Adult Workshops

MCBA offers virtual and in-person workshops on a variety of topics, suitable for all skill levels. (Look for the icons below denoting either in-person or virtual format!) MCBA’s teaching artists are eager to connect with you.

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 and withdrawal policies? This PDF contains a detailed list of policies and FAQs. If you are a teaching artist, you can propose a virtual 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.


Fiber Stories: Artist Talk & Demo

with Kay Healy
Wednesday, October 20; 7–9pm CT

Co-presented with Textile Center

Join for a virtual artist talk with Kay Healy, a Philadelphia-based artist whose interview-based work investigates themes of home, loss, displacement, and resilience through life-sized drawn, painted, and screen-printed fabric installations. Kay Healy’s exhibition, Victory, will be on display in the Outlook Gallery at Minnesota Center for Book Arts from September–October 2021, viewable from the sidewalk along Washington Avenue. Continue reading “Fiber Stories: Artist Talk & Demo”

Cross Structure Binding

with Sue Bjerke
Saturday: October 23; 12–4pm CT

In-person bookbinding returns! In this in-studio workshop, learn the cross structure binding, a versatile softcover binding that features a decorative woven cover. The quires, also known as signatures or gatherings of text pages, are sewn to the cover to make a sturdy journal that opens flat for ease of use. Paper covers can be made from a single sheet of paper or from any cover stock papers of contrasting color or design to create unique design possibilities. Continue reading “Cross Structure Binding”

Hardcover Book

with Anna Haglin
Wednesdays: October 27, November 3, 10, 17; 4:30-6:30pm CT

In this virtual workshop, learn how to make a hardcover book at home. An introduction to basic tools and materials will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to make this binding again in different sizes and with a variety of materials. Learn how to find the grain direction of paper and book board, how to fold and sew paper to create pages, methods for creating a hardcover case using book board, and tips and tricks for attaching the hardcover to pages. Continue reading “Hardcover Book”

Quick and Dirty Letterpress Posters

with Monica Edwards Larson
Saturday: October 30; 10am–4pm CT

Welcome back to our print studios! Experience the hands-on satisfaction of printing your unique message through the tangible process of letterpress printing. Check out a selection of posters and broadsides featuring political messages and poetry, then learn beginning typesetting using wood type. Design and print your own small edition of posters on a Vandercook press. Continue reading “Quick and Dirty Letterpress Posters”

Art Practice Circle: November

with Regula Russelle
Monday, November 1; 6–7:30pm 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. Continue reading “Art Practice Circle: November”

Digital File Preparation for Letterpress

with Kevin Brown
Tuesdays: November 2, 9, 16; 4:30–6:30pm CT

From etchings to photographs, learn how to achieve optimal results in translating a variety of imagery into digital files ready to be sent out to be made into photopolymer plates for letterpress. This virtual workshop is a guide to Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop) with an emphasis on aspects relevant to letterpress printing, including scanning and converting grayscale images to bitmaps, alternative methods of halftoning such as diffusion dithers, and other tips and tricks. Participants must have a general knowledge of letterpress printing as well as access to and familiarity with Adobe Photoshop. Continue reading “Digital File Preparation for Letterpress”

Woven Accordion Window Book

with Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder
Tuesdays: November 2, 9; 7–8:30pm CT

Elevate your accordions through dynamic depth and movement! This deceptively simple structure expands to create a dramatic three-dimensional effect with layered cut-out windows. This workshop includes a materials kit to create a model of the structure and is suitable for beginners, though you will need a few tools (listed below). Learn tips and tricks for folding “the best” accordion, how to cut out windows, sew a basic book, and create a removable cover, plus instruction on how to alter or scale the design for your future projects. Continue reading “Woven Accordion Window Book”

Generative Measures: Research and Writing for Artist’s Books

with Ellen Sheffield
Wednesdays: November 3, 10, 17; 7–9pm CT

This virtual workshop will focus on non-traditional approaches to developing original content for artist’s books. A wide range of research tools will first be demonstrated to jumpstart ideas for projects. From these research seeds, participants will respond to writing prompts and engage in experimental creative writing techniques to grow these ideas into prototypes for artist’s books. Participants will learn how to add text to the pages of simple folded book structures, including alternative mark making, transfers, rub-on type, stencils, rubber stamps, and pressure printing. Continue reading “Generative Measures: Research and Writing for Artist’s Books”

Making a Mini Memoir

with Regula Russelle
Thursdays: November 4, 11; 7–8:30pm CT

Artmaking offers us powerful ways to relate to and connect with one another. Explore mini memoirs and how bits of your life can be shaped into a meaningful form. Look at examples for inspiration, cover content development, learn simple zine or book structures, and get tips on making multiples. This participatory virtual workshop will include both large and small group conversations. Continue reading “Making a Mini Memoir”

Drawing with Confidence

with Babette Wagenvoort
Saturdays: November 6, 13, 20, 27; 9:30am–12pm CT

Build confidence in your ability to draw and find joy in your practice in this virtual workshop. Guided exercises challenge participants to sketch, play, and think about ways to use drawing in books, art, and illustration. This workshop is an invitation to start a drawing practice and to work towards an (optional) independent project with support from the teaching artist and other workshop participants. Continue reading “Drawing with Confidence”

Introduction to Marbling

with Michelle Blodgett
Saturday, November 13; 10am–4pm CT

Welcome back to our studios! 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. Continue reading “Introduction to Marbling”

Letterpress 1: Printing Basics

with Erin Maurelli
Saturday, November 13; 10am–4pm CT

Welcome back to the print studio! 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”

Box Building for Beginners

with Erin Maurelli
Tuesdays: November 16, 23, 30, December 7; 7–9pm CT

This workshop is perfect for anyone new to book arts who would like to learn something a little different. Building boxes with high-density board, often called “book board,” is a time-honored tradition within book arts. Hand-built boxes serve many functions, from holding tools to preserving fragile books. Participants will learn the basics of box building while creating two unique boxes with lids. Continue reading “Box Building for Beginners”