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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” September 2021

September 3, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This month’s meeting will once again be held via Zoom, an online conference program. If you’ve never attended a Zoom meeting before, check out this video – it will go over the basics of how to join a meeting.

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Program: Make a Zine and Prepare to Swap!

One-sheet book coverSeptember brings a different kind of energy to life, doesn’t it? Let’s get together and make a zine!

In our June meeting, Emma Percy introduced us to zine culture and showed us examples from their collection. Now is our chance to practice the craft.

Our own Amy Burns will share some of her own comic zines and ideas on how to create your own. We will then make a one page fold book together, that can be printed on any home printer, and share a variety of versions to stimulate your creativity.

Ann Joppe-Mercure will introduce a new mail art challenge with a Zine Swap, that will enable us to see each other’s work in real life.

Here’s what you will need:

  • A print out of this template at actual size
  • 2 – 4 sheets of plain 8.5″ X 11″ paper
  • Drawing/writing tools – your favorite pen is good, markers, etc.
  • Subject matter – optional, but if you want to start some content, it’s nice to have a subject

B.A.G. Library Corner

Cover of Ultimate Cardmaking by Sarah BeamanSummer is ending, the holidays will be here before we know it, and with another mail art challenge on the horizon it’s a good time to review our envelope making skills. In her book Ultimate Cardmaking, Sarah Beaman shows us three different ways of crafting handmade envelopes.

The tutorials show how to use a template, trace an existing envelope, or create a pillow envelope to house three-dimensional contents. These easy to follow instructions will be sure to inspire the perfect enclosure for any mail art creations.

If you have ideas for books to feature or if you have a library book in your possession you’d like to share something from, email Sally at salblanch@gmail.com.

You can check out and download the selection here.

B.A.G. News

The Art of the Book logo*** Now through September 25th, the Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s group show, THE ART OF THE BOOK: IS IT A BOOK? will be on view at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

NEKAG is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and is located at 430 Railroad Street.

Our reception is being rescheduled, at which time we hope that participating artists will be able to speak about their work. Stay tuned for more information.

*** Speaking of our exhibit, be sure to check out page 50 in this week’s issue of Seven Days. We received a great review:

A current show at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, were it an actual book, would have to be called a page-turner. Unputdownable. A best seller.

Our own Ann Joppe-Mercure also got a special mention for her work Written in Stone.

Can’t get your hands on a copy of the paper? Never fear – you can read the issue online.

*** The Rochester Public Library‘s 10th anniversary international exhibit, Art of the Book & Paper, is open now through November 1. The opening reception will be held on September 29 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

B.A.G. members Carolyn Shattuck, Debra Kraemer, and Dorsey Hogg have work that was juried into the exhibit. Dorsey’s pieces Bound to History won 2nd place and Delicious won Honorable Mention, both in the Altered Books category.

All of the work can be viewed in the online exhibit program.

Book Arts News

*** The Vermont Folklife Center is currently accepting applications for its Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. The program works to sustain and pass down traditional art forms (bookbinding included!) in the state of Vermont .

The purpose of the program is to provide funding to help compensate the master artist for their time and to cover the cost of travel and of materials used during the apprenticeship. Accepted master artist/apprentice pairs are supported with up to $2,000.00 of funding.

Applications for the 2021-2022 cycle are due by September 17, 2021. For more information and to access the application, please visit the VFC website.

Wood letterpress type*** The Museum of Printing in Haverill, MA is offering free admission on September 18 as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 17th annual Museum Day.

The museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the graphic arts, printing and typesetting technology, and printing craftsmanship. In addition to many special collections and small exhibits, the museum contains hundreds of antique printing, typesetting, and bindery machines, as well as a library of books and printing-related documents.

The on Museum Day, the museum will be hosting the Alphabet Factory, an interactive printing experience for all ages. While admission is free, you will need a Museum Day ticket for admission. Each ticket is valid for two visitors. You can download a ticket here.

September 18th is also the day of the museum’s Garage Sale. There will be lots of letterpress items for sale – printing presses, printing equipment, metal cuts, halftones, books, and other goodies.

*** The third annual Peace Paper Project street intervention will take place at City Hall Park in Burlington on Saturday, September 25 from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Johnny LaFalce and Drew Matott with their bicycle powered paper pulp beater team up with A Revolutionary Press to pedal-pulp contemporary issues into messages of empowerment, peace, and love.

The public is invited to hand pull a sheet of paper made from a unique blend of pulped material and fibers. The identity of the mystery fiber source in the pulp vat will be revealed that day. A Revolutionary Press will set up its mobile letterpress print station for those wanting a free print on this paper. The selected quote will relate to the mysterious material incorporated in the pulp mixture.

*** The American Precision Museum in Windsor is hosting a temporary exhibit from now until September 13. Letters and Stitches features rarely seen typewriters and sewing machines from the museum collection.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering Moving Circles: Volvelles with Stephanie Wolff on September 18.

Volvelles, sometimes known as wheel charts, have a centuries-long history. They have been used in historic books, in promotional materials, and in devices to aid computation. Two or more circles turn to show information through cut out windows. This workshop covers a basic version of a volvelle and discussion of variations and ideas about incorporating content.

Our focus in this workshop will be on making models and learning how these function in order to create more complex and finished versions after the workshop. Volvelles are fun to make as cards, personalized gifts or to include in artists’ books.

For more information or to register, please email John Cutrone at jcutrone@fau.edu.

Suminagashi marbling*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Suminagashi Marbling with Sheryl Oppenheim on September 21.

Suminagashi is the oldest form of marbling, dating back to at least the 12th century. It is totally distinct, both in material and methods, from the size-based marbling practiced in Turkey, Iran, and Europe.

In this class you will learn about the history of Suminagashi, materials, and techniques, and you will each work at home to make your own Suminagashi marbled paper.

For more information or to register, please visit the CBA website.

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering the Slotted Tape Binding with Rachel Schend on September 28.

In this virtual workshop, learn how to construct a Slotted Tape Binding, a multiple-section binding sewn on tapes (thin strips paper) that features a decorative paper cover. Learn how to sew book pages onto paper tapes using a French web-sewing technique. Then, make a paper cover while considering a number of unique design possibilities.

Each technical step in the process will be demonstrated and participants will come away with a completed book. Some historical background and design alternatives will also be presented.

For more information or to register, please visit the MCBA website.


VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” August 2021

August 5, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, August 14, 2021, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

This month’s meeting will be the opening reception for our members exhibit at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild. The gallery is located at 430 Railroad Street, #2 in St. Johnsbury, VT.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the exhibit – all of the work will be photographed and put on our website.

We hope to see you at the gallery!

The B.A.G. Board

Program: B.A.G Exhibit Opening Reception at Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild

The Art of the Book logoThe Book Arts Guild of Vermont is proud to present our group show for 2021, THE ART OF THE BOOK: IS IT A BOOK?

Here are the juicy details:

The members’ show will run from August 6 through September 18, 2021, in the Back Room Gallery at Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The opening reception will be on August 14 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and will take the place of our regular meeting.

At the reception, artists will have the opportunity to speak about their work, so if you would like to share, please be prepared.

July Meeting Reflections

Handmade bookFor the wrap up of our Text Me! theme, we asked members and friends to share work they have done based on techniques and ideas we have learned from previous meetings.

It was exciting to see the variety and quality of work produced! We can’t wait to see some of these pieces in person at the show in August.

Thanks to all who shared and listened.

B.A.G. Library Corner

The Lively Art of Lettering article imageIt’s time to wrap up our text theme and what better way than with the Lively Art of Lettering feature from Somerset Studio magazine.

The January/February 2010 issue features the work of three artists: Jane Harrison-Williams turns the English alphabet into a whimsical animal menagerie; Linda Schneider paints figures from words in what she calls “penned personas;” and Joyce Bank pairs art with a love of tea, creating “book ghosts” from tea bag pages. All three have creative ways of utilizing text in their work that showcases their unique expression.

If you have ideas for books to feature or if you have a library book in your possession you’d like to share something from, email Sally at salblanch@gmail.com.

You can check out and download the selection here.

B.A.G. News

*** The exhibit Mixed States, recent work from sisters Nina and Sari Gaby, runs September 2 – 29 with a reception and artist talk Sunday September 26, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at The Little Theater Café Gallery. The gallery is located at 240 East Avenue in Rochester, New York.

Nina’s collage is based on book imagery, referencing mood, terrain, geography, and the always changing landscape of visual narrative.

For more information, please visit The Little Theater website.

Handmade journal*** Elissa Campbell is teaching the Travel Companion Journal on August 26 at the Swanson Inn in Waitsfield.

In this workshop, participants will create a journal with a double-needle coptic binding, an intricate stitch that will be visible on the spine of the book. Not only is the coptic binding beautiful, but it also allows books to remain flat when opened.

The journal will include pockets both inside the covers and in the text block, allowing you the opportunity to save lots of stuff from your travels – tickets, photos, pressed flowers – you name it!

All materials and tools will be provided. Lunch and snacks are also included in the fee – all you have to do is show up!

For more information, please visit the Swanson Inn website.

To register, please contact the Inn at stay@swansoninn.com.

Book Arts News

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is hosting The Art of Korean Paper, an online artist talk and demonstration with Aimee Lee on Wednesday August 18th. Lee is an artist, papermaker, writer, and the leading hanji (Korean handmade paper) researcher and practitioner in North America.

While studying papermaking in the US, Aimee noticed a gap in paper history and decided to research, learn, and teach Korean papermaking to fill that gap. She will show examples of her artwork featuring hanji in her presentation and demonstrate the ancient papercraft of noyeokgae, known colloquially as jiseung, the process of cording and twining hanji.

For more information or to register, visit the MCBA website.

*** The Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival is being held online this year and registration for the festival itself is free! You will have full access to the NPBAF community, including mini lectures, artist talks, a live Art and Happy Hour Zoom gathering plus a space to chat and share with other festival goers. In addition to the free content, there are lecture and studio workshops available for purchase.

Lecture workshops will be live streamed with students watching the instructor work through a process, technique or structure. The instructor will take you through all the steps, pass along some great tips and tricks, and provide you with a materials and tools list. The lecture will be recorded and you will have access to watch it as many times as you like until February 1, 2022.

Studio workshops will be live streamed and designed for you to work along with the instructor. Your materials fee has two parts: the materials themselves plus the cost to ship them in a USPS flat rate box. There is also a student supply list of materials and tools you will need to gather before the workshop. The lecture will be recorded and you will have access to watch it as many times as you like until February 1, 2022.

To register for the festival, please visit the NPBAF website. To view the festival brochure, please click here.

*** If you missed the virtual Focus on Book Arts conference that was recently held online, you’re in luck – much of the content is now available online through the end of August:

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering Magic Box of Mysteries with Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder on August 19 & 26, and September 2.

Mystify and mesmerize with this magic box of mysterious toys and tricks! In this workshop you will learn the secrets of this hidden compartment, magic wallet box. Open the magic box to reveal hypnotizing optical paper toys. Then close the box and open again to unveil an entirely different set of paper toys, including a volvelle, flexagon, and thaumatrope. How does it work, you ask? Through the magic of book arts, all will be revealed.

For more information or to register, please email John Cutrone at jcutrone@fau.edu.

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering How to Conceptualize and Create an Artist Book with Maria Veronica San Martin on August 23 – 25.

During this intensive project-based remote course, students will learn “how to think and create an artist book” by examining their concept, aesthetic, and techniques. The course will be taught from the artist’s studio and will start with a brief exploration of what an artist book is, followed by demonstrations of an accordion book structure (dos-a-dos); the technique of monoprints on plexiglass, zinc or copper (a form of printmaking that produces a unique print) for images and/or text, and the final creation and construction of a flag book.

Students will be able to create their own artist book in four sessions with a final critique. No prerequisites needed, but ideally participants should have some book arts knowledge or experience.

For more information or to register, please visit the CBA website.

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Single-Page Books: The Next Level with Rosae Reeder on August 25th.

Single-page books, also called flutter-fold books, are extremely versatile folded structures that can be used to make books, zines, and unique formats for written greetings. These books are created by folding and cutting paper, incorporating simple elements of origami with principles of bookbinding.

These small wonders can be used as one-of-a-kind works or in multiples to create structures that twist, turn, and further expand this already-interesting construction. In this one-day virtual workshop, learn how to fold a series of ten single-page books, as well as other folded structures as time allows. Some experience folding paper or binding books is helpful but not required.

For more information or to register, please visit the MCBA website.


VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” July 2021

July 7, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This month’s meeting will once again be held via Zoom, an online conference program. If you’ve never attended a Zoom meeting before, check out this video – it will go over the basics of how to join a meeting.

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Program: Text Me! Wrap Up!

Text Me logoOur 2021 series of themed meetings – Text Me! – has focused on how to approach text in the book arts. We visited Special Collections at both UVM and Dartmouth to look at how other artists approach text in their work.

Prudence Doherty, UVM Silver Special Collections Librarian, and Morgan Swan from Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College each gave us a jam-packed presentation of examples from their respective libraries, showing us many inspirational works with creative use of text. There was handwritten text, stitched text, text as part of the illustration, shaped text, typewriting, and woodcut text. Also embroidered letters and pages, cut-out letters, hidden or obscured text, and manipulated text that formed images. Phew, so much inspiration, but what to say and how to say it?

Well, that was covered in the other meetings. The extraordinary artist Erin Sweeney showed us how to use pochoir, stamps, transfers, and hand- lettering techniques in our work. Deborah Stuart focused on generating ideas for text, and gave us steps to make the text-to-page process easier and, well, fun. And finally, Emma Percy presented us with an alternative to traditional book arts structures by showing us their collection of ‘zines’, mostly text-based booklets.

So what have you been working on with these techniques, or other techniques that have presented themselves during this odd period of time? We want to see it! Whether you have made a book, are working on a book, or have something else entirely that you would like to share, we invite you to give your own short presentation at the next meeting so we can celebrate it. If you would like to share, please contact Elissa so we can accommodate everyone. Our group is incredibly talented and interesting, and you are part of it. Sign up!

If you plan to attend the meeting, please contact Elissa so she can send you the Zoom meeting details.

June Meeting Reflections

ZinesThanks to Emma Percy, we all got a glimpse inside the world of zines and zine making, a fun and sometimes radical way of sharing art and ideas. Their personal collection of zines included many creative and varied subjects and structures.

It was fun to hear what made them attractive to them, and how they manipulated the form in their own work.

Although not all of the zines were text based, I think the structure and concept lends itself to a kind of infomercial about your favorite subject!

Thanks, Emma! And thanks to everyone who tuned in with Zoom.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Enrich Your Calligraphy coverIn Diana Hardy Wilson’s book, Enrich Your Calligraphy, she tells us that “by looking at other work we can be inspired to continue with our own…to push ourselves and our own work to our present limits, and then, beyond.”

We have certainly had lots of inspiration with our Text Me theme over the past year, and this month’s library corner continues that inspiration with a look at some beautiful pieces of calligraphy.

Included in this selection are works from June Francis, Daphne Dobyn, Catriona Montgomery, Dave Wood, and more. Though these pieces are all specifically centered around calligraphy, they are inspiring examples of what can be done creatively with text.

If you have ideas for books to feature or if you have a library book in your possession you’d like to share something from, email Sally at salblanch@gmail.com.

You can check out and download the selection here.

You can also purchase a copy of the book here.

B.A.G. News

The Art of the Book logo*** The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is proud to present our group show for 2021, THE ART OF THE BOOK: IS IT A BOOK?

Here are the juicy details:

The members’ show will run from August 6 through September 18, 2021, at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. We will have an opening reception on Saturday, August 14, which will take the place of our regular August meeting. We will be able to see each other in person!

While our last several meetings have been all about using text in our work, entries do not need to have text. We encourage members to submit up to 2 entries, and we will try to accommodate all submitted work. It is preferred that at least one of your entries be for sale, and considering the time of year, we expect to have sales!

The due date for entries is July 17, at which time work must be in the hands of either Becky Boardman or Ann Joppe-Mercure, along with the appropriate paperwork (download here). If you have already submitted your work to either, please fill out the entry form and forward it on to them. B.A.G. will cover the entry fee for all members.

If you have any questions or concerns about the show or your entries, please email Becky or Ann.

We can’t wait to see your submissions!

Handmade journal*** Elissa Campbell is teaching the Travel Companion Journal on July 22 at the Swanson Inn in Waitsfield.

In this workshop, participants will create a journal with a double-needle coptic binding, an intricate stitch that will be visible on the spine of the book. Not only is the coptic binding beautiful, but it also allows books to remain flat when opened.

The journal will include pockets both inside the covers and in the text block, allowing you the opportunity to save lots of stuff from your travels – tickets, photos, pressed flowers – you name it!

All materials and tools will be provided. Lunch and snacks are also included in the fee – all you have to do is show up!

For more information, please visit the Swanson Inn website.

To register, please contact the Inn at stay@swansoninn.com.

Book Arts News

*** Vermont is home to over a thousand migrant farm workers, people largely from Mexico and northern Central America. El Viaje Más Caro / The Most Costly Journey, a collaborative project by the Open Door Clinic, Vermont Folklife Center, UVM Extension Bridges to Health, UVM Department of Anthropology, and Marek Bennett’s Comics Workshop has enabled a number of those farm workers to tell their stories.

These accounts appear in zine form with drawings by cartoonists and words of the workers, in both English (to educate local Vermont residents) and Spanish (to enable the workers to hear each other’s stories).

All of these zines are downloadable here:

They’re educational and make for great learning tools. All of these works in English have also just been published together in book form.

*** In celebration of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers’ 40th Anniversary exhibition, the Boston Athenæum is hosting a virtual panel discussion called Meet the Makers: Contemporary Book Artists.

Join artists Erin Fletcher, Nancy Leavitt, and Julie Stackpole as they explore what it means to make and collect books in the twenty-first century with Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections John Buchtel. All three artists have work featured in 40 Years: Celebrating the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, on view at the Athenæum through August 7, 2021.

Their work can also be found in the Athenæum’s Special Collections alongside historic and contemporary fine bookbindings, artists’ books and manuscripts by local, national, and international makers.

For more information or to register, please visit the Athenæum’s website.

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is hosting the virtual exhibition, Solastalgia: Book Art and the Climate Crisis, now through October 17, 2021. The exhibit features expansive and experimental works by twenty local, national, and international artists addressing the paradoxical nature of grief, despair, beauty, elegy, regeneration, and loss that we are facing as we confront one of the most defining issues of our time.

The artistic vision is grounded in solastalgia, a term coined by environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht to better describe the psychological toll of climate change. Solastalgia is the pain caused by recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault – the lived experience of environmental change and a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at home.

From traditional codices to pop-up books to sculptural vessels made of bacteria cultures, this exhibition is both a call to alarm and a symbol of hope that through compassion and ingenuity, it is possible to imagine new futures.

To view the exhibition, please visit the MCBA website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Artist Books: Examples and Methods with Ben Denzer on July 8 & 15.

In the first session, Ben will introduce a working definition of the term “Artist Book,” share a survey of historical examples, and outline basic bookmaking techniques. Students will then be prompted to create their own experimental artist books using materials they have readily available.

Between sessions, Ben will be available for one-on-one conversations to give feedback and construction advice. In the second session, each student will share their completed artist book in a group critique.

For more information or to register, please visit the CBA website.

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Zine-Making Against Climate Change with Regula Russelle on July 21 & 28.

Zines are a super easy and inexpensive way to disseminate information to friends and to strangers. In this workshop you’ll explore how to make a zine related to the climate crisis. Content might range from Veggie Gardening for Beginners to pointers on Zero Waste Practices to How to Talk with Legislators.

We will look at examples for inspiration, cover content development, practice a couple of simple zine structures, and learn how to make multiples and ways to share them.

For more information or to register, please visit the MCBA website.

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering Be There, Be Square with Susan Joy Share on July 22.

This workshop will explore several folded paper structures based on squares, including a flexagon infinite card, a box, an origami folded picture frame, and a snake. Our process will emphasize mountain and valley guide folds that land us easily at our finished objects. We’ll discuss how these formats can be used with content to create dynamic artworks.

Materials include text and card weight papers and common adhesives. This is a nice opportunity to use your paper collection… or to start one.

For more information or to register, please email John Cutrone at jcutrone@fau.edu.


VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” June 2021

June 5, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This month’s meeting will once again be held via Zoom, an online conference program. If you’ve never attended a Zoom meeting before, check out this video – it will go over the basics of how to join a meeting.

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Program: DIY Publishing & Zines as Art with Emma Percy

Zines textZines have a recent but rich history as an underground mode of disseminating information, art, and new ideas, often from marginalized makers in working-class creative communities.

These works run the gamut from quick, sketchy single-sheet mini-booklets to beautifully detailed handmade artist’s books, and anyone can make them.

Emma Percy has been immersed in zine culture for many years, and will present an overview of small-scale DIY publishing, share a variety of diverse examples from their personal collection, and offer suggestions and strategies for making your own zines and getting them out into the world.

If you plan to attend the meeting, please contact Elissa so she can send you the Zoom meeting details.

May Meeting Reflections

One-sheet bookAnother well attended Zoom meeting! I don’t know about you, but I was intrigued by the description of the program in the newsletter, sometimes a piece of writing needs a book and sometimes a book needs some content. I struggle with both, trying to find meaning and express it in my artwork.

In her presentation, B.A.G. member Deborah Stuart gave us new ideas and possibilities to help generate our own writing. I didn’t take many notes, because I was so caught up in the exercises, writing lists and figuring out how to put the words together.

And wondering why no one wanted to read their writing. So here goes, this is the story of my life in one minute: I was a happy child, an unhappy teenager, a lost young person, and finally an anxious adult with a wonderful lucky life. I never thought about it that way before, and that is the whole point of stepping outside yourself and finding new approaches.

Thanks to Deborah for leading us through the exercises that will give us some muscle, and thanks to everyone who attended.

You can download a copy of Deborah’s writing prompts here.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Non-Adhesive Binding Vol 1In the introductory pages of the great Keith Smith’s Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 1, we are given much to ponder about how the form, structure, and concept of a book all inform each other. He takes us on a reflective journey through the world of bookmaking by exploring the possibilities provided by different numbers of folds and pages while simultaneously revisiting basic book terminology.

Through his beautiful use of language, Smith reminds us that “…text can be so written that the words create the pages. The pages, as well as the writing relate back and forth, tying together all the elements into a unified flow. One would ask no less cooperation from all the elements of an orchestra (pg. 15).”

If you have ideas for books to feature or if you have a library book in your possession you’d like to share something from, email Sally at salblanch@gmail.com.

You can check out and download the chapter here.

You can also purchase a copy of the book here.

B.A.G. News

*** We are pleased to announce that the Book Arts Guild of Vermont will be having an exhibit at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury from August 6th – September 18th! The exhibit title is The Art of the Book: Is This a Book?

This is a great time of year for this exhibit as a lot of tourists are in the area at that time and it’s good to spread our book arts further afield to new parts of the state! Work to be displayed on surfaces as well as on walls will be greatly appreciated.

Entries are open to all members and can include up to 2 works. The exhibit entry form will be available in the next newsletter. Although we have been highlighting text in our recent meetings, exhibit entries do not need to include text.

Important dates:

  • Entries Due Date: July 17, 2021
  • Exhibit Opening Date: August 6, 2021
  • Opening Reception: August 14, 2021
  • Exhibit End Date: September 18, 2021
  • Pickup Work Date: TBD

We can’t wait to see your submissions!

*Text Me logo** For the July meeting, we’ll wrap up our concentration on making and using text in our work. We’ll review the methods, tools, and techniques we acquired from our last meetings, and then take a look at what our members have done with them.

We invite you to share the work you’ve created with your new skills! Please let us know by email if you would like to participate in the evening so we can arrange a line up. Sharing and positive feedback is always welcome.

Book Arts News

NEGBW exhibit poster*** The New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers currently has an exhibit at the Boston Athenæum through August 7th. 40 Years: Celebrating the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers showcases a broad spectrum of tradition and innovation, spanning expertly crafted fine and design bindings, as well as beautifully sculpted artists’ books and boxes.

With rich holdings in the contemporary and historic book arts, and with overlaps in our collections, membership, and staff, the Boston Athenæum is pleased to support the NEGBW by serving as the opening venue for the exhibition.

If you are unable to visit Boston, you can view the work online.

For more information, visit the Boston Athenæum website.

*** Registration is now open for the free virtual 2021 Focus On Book Arts conference, Where We Live, taking place July 15 – 17. There are three events and registration is required:

  • Artists from around the world have created books that fit the theme of Where We Live. On July 15th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (PDT), there will be a welcome reception and a panel discussion with the 4 winners of the juried exhibit. The exhibit will be available for viewing 7/15 – 8/31. Register for the panel discussion here.
  • ​On July 16th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (PDT), featured speaker Tia Blassingame will present Book Arts Futures: Musings on the Future of the Field. A book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception, Blassingame often incorporates archival research and her own poetry in her artist’s book projects for nuanced discussions of racism in the United States. Register for the featured speaker here.
  • Artists have created books that fit the theme Where We Live: Where Our Hearts Reside and submitted those works to the Challenge Book exhibit. On July 17th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (PDT), FOBA will host a Challenge Book Roundtable for a review and discussion of many of the books. It is a chance for the creators of these books to talk about their process, inspiration, and answer questions about them. The Challenge Book exhibit will be available for viewing 7/15 – 8/31. Register for the roundtable here.

For more information about the conference, visit the FOBA website.

*** Artists Book House is hosting an online series of conversations with book artists, illustrators, cartoonists, writers, poets, librarians and book collectors. Recent guests include Emily Martin, Helen Hiebert, and Don Widmer. They’ve also got free online video tutorials that include longstitch variations, interactive mail art, and making a mold and deckle.

For more information, visit the Artists Book House website.

Second Growth - Australian Brush Fire Charity Zine*** Love zines? Check out the Sherwood Forest Zine Library! They’ve got hundreds of free downloadable zines and links to online zines.

Their goal is to host and provide access to information, stories, and voices that are often buried in the mainstream media. Their collection ranges from art, poetry, and fiction to political theory, social issues, and historical discussion, and everything in between!

For more information, visit the Sherwood Forest Zine Library website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Artist Books: From Idea to Execution with Elizabeth Castaldo on June 14, 21, 28, and July 5.

In this four-session workshop series, students will be introduced to the artist’s book creation process. Starting from idea and working toward execution, students will develop strategies for brainstorming and working with sequential and image-based content, bridging the gap between concept, material, process, form, and finished work of art.

Students will learn to make three book structures, accordion, pamphlet, and drum leaf binding, and then create their own one-of-a-kind artist’s book. This class is ideal for artists who want an introduction into the world of artist’s books or for those curious about artistic expression with the book form.

For more information or to register, please visit the CBA website.

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering the Woven Accordion Window Book with Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder on June 24.

Elevate your accordions through dynamic depth and movement with the Woven Accordion Window book. 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 all levels (even beginners).

You will learn tips and tricks for folding “the best” accordion, how to cut out windows, basic book sewing, creating a removable cover, plus instruction on how to alter or scale the design for your future projects.

For more information or to register, please email John Cutrone at jcutrone@fau.edu.

*** BookArtsLA is offering The Jacob’s Ladder with Karen Hanmer on June 26th.

This artists’ book structure functions on numerous levels: as a codex held in the hand and read page by page in sequence, as a sculpture, and as a delightful object to play with. It can be made in a home studio with minimal specialized equipment. Instruction will focus on both craft and content. Students will have the opportunity to examine a variety of finished pieces and models. Importance of creating and refining prototypes will be stressed. Your finished book, plus detailed instructions, will be a valuable reference for future work.

Some binding experience helpful.

For more information or to register, visit the BookArtsLA website.

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering the ABCs of Lark’s Head Binding with Dorothy Yuki on July 7th.

A Lark’s Head knot (also known as a Cow Hitch) is often used in jewelry making and many other applications. It can also be used to bind single sheets together! The exposed spine also allows for plenty of opportunity to play with adding decorative elements such as colored threads and beads.

In this workshop, students will learn to bind different kinds and different weights of papers using the Lark’s Head knot. Students will receive an instructional handout for later reference.

The workshop fee includes a kit containing prepared pages, tyvek strips, threads, grid paper, clips and assorted findings.

For more information or to register, visit the SFCB website.


VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” May 2021

May 5, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This month’s meeting will once again be held via Zoom, an online conference program. If you’ve never attended a Zoom meeting before, check out this video – it will go over the basics of how to join a meeting.

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Text Me!

Text Me logoText is an important consideration when creating a piece, just as imagery, structure, and materials are. Our members often tell us that they struggle with incorporating text in their work.

We’ve heard you!

Our 2021 series of themed meetings – Text Me! – will focus on how to approach text in the book arts.

We’ll look at how to choose text, methods for adding text to the page, and determining where to put it. This month, B.A.G. member Deborah Stuart will lead exercises prompting us to both generate text and create simple book structures

We hope you’ll join us as we journey into the world of text!

Program: Text Me, Part 4 – Putting Our Writing into Our Books with Deborah Stuart

Handmade books by Deborah StuartSometimes a piece of writing needs a book and sometimes a book needs some content. Putting those two thing together can present challenges!

For some of us writing is the easy part – finding the right books to put them in is harder. For some of us bookmaking is the natural skill – finding or creating the words and ideas which will fill the pages is the challenge. Even for those who comfortably do both, having new approaches and ideas can open up different possibilities.

We’ll do some quick writing exercises to give us short written material to use, and then we’ll do several simple folded book structures in which to capture what we’ve written. There will be examples of steps to take to make the text-to-page process easier and less daunting. We’ll take a bit of time to share ideas back and forth about what works well for us so we can learn from one another.

Materials list:

  • Paper on which to write (lined or unlined)
  • Favorite writing pen or pencil
  • Colored marker or crayon
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or tape
  • 6-8 pages text paper (white or solid color)
  • Favorite line of poetry and/or a favorite quote (preferably printed out, but handwritten would also work)

If you plan to attend the meeting, please contact Elissa so she can send you the Zoom meeting details.

April Meeting Reflections

Erin Sweeney stamping with alphabet stampsAs I went back through the notes I took from the meeting with Erin Sweeney, I was surprised to see how much we learned, not only in technique but also in materials and tools! It was enlightening!

I am pochoiring all the time now, and can’t wait to make some gelli prints using Yupo as my stencils. It was an evening that set off some sparks for me in terms of ideas and fun stuff. I hope it was the same for you.

Thanks, Erin Sweeney, for your enthusiasm and your gift for sharing that with us. Thanks to the B.A.G. board for sending out the ‘text kits’ so we could all follow along, and thanks to everyone who attended.

You can download a copy of Erin’s resource list here.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Bound and Lettered volume 10 number 3Calligraphy artists Jane Ewing, Marijo Carney, Kimberly Dixon, Tina Lee-Cronkhite, Christine Orsolini, and Karen Vosburg showed the “power of words” in their two-year art collaboration for ArtPrize, the world’s largest juried art exhibition.

Their painstaking process is detailed in Bound and Lettered (vol. 10, no. 3) from the preparation of the vellum, through the selection and application of text, to the final exhibition of the piece.

If you have ideas for books to feature or if you have a library book in your possession you’d like to share something from, email Sally at salblanch@gmail.com.

You can check out and download the article here.

You can also purchase a copy of the issue here.

B.A.G. News

***  We are pleased to announce that B.A.G. will be having an exhibit at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury from August 6th to September 18th! This is a great time of year for this exhibit as a lot of tourists are in the area at that time and it’s good to spread our book arts further afield to new parts of the state!

More information will be forthcoming, so please begin thinking of work you would like to exhibit. Work to be displayed on surfaces as well as on walls will be greatly appreciated.

Book Arts News

*** On May 22, the American Bookbinders Museum is presenting a lecture with Samuel Feinstein, Going for the Gold.

Feinstein is a bookbinder and finisher working in Chicago. While the basic tenets of gold finishing have not changed much over the years, approach in terms of design, precision of placement of individual tools, and utilization of different gilding sizes has. In his work Sam aspires to work seamlessly in all styles, historical and modern, to bring to the surface some of the essence of what is inside the covers.

In his presentation, Feinstein will talk about how his traumatic brain injury left him unable to do other work, but introduced him to the world of hand bookbinding, the aspects of bookbinding history that truly inspired him to want to follow this path, and the one binding that set him on his course to want to do fine leather bookbinding and specialize in gold finishing.

In his slides he will demonstrate one of the many approaches to gold finishing that he employs in his work and teaching, as well as the philosophy behind his tooling method.

He will then take a tour through a few of his favorite and most engaging bindings that he has had the opportunity to work on and talk about what went into each one, not all of which have gold as the center of attention.

For more information, visit the American Bookbinders Museum website.

*** The virtual 2021 Focus on Book Arts conference has announced their featured speaker. Tia Blassingame will present Book Arts Futures: Musings on the Future of the Field on Friday, July 16.

A book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception, Blassingame often incorporates archival research and her own poetry in her artist’s book projects for nuanced discussions of racism in the United States.

In 2019, Blassingame founded the Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color collective to bring Book History and Print Culture scholars into conversation and collaboration with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) book artists, papermakers, curators, letterpress printers, printmakers for building community and support systems.

Blassingame is an Assistant Professor of Book Arts at Scripps College and serves as the Director of Scripps College Press.

Virtual conference registration is free, but space is limited. For more information, visit the FOBA website.

letterpress poster*** The upcoming 2021 Ladies of Letterpress Conference will be held online September 24 – 26 and everyone is welcome.​

They’re currently developing new workshops, talks, and demos covering a wide range of letterpress topics. They’ll continue a few themes that have percolated from last year’s conference but they’d really love to hear from you. What are you curious about? Send them an email or message on Instagram.

Workshops, talks, and demos from around the letterpress world will be announced in the coming weeks. For the latest information, visit the Ladies of Letterpress website.

*** Each year the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) sponsors a non-juried exhibition The Illustrated Accordion, showing in the KBAC Gallery in late spring. Open to all emerging and established artists, this exhibition focuses on books created in the accordion form.

The books in their 13th anniversary exhibit can be viewed online, now through June 18.

For more information, visit the KBAC website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering Small Paper, Long Accordions with Stephanie Wolff on May 13.

Accordion books are great structures for exhibitions, as content can be revealed all at once without having a viewer handle the work. But large paper can be a challenge to find or to print on. This workshop covers the basic accordion form, methods of using small paper to create long accordions (and the benefits of doing so), along with a handful of ways to join strips of any length together.

We’ll discuss some of the challenges when working with the accordion form, and some work-arounds and opportunities these limitations present. Participants will complete a set of models to serve as inspiration and reference for future projects.

For more information or to register, please email John Cutrone at jcutrone@fau.edu.

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering The Drum Leaf Binding and Its Precedents with Scott McCarney on May 17, 24 & 31.

In this three-session workshop, we will be making three books that are related in their ease and ingenuity of assembly: a Japanese Album, a Japanese Butterfly book, and a Drum-Leaf binding.

​All three books join single folded folios in distinct ways, the Drum-Leaf being a hybrid combination of the Album and Butterfly. All three use a minimum of glue, limiting the amount of moisture introduced to the book block which speeds the binding process considerably. The Drum-Leaf book is cased into an easily assembled quarter-cloth cover with a throw-back spine. Since each page spread is a single folded folio, it allows images to be printed across the gutter with no interruption, making it very popular with printmakers and photographers. Once completed, the book lies flat when opened, making it very popular with viewers.

In session one, we will make a Japanese album and a Japanese butterfly book. We’ll also make covers for these books using the “drumming” technique. In session two, we will “drum” a stack of folded folios to create the book block for the Drum-Leaf binding. in session three, we will make the cover and case-in the Drum-Leaf book block.

For more information or to register, please visit the CBA website.

*** BookArtsLA is offering the Paper Case with Locking Spine with Karen Hanmer on May 19.

The Paper Case with Locking Spine is a good solution when a temporary binding is needed now for a book that will be rebound using a more robust method when time permits. Double folio endsheets are reinforced at the fold, sewn on, and later slit at the head and tail about an inch down through the reinforced fold. The head and tail turn-ins of the case are folded into the slits, locking the text block into the case without adhesive.

The text block can be removed from the case quickly and easily by snipping the threads in the center of each signature. This case is also notable for its interesting fold pattern resulting in envelope-like flaps on the inside at front and rear.

For more information or to register, visit the BookArtsLA website.

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering The Magic of Sewing Cards with Rosae Reeder on May 20 & 27.

The sewing card is a wonderful aid in learning how to master a simple to difficult sewing. Practicing the mechanics of any sewing on a piece of two-dimensional card is tantamount to working on an actual book.

Learn how to prepare and make sewing cards for a few different types of book structures in the first session. Take what you have learned and apply it to making the actual book in the second session. Students will choose which book to make once we have completed several types of sewing cards.

For more information or to register, visit the SFCB website.

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Box Building for Beginners with Erin Maurelli on June 1, 8, 15, & 22.

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.

For more information or to register, visit the MCBA website.


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