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.

Pop-Up Curious? Explore Movement!

with Shawn Sheehy
Wednesday, August 17; 6–9pm CT

Do you look at pop-up books and wonder how they are engineered? Do you make greeting cards and harbor the desire to make your cards more spectacular? Do you make artist’s books and yearn to introduce dimension and animation? Even if you are simply compelled to read this description, you might be POP-UP CURIOUS. This class—with a focus on movement—will explore the fundamentals of paper engineering that address movables (pulls and wheels). You’ll build a series of simple models using the tools, techniques, and materials of the trade. You’ll examine trade pop-up books that show how the structures have been used. When finished, you’ll bind your models into a simple case. This quick beginner class is an entertaining gateway into more advanced study. Continue reading “Pop-Up Curious? Explore Movement!”

Art Practice Circle: Fall Series

with Laura Brown
Mondays: September 12, October 3, November 7, December 5; 7–8:30pm CT

Would you like to attend all four Art Practice Circle meetings this fall? 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: Fall Series”

Art Practice Circle: September

with Laura Brown
Mondays: September 12; 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: September”

Wearable Paper Jewelry

with Azania Tripp
Thursday, September 29; 6–8pm CT

Create your own one-of-a-kind wearable jewelry piece with paper! In this in-person workshop, learn to design pins, earrings, and pendants out of recycled magazine paper. Participants will select birchwood shapes (circles, triangles, and squares of varying sizes) to be used as a base for collage. Then, they’ll paste down paper designs cut with scissors, exacto knives, and hole punching tools. After the workshop, the teaching artist will complete the pieces with sterling silver attachments and seal the art with resin for longevity, which takes about two weeks. Participants can return to pick up their jewelry at the Shop at MCBA starting Saturday, 10/15. Continue reading “Wearable Paper Jewelry”

Your Creative DNA: Artists’ Books and Process

with Brad Thomas
Saturdays: September 17, 24; 10–4pm CT

Draw upon your personal history to inform and propel new creations. Spontaneity, improvisation, and experimentation are central to the process. Together, as a class, explore strategies to get over the (sometimes) daunting hurdle of getting started. Utilizing basic bookbinding techniques, construct a personalized book and learn a variety of approaches to fill it with personal narratives and the unexpected. While the books will certainly be stand-alone works of art, we will draw upon the content to develop additional pieces during the class. Painting, drawing, collage, acrylic gel medium transfers, and basic book construction will all be integrated into the book projects. Continue reading “Your Creative DNA: Artists’ Books and Process”

Art Practice Circle: October

with Laura Brown
Mondays: October 3; 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: October”

Storytelling with Collage

with Grace (Ge) Gilbert
Tuesdays: October 4, 11, 18; 5–6:30pm CT

Inspired by the hybrid visual and poetic works of Anne Carson, Saidiya Hartman, and Diana Khoi Nguyen, among other makers, this virtual workshop offers participants a method of working with mixed-media and digital collage materials to tell stories. Work with a series of personal artifacts (familial, cultural, and/or historical photographs or documents) in a digital format and develop a concept through a series of writing and collage exercises. Practice close “readings” of images to create unique multimedia collages. With generative prompts and tutorials on how to use word processing software to collage, participants will come away with both technical skills and the beginnings of a project idea. Continue reading “Storytelling with Collage”

Unfolding Narratives: Writing for Artist’s Books

with Ellen Sheffield
Tuesdays, October 4, 11 and Wednesday, October 19; 7–9pm CT

In this virtual workshop, learn techniques for generating text for artist’s books through conceptual approaches: text as image, as narrative, and as lyrical expression. Experiment with typographic systems and text itineraries, as well as Dada and Surrealist approaches. Writing exercises will be assigned before, during, and in between the three workshop sessions. Various methods for getting text onto book pages will be demonstrated through mark making, transfers, stencils, stamps, and rub-on type—in addition to demonstrations on how to make simple accordion book structures. Continue reading “Unfolding Narratives: Writing for Artist’s Books”