Fall 2022 Workshop

The Lidded Box with Joelle Webber

Saturday, October 15, 2022

9:00AM – 4:00PM with a lunch break Noon – 1:00PM (Please bring your own lunch)

424 Luther Bonney Hall

$145 – (Most Materials will be provided)

Maximum enrollment 15

Click Here to Register Online


In artist books, boxes are just as important as the content that they contain. Often times boxes act as the protective covers as well as the sculptural structure that illustrates and displays the content within. To advance to a skill level where one can create complex structures, one must first begin by learning the basics of box making.

The Lidded Box is the perfect beginner’s box. This course will demystify the process of building a box. Participants will gain experience using wet adhesives with multiple types of papers, book cloths, and thicknesses of book board, as well as learn techniques that also apply to making hardbound book covers. At the end of the day students will collage and decorate their hand bound box in their own style.




Scissor (a few are available in classroom)

Utility/X-acto knife

Metal ruler

Bone folder

Glue brush

Cutting mat (we have plenty in the classroom, but if you want to use your own, you’re welcome to bring it.)

All Other Materials Will Be Provided.

Handmade covered box with lid off decorated with watercolor by Joelle Webber
Lidded Box by Joelle Webber


Showing an early interest in the book arts, Joelle Webber had the good fortune to learn from many talents in her field, in workshops, one-on-one, and in university settings. For fifteen years she traveled throughout Maine, selling hand bound journals and treasure boxes. Transitioning towards artist books with more complex box structures, Joelle combines her almost forty years of collected paper decorating and binding techniques with her love of philosophy, nature, writing and sculpture.


Spring 2023 Workshop

Paste Paper and Layered Papermaking workshop with Cynthia Ahlstrin

Saturday, March 25, 2023

9:30AM – 4:00PM with a lunch break Noon – 1:00PM (Please bring your own lunch)

424 Luther Bonney Hall

$150 – (Most Materials Provided)

Maximum enrollment 12

Click Here to Register Online


In this one-day workshop, students will have fun investigating two different methods of creating hand designed decorative paper and layered paper that are often used in book arts and collage.  We will begin the day exploring the pleasures of making paste paper. Students will learn methods of mixing paint and glue, incorporating underlying marks, and using the right tools to create professional quality paper with colorful abstract designs and patterns.  The class will then move on to learn the process of hand layering to create beautiful sheets of translucent layered paper. This method of paper making is a great way to incorporate small scraps of paper, text, cloth, thread, etc. into your piece.  You will love the results!


Utility/X-Acto knife


Ruler (optional)

Pencils (soft graphite and colored if you would like)

Apron or studio shirt – (you will be working with media that is mixed with glue!)

Cellulose Kitchen Sponge

Chipping brush(s)/ Glue Brush – (you don’t want glue on your regular brushes)- a 1”-2” brush width is a good size for most folks

Paper scraps – lightweight paper such as mulberry/rice paper of any color, book pages, paper doilies, etc. – to use as inclusions within your paper layers

Thread, embroidery floss, and yarn – all colors will work with this process

Lightweight small cloth scraps (if you want to try this as an inclusion)

Items to make marks in wet media (bubble wrap, etc)

Small Cutting Mat (* Classroom has some to share.)

Small Spray bottle for water

Soft rubber brayer – any brayer up to a 6” width will work. (*Classroom has some.)

Hair dryers to aid in drying time (for folks who can’t leave their paper to dry & pick up later in week)

All Other Materials Will Be Provided.

Layered Paper with bits of ephemera by Book Artist Cynthia Ahlstrin
Layered Paper by Cynthia Ahlstrin


Cynthia Ahlstrin is an interdisciplinary artist with an ongoing interest in altered and traditional bookmaking, drawing, and printmaking. Her work investigates wisdoms handed down from past generations, the distortion of memory, and the domestic “rules” placed on women in our society. Ahlstrin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2004 from the University of Maine at Augusta, graduating Summa cum Laude.  She has also completed additional studies at the University of Southern Maine, the Stonehouse Summer Program, and at the Maine College of Art, completing a minor in Bookmaking.

Previously in her life, Cynthia studied Botany at the University of Rhode Island. The love of plants and scientific study continues to hold sway in her process as many of her pieces contain the detail and the intense scrutiny only a scientist would consider. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and libraries throughout the United States, and is held in public and private collections from Maine to California. Most recently, Cynthia has had her work published in Creative Maine Magazine (November 2021) and in the UMVA Quarterly’s Origin Series. 

Cynthia Ahlstrin is currently an adjunct professor at the Kennebec Valley Community College where she teaches drawing and bookmaking. She also maintains a working studio in Winthrop, ME where she has lived with her family and furballs for the past 25 years. 

Four Workshp participants creating artist books

For more information, please contact:

Annie Lee-Zimerle, Program Coordinator

(207) 228-8014 or aemin.leezimerle@maine.edu


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