Binding & Boxmaking

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 or recording policies? This PDF contains a detailed list of 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.


Paired Station Binding

with Rosae Reeder
Thursday, January 27; 4:30–7:30pm CT

Similar to a Coptic binding, the paired station binding has an exposed spine featuring a decorative sewing. With multiple sewing stations along the spine, the paired station binding can be used to sew sections or gatherings of pages, as well as single sheets. In this virtual workshop, learn how to make a paired station binding using a combination of sections and single sheets with a soft paper cover. Traditional Coptic bindings, thread variations, and methods for adding boards to make a hardcover binding will be discussed. Continue reading “Paired Station Binding”

Box Building: Drawers & Dividers

with Erin Maurelli
Tuesdays: February 1, 8, 15, 22; 6:30–9pm CT

A fun thing to do when making boxes is to create custom boxes to hold your treasures, tools, and collections. In this virtual workshop, learn to create drawers that slide and storage dividers within the box. Create a box that has a lid with a hinge, a divided tray, and a drawer. Basic box building experience is required, including experience covering boards and checking to make sure your boards and compartments are square. Continue reading “Box Building: Drawers & Dividers”

Mini Modeled Books

with Amanda D’Amico
Thursdays: February 3, 10; 4:30–7pm CT

What happens when you combine historical Coptic bindings with contemporary craft materials? You get small, playful book objects! For the bookbinder who loves sculpture, this virtual workshop will cover how to make a three-dimensional book cover using Crayola Model Magic, a non-toxic, lightweight modeling material. Part one of the workshop will cover tips and tricks for working with the modeling material, as well as how to design your book object for success. Part two of the workshop will cover instruction on the two-needle Coptic stitch binding, a traditional and wonderfully adaptable sewing technique that can be used for many sculptural structures. Continue reading “Mini Modeled Books”

Flag and Tunnel Books

with Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder
Thursdays: February 3, 10; 7:30–9pm CT

Explore depth and perspective while learning to create two different expandable book structures in this virtual workshop. The flag book has an expandable spine with layers of paper “flags” that pop out, making it a delightful structure for evoking movement and action. Tunnel books, also known as “peep show” books, expand for a dramatic three-dimensional effect through layered cut-out panels. Participants will complete a finished book of both structures, plus models and ideas for variations. Continue reading “Flag and Tunnel Books”

Teaching Book Arts to Young Children

with Ellen Ferrari
Saturday, February 12; 10am–12pm CT

Book arts can enrich and enliven family time at home with young children. In this in-person workshop, parents, grandparents, and caregivers will explore book arts as a way to help their young children develop early childhood literacy and a lifelong love of books. We will begin with age-appropriate storybooks and activities that get children ready to make books. Next, we will learn to make simple whip stitch and stick bindings, and a wide variety of M-fold books, including variations such as flag and donut books. Experiment with these structures in group work time. Continue reading “Teaching Book Arts to Young Children”

Drum Leaf Binding

with Karen Hanmer
Thursday, February 17; 6–9pm CT

The drum leaf binding is a perfect structure for printmakers, photographers, or anyone who desires to present visual narratives with no sewing thread to interrupt the flow of imagery. The binding opens flat and can be dressed up or down with a variety of spine treatments, board-covering materials, and edge decoration techniques. It can be constructed quickly, lends itself to edition work, and can be made in a sparsely equipped home studio. 

In this virtual workshop, build skills working with common bookbinding tools, materials, techniques, and principles such as grain direction, folding signatures, tidy application of adhesive, and measuring one component of the book to fit another. This intermediate-level workshop is for those who have binding experience and make books independently, outside of a workshop setting. Continue reading “Drum Leaf Binding”

Non-Linear Artist’s Books

with Yuka Petz
Thursdays: February 17, 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24; 6:30–9pm CT

Explore artist’s books that defy conventional front-to-back reading. In this virtual workshop, make six non-linear artist’s books, including one-sheet books, flexagons, dos-à-dos, French door, flag books, and volvelles. Each week, learn a new book structure and techniques for adding content that work in tandem with the non-traditional book form to create meaning. Examples of artists’ books that use these structures will be discussed. The group will also engage in brief idea generation exercises and friendly critique. Participants will have the option to exchange books with one another to begin or grow a personal collection of artists’ books. Continue reading “Non-Linear Artist’s Books”

Wabi-Sabi Mixed-Media Books

with Emma Freeman
Wednesdays: February 23, March 2, 9; 7–8:30pm CT

In this virtual workshop, explore the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of wabi-sabi through mixed-media artmaking techniques that will culminate in the creation of book structures. Use paper and fabric, mark-making, printmaking, collage, dripping wax, and stitching to explore the qualities of wabi-sabi that include: earthiness, simplicity, intimacy, mystery, nuance, texture, impermanence, and disintegration. Through experimental techniques, beauty will reveal itself in unexpected places and offer new ways of creating art. Draw inspiration from images of weathered, Japanese boro textiles, stoneware and earthenware pottery, and nature. Continue reading “Wabi-Sabi Mixed-Media Books”

Sewn Boards Binding

with Karen Hanmer
Thursday, February 24; 6–9pm CT

The sewn boards binding is Gary Frost’s elegant, modern adaptation of an ancient method of board attachment. Stiffened outer signatures sewn along with the text block function as the book’s covers. 

The book opens flat. It can be dressed up or down with a variety of spine treatments, board-covering materials, and edge decoration techniques. It can be constructed quickly, lends itself to edition work, and can be made in a sparsely equipped home studio.  Continue reading “Sewn Boards Binding”