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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.


Book Blitz and Card Tricks resources

November 23, 2020

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

November 5, 2020

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 11, 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: Book Blitz and Card Tricks

Handmade cardJoin us for our always-popular annual November tradition: Member-led mini demonstrations in the form of a card or mini-book that we call Book Blitz and Card Tricks. Unfortunately, we’ll have our celebration of ideas without the hands-on making.

Your task – design a card or small/simple book structure that has a trick or two; maybe a pop-up, French doors or a window.

Here’s where we need YOU.

We are seeking volunteers to share a card or paper manipulation during our Zoom meeting. You will simply hold up your creation for us to see and demonstrate how you made your paper item. We can post follow up references on Chat if desired.

Please contact Ann if you are interested in sharing. The more members participate the richer our meeting will be.

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

October Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingWe’re getting good at Zooming!

The visit to UVM Silver Special Collections is one of my favorite meetings, and although we visited virtually, it was still a special treat. Special Collections Librarian Prudence Doherty gave us a peek into new acquisitions and books in the time of COVID-19, political upheaval, Black Lives Matter, and women’s experiences.

She pointed out how text and illustrations can be incorporated to make meaningful statements, and how structure can relate to the content and heighten the experience of viewing the book.

I want to hold all those books and cozy up with them, but unfortunately UVM has limited visitors to only staff and students for the time being. Until we can be together again, we will have to enjoy them remotely.

B.A.G. News

US Postal Service mail box*** Winter Mail Art Challenge!

Our Summer Mail Art Challenge was such a success we are having an encore performance.

To participate:

  • Join the challenge by emailing Ann by Wednesday November 18th.
  • You will receive two participants’ names and address by November 23rd.
  • Create two pieces of Mail Art and send them on their way by December 20th.

Note: Mail Art can be any sort of original envelope and/or card for creative connection….

We hope you’ll get in on the fun!

2 handmade leather journals*** Elissa Campbell is teaching Find Closure at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT on November 14 (section 1) & 21 (section 2). This is a “small batch” class that limits enrollment to 3 or 4 students, providing appropriate social distancing for health safety.

Need that finishing touch for your journal? I’ve got you covered! Consider this class the equivalent of a Closure Dressy Bessy.

In each section of this class you’ll complete one soft cover, leather book with a different variation of the long stitch binding. Then comes the fun part – you’ll experiment with a variety of ways to secure those books (up to five closures per book, as time allows).

This class offers flexible learning – take one section or the other, or both! Each section offers a different binding and five different closures. In section one, you’ll explore ways to use sticks, leather, buttons, and cord. In section two, you’ll work with buttons, leather straps, magnets, and other metal hardware.

Bring your own embellishments (buttons, ribbons, etc.) that you’d like to use for closures – there will be time for discussion and problem-solving as a group.

Register online or contact Studio Place Arts at (802) 479-7069.

Book Arts News

*** On November 11th, the John J. Burns Library welcomes you to a special virtual tour of their exhibit Devoted Catholic & Determined Writer: Louise Imogen Guiney in Boston. The tour will be led by Burns Library conservator and exhibit curator Barbara Adams Hebard and Burns Librarian Christian Dupont.

Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920), one of only two women represented in stained-glass portraits of American authors in Bapst Library at Boston College, may have faded from the canon, yet she continues to offer a unique window into the multifaceted literary establishment of late 19th-century Boston.

Click here to register for the tour by November 9th.

*** The American Bookbinders Museum is currently hosting the online exhibit Bound for Beauty: Highlights from the Kathleen V. Roberts Collection of Decorated Publishers Bindings.

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century made the mass-production of books possible. To promote sales, publishers produced beautifully decorated book covers known as decorated publishers’ bindings. Books were bound in colorful cloth and elaborately decorated with silver and gold, reflecting the tastes of the age.

Publishers’ use of color, style, and design was affected by social events including the Civil War, Japan’s opening to the west, and the employment of women as designers. Bindings in this exhibit reflect design influences from Victorian opulence to the Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco movements.

Click here to view the exhibit.

*** The American Bookbinders Museum is also hosting the online exhibit Celebrating the 19th Amendment: Suffragists in Print.

From Abigail Adams to Zitkála-Šá, suffragists put their sentiments into print, stating their point of view and making the arguments that eventually won them the vote. Formally organizing in the 1840s, suffrage was achieved state-by-state, with national ratification in 1920. This centennial exhibit of women writers, editors and publishers celebrates their decades of activism.

Click here to view the exhibit.

*** Tumultuous Absence, the 26th annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium will be held online on November 5 – 6 and 12 – 13.

The symposium features speakers, panels, exhibits, artist in residence, and a chance to interact with other book artists. There will be live streamed and pre-recorded presentations, virtual studio tours, demonstrations, a virtual exhibit, and do-at-home workshops.

The event is free (including the workshops!), but you have to register to attend.

Click here to view the program, which includes a schedule of all events.

letterpress type*** The Los Angeles Printers Fair, a celebration of printing, paper, and book arts is currently taking place virtually throughout the month of November.

The fair brings together thousands of visitors and over 60 vendors and practitioners of letterpress and the book arts. It is a unique gathering of graphic artists, hobbyists, print history enthusiasts and appreciators of great art.

The 2020 Virtual Los Angeles Printers Fair, while not in person, hopes to offer that same community feel, learning opportunities, and great shopping selections to stock up on prints, cards, letterpress supplies, and printing presses.

Visitors will be rewarded with daily special treats such as videos, tours, hands-on at home tutorials, printable keepsakes, vendor spotlights, special sales, weekly raffles, shopping guides, and more!

To discover everything they have in store, visit the fair website and sign up for daily or weekly e-mails notifying you of the new releases.

The Book Makers poster*** A documentary about the book arts is now available for streaming on PBS. The Book Makers profiles an eclectic group of people who have dedicated their lives to answering the question: what should books become in the digital age?

From the esoteric world of book artists to the digital library of the Internet Archive, the film spins a tale of the enduring vitality of the book.

Click here to watch the film.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering From Magic Wallet to Jacob’s Ladder with Bettina Pauly on November 11 & 18.

The Magic Wallet is an oddity related to a möbius strip. The Jacob’s Ladder is a toy that is also known as ‘magic tablets’, ‘Chinese blocks’ or a ‘klick-klack toy’. It normally consists of wooden blocks held together by strings or ribbon; when the ladder is held on one end, blocks appear to cascade down the strings, and when made out of wood making a ‘klick-klack’ sound.

We will be making this structure using book board instead of wood – quieter, but still fun! In the first session, students will make a Magic Wallet; in the second session they will build on that understanding to create a Jacob’s Ladder.

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

*** On November 19th, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Mechanical Cards: Holiday Edition with Shawn Sheehy.

Stir a little whimsy into your holiday by creating a festive and gift-worthy set of movable, mechanical cards. Each card features a traditional movable structure that’s been adapted to accommodate the heaviness of cereal box chipboard.

You’ll build a simple wheel, a simple pull tab, and a wheel/pull tab combination. All you’ll need – aside from the cereal boxes – is scrap paper, glue, some simple tools, and your imagination!

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

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Artist Books: From Idea to Execution with Elizabeth Castaldo on Tuesdays from November 17 – December 8 (four Tuesdays).

In this 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.


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