Skip to content

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

June 5, 2021

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

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

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Program: DIY Publishing & Zines as Art with Emma Percy

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

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

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

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

May Meeting Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

B.A.G. Library Corner

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

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

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

You can check out and download the chapter here.

You can also purchase a copy of the book here.

B.A.G. News

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

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

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

Important dates:

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

We can’t wait to see your submissions!

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

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

Book Arts News

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

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

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

For more information, visit the Boston Athenæum website.

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit the Artists Book House website.

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

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

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

Stay-at-Home Fun

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

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

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

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

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

Elevate your accordions through dynamic depth and movement with the Woven Accordion Window book. This deceptively simple structure expands to create a dramatic three-dimensional effect with layered cut-out windows. This workshop includes a materials kit to create a model of the structure and is suitable for all levels (even beginners).

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

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

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

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

Some binding experience helpful.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

May 5, 2021

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

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

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Text Me!

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

We’ve heard you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Materials list:

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

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

April Meeting Reflections

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

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

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

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

B.A.G. Library Corner

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

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

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

You can check out and download the article here.

You can also purchase a copy of the issue here.

B.A.G. News

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

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

Book Arts News

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit the American Bookbinders Museum website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit the KBAC website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This workshop is perfect for anyone new to book arts who would like to learn something a little different. Building boxes, with high-density board often called “book board,” is a time-honored tradition within book arts. Hand-built boxes serve many functions, from holding tools to preserving fragile books. Participants will learn the basics of box building while creating two unique boxes with lids.

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


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.


Pin It on Pinterest