New studio for MMW+C

Book arts, alternative processes

Feb 26, 2014
The 19th-century wet plate collodion process is among those that will be explored at Maine Media Workshops + College’s new Alternative Process laboratory.

Rockport — Maine Media Workshops + College has announced that construction of its new Book Arts & Alternative Process Studio will be complete by April. A grand opening for the facility is scheduled for June 12. The new studio will be home to Maine Media Workshops’ expanded book arts and alternative process programs, which specialize in the honoring of historic craft melded with the newest visual technology.

The studio, part of a from-the-studs-up renovation of the lower level of Maine Media’s Ernst Haas building, is designed to be a permanent space dedicated to enhancing the Design & Book Arts program, which was introduced in 2007 by former Maine Media President Charles Altschul. The studio houses a raft of exceptional book arts equipment including Vandercook proofing presses, multiple book presses, a photopolymer platemaker, composing stone and base, stamping press, bookbinding sewing frame and much more. It is a veritable book arts cornucopia for “maker” enthusiasts and photographers alike.

The Alternative Process laboratory being renovated in the adjacent space embraces a resurging interest in 19th-century historic photographic techniques including tintype, collodion, gum bichromate and calotype. The new studio exponentially expands opportunities at Maine Media because students can explore, blend and combine these age-old techniques in tandem with the most cutting-edge image technology available, opening seemingly endless creative avenues.

To make the most of the new space and equipment, Maine Media has greatly expanded its course offerings, particularly in design and book arts. New workshops will explore book design, letterpress printing, hot foil stamping for book spines and bookbinding, as well as Adobe InDesign, digital books, typography, graphic design, visual books for photographers and much more. World-class instructors from across the United States are included in the Maine Media Workshops + College catalog for the 2014 season and online at

“For over 40 years, people have come to Rockport to learn the art and craft of visual storytelling at Maine Media,” said Maine Media President Meg Weston. “This new studio is a wonderful addition to our capacity for programming classes and providing creative opportunities for people interested in honing their craft and telling their stories in unique ways.”

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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