participants will have full access to all of the materials and equipment to create their own editions with guidance from the instructor. We will explore hectography (gelatin printing), mimeography (stencil printing), and spirit duplication (alcohol transfers, also known as “ditto”). Continue reading “Pre-Xerox Copier Technology & DIY Publishing”

Screen Print: Monotypes & Stencils

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Saturday, July 23; 10am–4pm CT

Explore low-tech screen printing methods without a darkroom in MCBA’s newly revamped screen printing studio! Instruction will cover screen printing basics, navigating inks, hand-cutting stencils, watercolor monotypes, registration, and printing effectively on paper. Repetition improves technique as you print a small edition of your unique, two-layer design! Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Continue reading “Screen Print: Monotypes & Stencils”

Letterpress 4: Editioning

with Erin Maurelli
Saturday, July 30; 10am–4pm CT

Letterpress 4: Editioning focuses on planning and printing an edition (or a group of identical prints). Printing an edition starts with making design decisions: choosing ink color, paper, edition size, a typeface, etc. Then, artists need to prepare for printing by cutting paper, preparing images, setting and proofing type, etc. This workshop will offer beginning printers strategies for creating an edition, including how to plan a project and how to make an edition of consistent prints. The teaching artist will share an example of an editioned project she created from start to finish. Then, in pairs, plan and print a small book (using an exercise to create content). Procedures for maintaining a community print studio will be reviewed in addition to basic press operation, care, and safety. This workshop is an excellent refresher and opportunity to get reacquainted with MCBA’s presses and print studio. To register for this workshop, participants must have taken Letterpress 1, 2, and 3. Continue reading “Letterpress 4: Editioning”