Books & Paper

Books and Paper Workshops at Penland


Penland School of Craft offers 1 to 8-week workshops in the book and paper arts taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Classes focus on topics including designing handmade books, papermaking, printing, and book binding. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Register for Workshops

Please read this note about our session schedules.

NOTE: Participation in Penland workshops currently requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Please read our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines document.

Books and Paper – Fall Weekend Session
October 21-23, 2022
Ann Marie Kennedy
Paper and Light

Making paper by hand allows for an investigation into its material nature and the interaction between paper and light. Starting with natural fibers such as flax and abaca, students will learn how to create translucent paper from overbeaten pulps. We’ll cover sheet forming techniques, including the use of a deckle box, and add content via stencils, collage, and texture. All levels. 

Associate professor at Wake Technical Community College (NC); other teaching: Women’s Studio Workshop (NY), Paper and Book Intensive (MI), Penland; residencies: Penland Resident Artist Program; installations/exhibitions: Gregg Museum (NC), Light Art + Design (NC), Cantor Art Gallery (MA); collections: Yale University (CT), Library of Congress (DC). | @paperhouse17

NOTE: Participation in fall workshops will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

work by Ann Marie Kennedy
Ann Marie Kennedy, detail of Plant Page, abaca, 16 x 20 inches
Books Spring Concentration
March 5 – April 28, 2023 (8 Weeks)
Alex McClay
Form, Content, Book

In this workshop we’ll create meaningful and moving works of art by making books that merge form and content. We’ll begin by covering a plethora of bookbinding techniques, including one-page books, zines, pamphlet stitch, coptic stitch, drum leaf binding, case binding, and box-making. At the same time, we’ll practice creative exercises that will evoke your artistic voice and encourage content development. Then we’ll spend some time in the letterpress studio getting that content onto paper. You’ll learn to set type, make polymer plates, pressure print, and collagraph print, all while planning carefully for the book form. We’ll put it all together back in the books studio. Demonstrations, presentations, discussions, meditations, and exercises will enrich the workshop experience. Students will leave with a collection of handbound artists’ books and a working knowledge of bookbinding and letterpress printing. All levels. 

Studio artist; teaching: University of Cincinnati (OH), University of Georgia (GA); residencies: Tiger Lily Press (OH), Penland Core Fellowship (NC); exhibitions: Weston Art Gallery (OH), ArtSpace (NC), Haggerty Gallery (TX), Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking (GA). | @raaalex

Alex McClay, Up and to the Right, book cloth, kozo, tracing paper, waxed linen thread, 4 x 5 x 1/4 inches
Papermaking – Spring Short Session
April 30 – May 5, 2023 (4 studio days)
Shannon Brock
Imagery in Papermaking

This workshop will explore image making in handmade paper. We’ll begin with an overview of basic sheet forming, including a discussion of fiber preparation and why we are using specific fibers. Then we’ll mix additives and pigment pulp that will be used throughout the workshop. On the second day, students will learn to prepare stencils with a variety of materials, and we’ll cover pulp transfers, pulp painting, watermarks, and blowouts. The rest of the time will be used to put these techniques into practice. Students may choose to create finished work or a library of examples. All levels. 

Studio artist; owner of Gaptoothed Studio (MO); teaching: Melbourne Grammar (Australia), Montclair State University (NJ), Museum School (MA); collections: Metropolitan Museum (NYC), Yale University Art Gallery (CT); publication: Papermaking for Printmakers by Elspeth Lamb.


handmade paper by Shannon Brock
Shannon Brock, Untitled Card, cotton base, red cotton veil; Yupo stencil blowout, 7 x 5 inches