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

April 9, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 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

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 we’ll have special guest star Erin Sweeney as our guide through various text-creating methods.

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

Program: Text Me, Part 3 – Adding Text with visiting artist Erin Sweeney

Erin SweeneyIn our April meeting, Erin Sweeney, artist extraordinaire, will lead us through an exploration of methods for printing text. Erin lives and works in southern New Hampshire and received her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

From Erin:

In this demo, we will utilize pochoir, stamps, transfers, and hand-lettering techniques to include text in your books and other projects. I’ll also show you a cool stamp that has tiny hand-set rubber type, and maybe my new (old) IBM typewriter that I just received! The focus will be on easy techniques to do at home, without fancy equipment.

Tools/Materials:

  • Card stock
  • X-Acto knife/scissors
  • Stamp pads
  • Stiff craft brush – round kids brushes work great, the chunky ones
  • Fresh photocopies of text – and if you have InDesign and can reverse the text, that would be great, but not necessary
  • ChartPak colorless blender pen – again, if you have one, not necessary

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

March Meeting Reflections

Artist's BookAt our March meeting, Morgan Swan from Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College treated us to a sampling of text-related random cool stuff from their artists’ book collection!

Highlights included embroidered letters and pages, cut-out letters, hidden or obscured text, and manipulated text to form images. So much inspiration! I, personally, cannot wait to use some of these techniques. Now, if only I knew what to say…

Thanks to Morgan for a delightful evening, and thanks to everyone for Zooming in.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books by Dorothy Simpson KrauseContinuing with our text theme, Dorothy Simpson Krause provides some ideas for incorporating words in her book, Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books.

She discusses a bit about how either text or image can be the primary vehicle for conveying meaning and goes on to show how she integrates the two. Exploring writing, type, and found text she provides ideas for including words, shows evocative examples, and lays out her step-by-step processes for positioning text in a work and the physical transferral of 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 article here.

You can also purchase a copy of the book here (Krause recommends Amazon, but you can certainly get it elsewhere).

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.

Handmade photo album*** Elissa Campbell is teaching the Phabulous Photo Album online for the Morgan Conservatory on June 7 & 8.

Learn how to create an elegant stab-bound, hard cover photo album using book cloth and handmade paper. This is a wonderful keepsake that can hold 4” x 6” photos from your recent vacation, family gatherings, or quarantine photo challenges.

Each participant will leave this virtual workshop with a completed photo album and a basic knowledge of a stab binding technique. You will receive a detailed handout and resource list for all materials used, as well as a materials kit.

Get your pictures off your phone and into your hands!

For more information or to register, visit the Morgan Conservatory website.

Book Arts News

*** On April 13th, Emory Libraries is presenting the History of Pop-up Books. Shawn Sheehy and Kevin Steele will talk about the history of pop-up books and discuss their creative work.

At this free, virtual event, a short slide show of relevant items from the Rose Library’s collection will be shown. After the talks, Shawn Sheehy will provide a fun and brief instruction session in which the audience can learn how to make a simple pop-up.

For more information or to register, visit the Emory Libraries website.

*** The University of Vermont‘s Silver Special Collections is presenting a series of online presentations in April, Gathering Leaves: Conversations about Book Arts.

Road Book of VermontOn April 15th, Luis Vivanco (Anthropology) will introduce his latest bicycle history comic. As a creator of research-based comics on bicycle history, Professor Vivanco has reimagined and reinterpreted the Vermont Road Book as a mini-comic, integrating techniques and inspiration from the book arts world.

In this talk, he will publicly unveil The 1895 Vermont Road Book: A Comical Reinterpretation, explore the relationship between comics and book arts, and discuss some of the primary research, creative, and technical challenges involved in this project.

Letterpress studioOn April 29th, Elizabeth Fenton (English) invites us to tour her printing studio and learn how letterpress printing has influenced her work as a literary critic.

She will tell the stories behind the presses she has purchased over the years and offer brief demonstrations of their particular operations. She also will show some examples of pieces she has made using letterpress and explain how working to create texts and images using old techniques has changed the way she approaches literature.

The talk will conclude with a short discussion of her current project, a study of documents produced and preserved by members of the early Mormon Church, which has been deeply shaped by her work in Book Arts.

For more information, visit the UVM website.

*** The American Bookbinders Museum is currently hosting an online exhibit focusing on the decorating and finishing of books, Making Their Mark: Decorating and Finishing.

For bookbinders, finishing includes lettering, decorating and other processes that complete the binding process to identify, beautify and finish a book. Those who focus solely on this aspect of bookbinding are called finishers. When impressions are made by hand it is called tooling, and by machine, blocking.

For more than five hundred years, hand tooling of leather bindings has utilized heated brass or metal stamps, pressed into the leather to make an impression. If the impressions are left unadorned it is called blind tooling. A common embellishment is to make the impression through gold leaf for gold tooling.

The American Bookbinders Museum is proud to share its collection of finishing tools with you and to provide an overview of finishing, including hand stamping tools and machine blocking plates.

To view the exhibit, visit the American Bookbinders Museum website.

*** The virtual exhibition, Boundless Possibilities 2: USM Book Arts, hosted by the Portland Public Library presents an array of artist’s books from current students in the Visual Book classes, along with an eclectic display of topics and book formats from artists in the Critique Group at the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts.

Of particular note is their collaborative book, Remarkable Maine Women, inspired by the 2020 Bicentennial of Maine’s Statehood and the Centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment.

For more information or to view the exhibit, visit the Portland Public Library website.

*** This year the Movable Book Society conference will be presented in a hybrid format with both virtual and in-person events. The conference takes place from September 30 – October 3.

Virtual attendees will have access to:

  • Viewing all conference presentations in real time (including pre-conference “tours”)
  • Live interaction with presenters
  • Participation in the hands-on project
  • An online portion of the silent auction
  • Voting for the Meggendorfer Prize for Trade Books

For more information, visit the Movable Book Society website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering the Tunnel Book with Bettina Pauly on April 20 & 27.

Developed in the Renaissance for studying perspective, the Tunnel Book is sometimes called a peephole book. It is an accordion with multiple panels, to be viewed from the front for a 3-D effect.

In this two-session class you will learn the concertina-fold that will hold the pages and decorate the four interior “tunnel” pages with collage/rubber-stamping/painting/sketching. Once the tunnel is finished it will be glued into a simple cover to give it a more finished look.

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

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering the Seven-Pocket Chinese Thread Book with Kathleen Sheridan on April 21.

Originating in Northern China, the Chinese Thread Book or Zhen Xian Boa, was traditionally used to store thread, needles, and other embroidery materials. Constructed with printed cotton, the original thread book was designed to contain numerous interlocking compartments (or pockets) that open to remove or store items and collapse flat when not in use for efficient storage.

Today, there are many origami paper versions of this clever, satisfying, and playful model. In this virtual workshop, learn to create a square, seven-pocket origami thread book. Build skills to make the model again on your own with any number of pockets! Finished pieces may be used to store embroidery materials as originally intended, or to hold photos, notes, or other flat materials.

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

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Writing a Colophon and a Prospectus with Roni Gross on Apr 21 & 28.

Students will learn the difference between a colophon and a prospectus, what purposes they serve and how to utilize them in marketing their work. The instructor will present colophons and prospectuses written by various artists, for use of language and the accompanying artwork.

Students will have an opportunity to begin writing a colophon and prospectus in class and get feedback on their writing. We will also talk about how to market artist books.

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

*** BookArtsLA is offering Packed Tacket Binding with Anne Covell on April 24.

The packed tacket binding, dating to the 2nd century AD, is one of oldest known multi-quire sewing styles. Composed of an exposed spine that combines coils of thread that snake up and down the spine, this structure combines speed and simplicity with flexibility and durability of form. Few tools and little to no adhesives are required to make this binding. Emphasis in this class will be on signature punching and sewing methods.

Students in this class will be provided with a descriptive handout and materials list in advance of the class to allow students to bind along with the instructor during the demonstration.

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

*** The Printing Museum is offering Cyanotypes with Fall 2020 Artist-In-Residence Caroline Roberts on April 30.

Learn to make photographs without a camera, using the water-based cyanotype process and sunshine! We will learn about using objects, transparencies, and digital negatives to create images.

A materials list (with suggested sources) will be provided before the workshop for those who want to work alongside (sunshine permitting!)

For more information or to register, visit the Printing Museum website.


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

March 4, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 10, 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. We’ll also be visiting Special Collections at both UVM and Dartmouth to look at how other artists approach text in their work.

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

Program: Text Me, Part 2 – Visit to Darmouth’s Rauner Special Collections

Morgan Swan HeadshotFor our March meeting, Morgan Swan from the Dartmouth College Library will be joining us to present books from Rauner Special Collections Library, continuing with the theme, text me.

In the past, creating the opportunity for all Book Arts Guild members to visit the library at Dartmouth hasn’t been possible. Through the wonders of Zoom we are able to bring Morgan and some special books to B.A.G.!

We look forward to seeing you at the March 10th.

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

February Meeting Reflections

Parsely by Woody LeslieWhat a great way to kick off our new initiative, Text Me!, with a presentation from Prudence Doherty, UVM Silver Special Collections Librarian.

My brain is still spinning from the many inspirational works she showed us relating to creative use of text. Just to remind you of a few, there was handwritten text, stitched text, text as part of the illustration, shaped text, typewriting, and woodcut text.

One of my favorite works was Woody Leslie‘s Parsely, which uses text to create, illustrate, and shape the story, while giving the reader both a sense of anxiety and humor. Now, does that bring up any questions you have, or give you ideas of what you might want to explore in our future meetings? Please let us know!

Thanks again to Prudence for her enthusiastic presentation. We are extremely lucky to be able to access her knowledge as well as the Special Collections library. And thanks to all who participated – it was our largest group ever in attendance!

B.A.G. Library Corner

Page image from article on Pablo Dugaz in Bound & LetteredAs a further exploration of our text theme, this month’s library selection from the Spring 2013 issue of Bound & Lettered magazine features an inventive way to add words to a piece of work. Pablo Dugaz doesn’t write or print his words – he painstakingly cuts them, using a technique he calls “papercut calligraphy.”

The space between words is cut away with a blade; the remaining letters hold the sheet of paper together and the resulting negative space is the background for his text. Dugaz typically uses his own handwriting instead of traditional calligraphy fonts as the shape of the characters. His work is delicate, intricate, and stunning, and he enjoys seeing how elements such as wind and sunlight interact with his pieces.

You can check out and download the article here.

You can also purchase the full issue of Bound & Lettered here.

B.A.G. News

*** We’re thrilled with how many of you have become B.A.G. members for 2021! We just wanted to remind those of you who haven’t yet sent in your dues, this year’s dues have been reduced to $25.00. In the event that you send in $35.00, the difference will be refunded to you.

Book Arts News

*** On March 5th, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America is presenting The Intersection of Artists’ and Antiquarian Books, a conversation with Peter Koch and Gerald Cloud as part of the ABAA California Virtual Book Fair.

Peter Koch is perhaps best known as a printer, but he is also a student of classical philosophy, a teacher, a historian of the book, and an unrepentant bibliophile. In this conversation, Koch will discuss the objects that have for nearly 50 years informed his printing and his love of the book as a material object.

Topics will include typography, “fine press” vs. “artist’s book,” vertical reading, and concepts such as the third stream book and materialia lumina – a new vision of the book as a “total work of art.” The presentation will be grounded by images of Koch’s own printing and that of his peers, but also examples of early printed books that have been his lifelong inspiration.

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

Focus on Book Arts logo*** Focus on Book Arts has announced that they’re holding a free virtual conference from July 15 – 17, so save the date!

This three-day series of online events centered around the theme Where We Live will include featured speakers, a juried exhibit, artist reception, a challenge book, and vendor marketplace.

More information is coming soon. In the meantime, visit the FOBA website to get the basic details.

*** On March 25th, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts is hosting a virtual screening of The Re-creation of a Masterpiece: La Prose du Transsibérien, a documentary by Rosylyn Rhee, followed by an artist talk and Q&A.

Originally produced in 1913 by painter Sonia Delaunay and poet Blaise Cendrars, La Prose du Transsibérien pushed boundaries of book structure, painted imagery, and poetic expression. Having researched the book’s production since 2012, Kitty Maryatt debuted a new edition in 2018, which faithfully incorporates techniques used in the original.

Using letterpress printing and pochoir (stenciling) to reproduce her edition of La Prose, Maryatt develops insight into the creative and conceptual challenges faced by the original painter and poet, while attempting to discover why they did not complete their planned edition.

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

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center logo

*** The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) announced a call to artists for the non-juried exhibition The Illustrated Accordion, which will be held in the KBAC Gallery, April 9 – June 18. The exhibit will be both in-person and online.

Open to all emerging and established artists, this 13th annual exhibition focuses on books created in the accordion form. All media, variations, and interpretations of this style of book will be accepted and included in the exhibition.

The deadline for submission is March 26. For more information, check out the prospectus.

Unseen exhibition logo*** 23 Sandy Gallery has a call to artists for their upcoming juried show Unseen. The exhibition will be at form & concept in Santa Fe from August 11 – November 20.

When imperceptible phenomena burst into view, revolutionary change may follow. We learned this in 2020, as an invisible but deadly virus spread across the world, an urgent racial justice movement illuminated dark societal realities, and humanity’s long-simmering crimes against the environment unleashed fires and floods.

Unseen forces can shape our lives and surface in unexpected ways, often altering our behaviors and worldviews if and when we are made aware of them. This call for entries invites artists to submit work exploring the idea of the unseen – physically, psychologically, philosophically – and encourages artists to consider the theme through concept, structure, and material.

Deadline for submissions is June 3. For more information, check out the prospectus.

Stay-at-Home Fun

Marbled paper*** The Printing Museum is offering Paper Marbling with Tony Vela on March 11. A recording of the program will be made available to all registrants, so you can watch the program at your convenience if you can’t attend live.

They’ll start by going over preparation of materials, including the carrageenan bath, getting pigments to the right state ready for marbling, and treatment of the paper. Then they’ll demonstrate how to marble classic traditional patterns, as well as modern styles. Feel free to ask questions along the way in this interactive demonstration.

For more information or to register, visit the Printing Museum website.

*** BookArtsLA is offering Traditional Case Binding with Anne Covell on March 21. In this course, students will learn to create a flat back case binding, or what is commonly known as a hardbound book.

Fundamentals of text block preparation and sewing, endband decoration, case construction, and casing in will all be covered. Additionally, students will learn several different case bindings styles including full-cloth, quarter-cloth, and half-cloth bindings with corner triangles to round out their experience.

Discussion will center on materials and best practices in a bindery setting, and students can expect to leave this course with a greater understanding of skills and mechanics required to create a case bound book.

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

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Single Signature Sampler with Amanda D’Amico on March 25.

Inspired by needlework samplers, this virtual workshop explores several decorative sewing patterns for single signature books. Building on a simple pamphlet stitch, learn several stitches and execute them on a single, multi-signature book.

The result is a decorative and functional book that serves as both a reference for sewing and a specimen of achievement in and of itself. In addition to tools participants source themselves, the instructor will send a basic materials kit prior to the workshop, and will discuss alternate materials during work time.

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

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering How to Conceptualize and Create an Artist Book with Maria Veronica San Martin on the following Mondays (4 sessions total): March 22, 29, April 5 & 12.

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 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 in order to level the class.

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

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering Image Transfers with Rea de Guzman on March 22 & 24.

Students will learn how to transfer laser prints onto various surfaces such as canvas, paper, and wood. The instructor will demonstrate how to prepare laser prints using matte and gel medium, and how to layer surfaces with acrylic paint onto prepared surfaces.

Emphasis will be placed on continuous experimentation and combination of techniques. Students will leave with the ability to continue working with these processes, which they can incorporate in future art projects outside of class.

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


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

February 5, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 10, 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. We’ll also be visiting Special Collections at both UVM and Dartmouth to look at how other artists approach text in their work.

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

Program: Text Me, Part 1 – Visit to UVM’s Silver Special Collections

Artists book by Candace HicksPrudence Doherty from UVM Special Collections has graciously offered to present to us again as we kick off our series of meetings focusing on text in the book arts.

She has selected examples from the collection that illustrate the many creative and different ways artists have used text in their books. We are sure this will give us many ideas to use in our own books.

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

January Meeting Reflections

Mail ArtWhat a great way to spend an evening with you all. I just loved seeing the mail art exchanged for the Winter Mail Art Swap, and sharing the wonderful artwork that was sent to me. It’s kind of addictive, and I hope you will join me in continuing to send cool stuff to friends and relatives just for fun.

And thanks to Debra Kraemer, we all know how to make a Mennonite Foldnote, from Creative Correspondence (2003) by Michael and Judy Jacobs, so we can send a note and envelope all in one! Brilliant and more fun than a plain ole white envelope. I’ve been making mine with used 2020 calendar pages (not that I had written anything on most of the pages).

Thanks for spending the evening with us, and we hope to see you again at the next meeting.

B.A.G. Library Corner

The Decorated Page book coverThis month, we’re starting a new section to feature a part of the B.A.G. library! As the pandemic wears on, we’re looking for new inspiration and a new way to connect with the library resources as we remain physically distant from it. In the coming months, 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.

In connection with the February meeting’s theme of text, this month’s library selection comes from The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn. A guest writer, Ann Turkle, takes us through some ideas for including writing within a book or art journal project. Some of her suggestions include list making, making collections of observations, micro-journal entries, and more.

You can check out and download the article here.

B.A.G. News

*** Support the Book Arts Guild of Vermont by becoming a member!

Big News!

Our 2021 dues have been reduced from $35.00 to $25.00 for one year’s membership since we are saving on meeting rental space.

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is supported by its members and you have kept us going for fifteen years. Our organization is solely run by volunteers and we do what we do because we love the book arts and we love B.A.G.. We continue to be inspired by our community, and the enthusiasm and talents that you bring to our meetings.

Membership dues are our main source of income and we hope that you will show that you value what we have to offer – quality programming, future exhibits, and more – by becoming a member. You get so much value out of your $25.00 and attending just one meeting can give you your full money’s worth.

Just to give you an idea of where membership dues go, here’s a breakdown of B.A.G.’s annual expenses:

  • Zoom subscription: $149.90 per year
  • Rent: $50.00 per month when we can return to in-person attendance
  • Presenter honorarium: $35.00 per meeting
  • Website and email newsletter: $100.00 per year
  • Presenter reimbursement for supplies: Varies

We hope that you will renew your membership to help us with our annual expenses. You can download our membership form and send it in with your payment by check of $25.00 made out to the Book Arts Guild of Vermont:

Book Arts Guild of Vermont
c/o Ann Joppe-Mercure
10 Brookwood Dr
South Burlington, VT 05403

Thank you so much for your continued support of the guild. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Book Arts News

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center logo*** The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) announced a call to artists for the non-juried exhibition The Illustrated Accordion, which will be held in the KBAC Gallery, April 9 – June 18. The exhibit will be both in-person and online.

Open to all emerging and established artists, this 13th annual exhibition focuses on books created in the accordion form. All media, variations, and interpretations of this style of book will be accepted and included in the exhibition.

The deadline for submission is March 26. For more information, check out the prospectus.

Unseen exhibition logo*** 23 Sandy Gallery has a call to artists for their upcoming juried show Unseen. The exhibition will be at form & concept in Santa Fe from August 11 – November 20.

When imperceptible phenomena burst into view, revolutionary change may follow. We learned this in 2020, as an invisible but deadly virus spread across the world, an urgent racial justice movement illuminated dark societal realities, and humanity’s long-simmering crimes against the environment unleashed fires and floods.

Unseen forces can shape our lives and surface in unexpected ways, often altering our behaviors and worldviews if and when we are made aware of them. This call for entries invites artists to submit work exploring the idea of the unseen – physically, psychologically, philosophically – and encourages artists to consider the theme through concept, structure, and material.

Deadline for submissions is June 3. For more information, check out the prospectus.

Content exhibit logo*** The Artery Art Gallery in Davis, CA has a call to artists for CONTENT: An Artist Book Exhibition, which will take place April 2 – May 3.

Artists Books typically defy classification, definition, and expectations. They are vessels and containers for an artist’s vision. To understand what an artists book is you have to forget your definition of a book. Whatever way your intent has led you to make an artist book, that’s the kind of book we are looking for.

Deadline to enter is February 28. For more information, check out the prospectus.

*** The University of South Dakota University Libraries is seeking entries for their sixth international biennial altered book exhibition, Bound and Unbound VI: Altered Book Exhibition, scheduled for display August 23, 2021 – January 3, 2022.

Bound and Unbound VI features an exhibit of altered books, which are a mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form by altering its state or meaning. Books from any source utilizing any medium are eligible. All work must be original and executed within the last three years.

Deadline for entries is March 5. For more information, check out the prospectus.

*** Dedicated to ancient, modern and contemporary movable books, the POP-APP, International Conference will take place virtually from February 16 – 19. Sessions will be in both Italian and English, with slides available in English.

Thirty Italian and foreign speakers from the academic world and national institutions working in the field of bibliographical description and conservation will discuss the themes of the conference. Enhancement/use of such books will be explored by highlighting their didactic-educational potential, digital experimentations, the achievements of contemporary pop up designers and – on a historical level – their relationship with pre-cinema.

For more information or to register, please visit the POP-APP website (it’s in Italian, so give Google Translate a try).

*** From February 26 – 28, the 2021 Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference (CABC) will take place virtually, free to attendees. The conference will be presented as part of Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair.

The conference will focus on The Temperature of Art Book Criticism and Scholarship. As the scale of participation in and range of approaches to artists’ books and publishing have blossomed in recent years, now is a key time to develop new critical tools for assessing artists’ books and their broader impact on the cultural and artistic practice. Artists’ book criticism in the 21st century must contend not only with the book as an artistic medium, but also art books’ engagement with a range of cultural histories and publishing traditions.

Across 7 panels representing artists, scholars, writers from across the globe and from a wide range of backgrounds, the conference will explore these questions and look to progress the conversations on what artist book criticism and discourse can be. The subjects covered will include the roles of institutions, how artist books are functioning in times of crisis, perspectives on insider vs. outsider makers and marginalized communities, and the book in the face of oppression and censorship.

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

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Intermediate: Building Narrative in Artist’s Books with Radha Pandey on the following Saturdays (6 sessions total): March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, &10. This virtual workshop will focus on the juxtaposition of text and image, page layout, and pacing to create a narrative artist’s book.

Participants should have an idea of what they would like to work on. This can be something in progress that is stuck or an idea they would like to turn into a book but are not sure how to start. Depending on ideas and related discussions, book structures and writing exercises will be taught and assigned.

In addition, methods of low-tech image-making – hand-printing linoleum blocks, gelatin printing, pochoir, trace monotypes, and papercutting – will be demonstrated as needed.

Participants should have some binding experience.

For more information or to register visit the MCBA website.

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Bookbinding for Teachers: Simple Bookmaking for ages 7+ with Stephanie Krause on February 18.

In this two-hour course, participants will learn how to make a few simple books that are kid-approved, low-mess, and high-impact, along with tips to teach in the classroom. This workshop is designed for teachers of 7 to 12-year-olds, with methods and techniques that may be modified to accommodate other age groups. We’ll be looking at non-adhesive bindings created by folding and stitching.

Using simple materials, the instructor will go over single-sheet origami pamphlets (how to make, modify, and connect them); simple pamphlet stitch with a wraparound-style paper cover; and beaded pamphlet stitch with a pocketed paper cover.

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

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering Roll-Up: Pop-Up Books (Level 1) with Shawn Sheehy on March 5 – 7.

You have explored the pop-up how-to books. You’re ready to make your own pop-up project. You are stymied by the question: “How do I adapt these classic, foundational structures to make MY OWN structures?”

This workshop will help you think through that problem by exploring three different structures at three levels: foundational, transitional, and transformational. To add to the fun, you will employ an innovative roll-up binding approach (think scroll rather than codex) for the pop-up folios. In the end you will have a tidy bound collection of study models that will propel you to the next step of pop-up invention. All are welcome!

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


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

January 8, 2021

Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 13, 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: Winter Mail Art Swap sharing and Mennonite Foldnote activity

Mennonite FoldnoteWith seventeen B.A.G. members participating in our Winter Mail Art Swap, our January Zoom meeting will be a sharing of the mail we received. If you wish to share, have your Mail Art pieces ready to hold up to the camera for a quick show and tell.

And if that weren’t enough, we’re also going to have a hands-on project! Debra Kraemer will lead us through the process of making a Mennonite Foldnote, from Creative Correspondence (2003) by Michael and Judy Jacobs.

It was supposedly designed by Mennonites to eliminate the cost of an envelope. While having thrifty motives, this simple, clever foldnote requires no measuring or cutting.

Here’s what you’ll need to participate:

  • 1 sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ text weight or slightly heavier paper – plain or decorated on one side
  • Ruler
  • Bone folder

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

December Meeting Reflections

Paper luminaryDecember’s meeting brought the promise of light to our world with Luminaries. Ann, Penne, and Becky shed light on 3 structures and their variations that can be illuminated with a tea candle (not a real candle, folks) to brighten our winter table.

Now that the solstice has arrived, we look forward to increasing daylight and the hope that we will be sharing our table together in the future.

Thanks to everyone for participating, and special thanks to our presenters for lighting the way.

B.A.G. News

*** Support the Book Arts Guild of Vermont by becoming a member!

Big News!

Our 2021 dues have been reduced from $35.00 to $25.00 for one year’s membership since we are saving on meeting rental space.

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is supported by its members and you have kept us going for fifteen years. Our organization is solely run by volunteers and we do what we do because we love the book arts and we love B.A.G.. We continue to be inspired by our community, and the enthusiasm and talents that you bring to our meetings.

Membership dues are our main source of income and we hope that you will show that you value what we have to offer – quality programming, future exhibits, and more – by becoming a member. You get so much value out of your $25.00 and attending just one meeting can give you your full money’s worth.

Just to give you an idea of where membership dues go, here’s a breakdown of B.A.G.’s annual expenses:

  • Zoom subscription: $149.90 per year
  • Rent: $50.00 per month when we can return to in-person attendance
  • Presenter honorarium: $35.00 per meeting
  • Website and email newsletter: $100.00 per year
  • Presenter reimbursement for supplies: Varies

We hope that you will renew your membership to help us with our annual expenses. You can download our membership form and send it in with your payment by check of $25.00 made out to the Book Arts Guild of Vermont:

Book Arts Guild of Vermont
c/o Ann Joppe-Mercure
10 Brookwood Dr
South Burlington, VT 05403

Thank you so much for your continued support of the guild. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Book Lab exhibit pieces*** Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT is hosting Consider the Book from January 26 – March 6, in the second floor gallery.

This group show highlights the joy and diversity of book arts, featuring work from the Book Lab artists group, whose members use the book form as a means of artistic expression.

Participating artists include B.A.G. members Carolyn Shattuck, Penne Tompkins, Vera Ryersbach, Dorsey Hogg, Marcia Vogler, Ann Joppe-Mercure, Rebecca Boardman, Debra Kraemer, Marilyn Gillis, Elissa Campbell, and Judy Sgantas.

Book Arts News

*** In conjunction with the New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers 40th Anniversary Exhibition, the University of Southern Maine is hosting a gallery talk, A Wider Purpose: Maker Talk with Members of the Guild of Book Workers, New England Chapter on February 3rd, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The exhibition features works by 30 artists, some of which were completed as early as 2004, and one of which remains in progress. Exhibitor and GBW Board Member Jennifer Pellecchia will discuss some of the challenges and advantages of moving the exhibition online. Katrina Carye, Colin Urbina, and Stephanie Wolff, will speak about the works they submitted, and the ways that current events have shaped their creative lives.

Click here to register.

Book Paper Thread logo*** From February 18 – 20, Book Paper Thread is hosting a free virtual conference, Form & Function From Afar, featuring presentations and demonstrations in bookbinding, book conservation, surface design, letterpress printing, and more. The roster of speakers includes Todd Pattison, Nancy Jacobi, Shawn Sheehy, Georgia Deal, and Gina Pisello.

There will be three presentations scheduled each day at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 7:30 pm Eastern Time. The presentations will be live via Zoom, with recordings available on the conference website to registered participants.

The conference website will also be hosing a virtual tips and tricks sessions, where participants can share their favorite technique, tool, or tip.

Click here to register.

*** From February 12 – May 9, the San Francisco Center for the Book is hosting the online exhibition Rising Together: an Exhibition of Zines, Artists’ Books and Prints with a Social Conscience. The show was juried by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., Chandler O’Leary, and Jessica Spring.

The work in Rising Together demonstrates how artist books give activism a visual voice, and can serve as powerful agents in effecting positive social change on issues encompassing social justice, power, politics, the environment and more. Rising Together showcases the potential of the book arts to engage – through messaging, through critique, through action – and to speak truth to power in an era when such truth is direly needed.

For more information, visit the SFCB website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Book Biz with Karen Hanmer on January 20.

Join artist and fine binder Karen Hanmer as she shares an overview of her career and varied practice through the lens of running a business. Topics covered will include: networking; planning editioned work; pricing, exhibiting, and promoting that work; professional development; and the value of community.

For more information or to register visit the MCBA website.

*** The MCBA is also offering Roll-Up/Pop-Up Books with Shawn Sheehy on 4 Wednesdays from January 27 – February 17.

You have explored how-to books on making pop-ups. You’re ready to make your own pop-up project. You are stymied by the question: “How do I adapt these classic, foundational structures to make MY OWN structures?” This virtual workshop will help you think through that problem by exploring nine different structures at four levels: foundational, transitional, transformational, and personal.

To add to the fun, you will employ an innovative roll-up binding approach (think scroll rather than codex) for the pop-up folios. In the end you will have a tidy bound collection of study models that will propel you to the next step of pop-up invention. While all skill levels are welcome, pop-ups are technical and some basic experience may be helpful.

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

Journal and pencil*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Generative Measures: Research and Writing for Artist Books with Ellen Sheffield on February 1, 3, & 5.

This workshop will focus on non-traditional approaches to developing original content for artist’s books. A wide range of research tools will first be demonstrated to jump start ideas for projects. From these research seeds participants will respond to writing prompts and engage in experimental creative writing techniques to grow these ideas into prototypes for artist’s books.

Processes will be taught for getting text onto the pages of simple folded book structures including alternative mark making, transfers, rub-on type, stencils, rubber stamps and pressure printing.

This workshop is for visual artists who want to expand their writing skills and for writers who want to explore the artist book as a time-based medium and go beyond their usual writing practice.

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

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering Making Multiples: The Artist’s Book in an Edition online workshop with Matt Runkle on February 1, 8,15, & 22.

In the first of four sessions, we’ll look at an overview of artist’s books – books where form and content work together – discussing definitions, concepts, and numerous examples from the form’s history. We’ll also learn a simple book structure, which students will then develop into a “book sketch” as homework.

Students will share their book sketches in the second session. We’ll also begin talking about tools, materials, and techniques as we learn several book models and structures.

In the third session, we’ll continue to explore bookmaking techniques, as well as a couple low-tech printing techniques (stenciling, image transfers) that students can do at home. Students will be asked to make a mockup that they may hope to later develop into a more finished edition.

In the final session, students will share their works in progress. The instructor will help them address any hurdles they face on their way to completing an artist book edition, discussing strategies for furthering and expanding concepts developed during the class. We’ll wrap up by talking about some of the practical considerations when embarking on a content-based book project and how they relate to the book artist’s many roles: author, illustrator, editor, publisher, printer, and binder.

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


VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” December 2020

December 4, 2020

Next Meeting: Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 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: Luminaries

Trees jar luminaryOur December zoom meeting will feature 3 different hands-on luminaries. We all need more light so let’s celebrate together! Gather your supplies and we will light the way. If you have luminaries to share we may have time for some show and tell.

Note: For one of the luminaries, you will need to print out this template on an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of lightweight paper in advance of the meeting.

Supplies and Materials:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue stick
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting mat if available
  • 10 or more pieces of 8.5 x 11” text weight paper
  • Larger square paper if available
  • Scraps of tissue paper (optional)
  • LED tea lights for illumination (can be purchased later)

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

November Meeting Reflections

Handmade cardAs the days slide into each other and every day seems the same, I look forward to the BAG zoom meetings as an event not to be missed!

The Card Trick and Book Blitz meeting did not disappoint. Ann Joppe-Mercure acted as the hostess, and called upon volunteers to show their simple, complicated, or just plain fun ideas for winter cheer. Pop-ups, dimensional tricks, and sweet sentiments were shared and appreciated!

Thank you all for bringing your ideas and creativity to our virtual world, and thanks to Ann for being the hostess with the mostess.

Click here to access a list of resources from the meeting.

B.A.G. News

*** Winter Mail Art Reminder

Seventeen B.A.G. members signed up for our Winter Mail Art Challenge.

This is just a reminder to mail your two pieces of mail art by December 20th and save them for sharing at our January 2021 meeting.

*** Support the Book Arts Guild of Vermont by becoming a member!

Big News!

Our 2021 dues have been reduced from $35.00 to $25.00 for one year’s membership since we are saving on meeting rental space.

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is supported by its members and you have kept us going for fifteen years. Our organization is solely run by volunteers and we do what we do because we love the book arts and we love B.A.G.. We continue to be inspired by our community, and the enthusiasm and talents that you bring to our meetings.

Membership dues are our main source of income and we hope that you will show that you value what we have to offer – quality programming, future exhibits, and more – by becoming a member. You get so much value out of your $25.00 and attending just one meeting can give you your full money’s worth.

Just to give you an idea of where membership dues go, here’s a breakdown of B.A.G.’s annual expenses:

  • Zoom subscription: $149.90 per year
  • Rent: $50.00 per month when we can return to in-person attendance
  • Presenter honorarium: $35.00 per meeting
  • Website and email newsletter: $100.00 per year
  • Presenter reimbursement for supplies: Varies

We hope that you will renew your membership to help us with our annual expenses. You can download our membership form and send it in with your payment by check of $25.00 made out to the Book Arts Guild of Vermont:

Book Arts Guild of Vermont
c/o Ann Joppe-Mercure
10 Brookwood Dr
South Burlington, VT 05403

Thank you so much for your continued support of the guild. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Book Arts News

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book‘s Shelter in Studio series is featuring Julie Chen on December 10th. The focus of the series is to chat with folks (SFCB Staff, instructors, and community members) about projects and processes that keep hands and minds engaged.

For more information, please visit the SFCB website.

You can view past studio tours on the SFCB Vimeo page.

*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers 40th Anniversary Exhibition is now available for viewing online.

Members from across the nation created a range of bindings from traditional fine bindings to creative design bindings. There are innovative artist books and sculptural pieces. The exhibit showcases the brilliant and creative community that makes up the New England Chapter.

The exhibit website features interviews with members who have served as Chairs for the New England Chapter. Each interview has been organized by a current board member to pair each Chapter Chair with another Guild member in order to create an interesting snapshot of the Chapter during the years they served in addition to speaking about their current work in the field.

*** The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is hosting the All Sorts (No Licorice!) artist’s books exhibit at the Sherry Grover Gallery from now until December 31st.

This new rotation from the Collection of Cynthia Sears serves up an astonishing assortment of artist’s books. Included is All Sorts, a new work by Emily Martin in collaboration with Ellen Knudson. The work was conceived during Martin’s artist’s residency – inspired by the University of Florida’s collection of citrus labels.

Click here to get a video tour of the exhibit.

*** An online exhibit of bindings inspired by Quilted: From Pattern to Patchwork is now available for viewing. The book is the sixth volume in Janine Vangool‘s Encyclopedia of Inspiration series.

Ms. Vangool shared unbound copies of the book which were given to different binders who were tasked with creating unique covers based on the contents. The result is a variety of bindings using various covering materials, bookbinding structures and ornamentation techniques.

B.A.G.’s own Judy Sgantas was among those chosen to participate in the project. You can see her wonderful binding here.

Click here to check out all of the bindings.

Stay-at-Home Fun

Embroidery*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Embroidery On and Off the Page with Iviva Olenick on December 16th.

In this two-hour workshop, the instructor will teach students beginner and intermediate embroidery stitches that can be done on fabric or paper. We will also discuss strategies for stitching on paper versus fabric.

Finally, we will explore the creative embroidery applications for book arts: stitching to create text and images, or piercing or poking holes to make an image or text without using thread. The instructor will also offer advice for transferring drawings and/or text onto fabric or paper from a digital or printed source.

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

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering Finishing Tool Making with Brien Beidler on January 9, 16 & 23, 2021.

Students in this workshop will learn the basics of making finishing tools. Beginning with brass stock (supplied in the class kit), students will cut, drill, and file seemingly basic designs that can then be used to create a surprising range of patterns. They will learn to durably mount their newly cut tools into wooden handles. Thermodynamic considerations and tool blank fabrication options will also be discussed.

Finishing tools are expensive and difficult to find, so being able to make one’s own is an asset to any binder. In addition to potential savings, there is the added advantage of having a unique and personal catalog of tools. We will focus on developing tool designs that can be repeated in interesting ways to build up a variety of patterns.

Be prepared for a lot of hand filing of metal!

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

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Non-Linear Artist’s Books with Yuka Petz on January 5, 12, 19, & 26, February 2, & 9, 2021.

Explore artist’s books that defy conventional front-to-back reading. In this weekly 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 works in tandem with the non-traditional bookform 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.

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

*** On January 20, 2021, the MCBA is also offering Book Biz with Karen Hanmer.

Artist and fine binder Karen Hanmer will share an overview of her career and varied practice through the lens of running a business. Topics covered will include: networking; planning editioned work; pricing, exhibiting, and promoting that work; professional development; and the value of community.

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


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