Related Arts

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.

Screen Print: Cards

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Thursday, December 8; 6–9pm CT

Get familiar with MCBA’s screen printing studio and print your unique design on a set of holiday 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, winter, 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 Print: Cards”

Pop-Up Cards for Winter Holidays and Beyond

with Jill Weese
Saturday, December 10; 1–4pm CT

Learn a variety of simple pop-up techniques and how to combine them to create one-of-a-kind cards for every occasion, with a focus on winter holidays. An abundance of papers and tools will be available for a playful and inventive session of card making in person at MCBA. Samples will be available to inspire your creativity. Continue reading “Pop-Up Cards for Winter Holidays and Beyond”

Screen Print: Totes

with Michelle Lee Lagerroos and Kirsten Olson
Thursday, December 15; 6–9pm CT

Screen print your unique design on three totes ahead of the gift-giving season! In this in-person workshop, discover how to screen print using hand-cut wax paper stencils—this process does not use a darkroom and is easy to do with minimal equipment at home. 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). Simple designs are encouraged. Continue reading “Screen Print: Totes”

Letterpress Topics: Winter Cards

with Molly Poganski
Saturday, December 17; 1–5pm CT

Build your confidence with letterpress printing while making winter holiday cards with other beginning printers and MCBA’s Studio Technician, Molly Poganski. Simple backgrounds will be pre-designed with type locked-up in presses in advance to maximize printing time and to allow for variation in card design. Participants will have some creative input with ink colors and may select and hand-set a word or short phrase in wood type to print. Participants can choose to exchange cards at the end of the workshop and all will come away with twenty cards and envelopes. The focus of this workshop is on skill-building, community, and wintry cheer! Continue reading “Letterpress Topics: Winter Cards”

Art Practice Circle: Winter Series

with Laura Brown
Mondays: January 9, February 6, March 6, April 3; 7–8:30pm CT

Would you like to attend all four Art Practice Circle meetings this winter? Register for them all at once and receive a discount!

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 monthly 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: Winter Series”

Art Practice Circle: January

with Laura Brown
Monday, January 9; 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 monthly 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: January”

Altered Book Collage

with Hope Amico
Wednesdays: January 11, 18, 25, February 1; 4:30–6:30pm CT

Interested in collage but need a way to contain your ideas? Looking for inspiration and a place to start? In this virtual workshop, begin with a used trade book as part of a materials kit sent by the teaching artist. With that one book as both material and inspiration, participants will explore many ways of altering the book—through cutting, gluing, folding, building, and excavating stories. Learn strategies for working within a theme, what to do with unwanted text and images, ways to add and remove from an already bound object, and problem solving together.  Continue reading “Altered Book Collage”

Visual Poetry & Artist’s Books

with Ellen Sheffield
Wednesdays: January 11, 18, 25; 7–9pm CT

What is visual poetry (VISPO)? Visual poetry incorporates multiple forms of experimental poetry and literature. It has been described as the natural fusion of poetry and visual art with a history in concrete poetry. This makes it an ideal genre for the hybrid nature of the artist’s book, which happily accommodates the convergence of visual and literary impulses. Of the multiple ways artists use language or write text for artists’ books, the poetic approach is among the most evocative.

This is an intermediate level virtual workshop for artists and writers interested in taking a deep dive into more experimental poetic uses of text in artists’ books. We’ll look at examples of VISPO approaches such as lettering, handwriting, text objects, typography, and collage. Through prompts, exercises, and homework assignments, participants will explore and experiment with creating visual poetry and make a soft cover sampler book as a guide for future book projects. Continue reading “Visual Poetry & Artist’s Books”

Print and Stitch: Make a Journal

with Ben Etten and Skyler Hawkins
Saturdays: January 14, 21; 1–4pm CT

This in-person workshop is designed to offer a brief introduction to two book arts processes—screen printing and bookbinding—while having a lot of fun creating a hand-bound notebook featuring your artwork on the cover! First, learn basic tools, techniques, and terminology used in screen printing. Create an image, transfer it to a screen, and print onto a few sheets of paper, which will be the covers of your notebook. The second session will focus on building skills in basic bookbinding using tools such as a bone folder, awl, and utility knife. Learn the pamphlet stitch binding and come away with at least one finished notebook, plus the skills needed to continue making notebooks using previously printed, handmade, or marbled papers. Bring your sketches and ideas to the workshop. Each participant will come away with 1–3 notebooks (approximately 7 x 5 inches in size) and a few extra prints. Continue reading “Print and Stitch: Make a Journal”

Letterpress Topics: Printing Hebrew Type

with Robyn Awend
Thursday, January 26; 6–9pm CT

Get to know MCBA’s collection of Hebrew type and practice typesetting with the Hebrew alphabet. This demonstration-focused in-person workshop will show participants strategies for setting and choosing text based on character counts, type size, and other logistics involved in the process of letterpress printing with Hebrew type. Share budding project ideas for supportive feedback and resource-sharing. Return to MCBA for Letterpress Labs to set type and print your own project with Hebrew type. Continue reading “Letterpress Topics: Printing Hebrew Type”

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”