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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” January 2009

2009 January 3

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is celebrating its fourth anniversary. Our membership now stands at 235 with several people from out of state!

Next Meeting:
Wednesday February 4, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Enter by side door: Punch in the new winter code (contact us for code). When the green light glows, pull open the door.

$5.00 voluntary contribution to Burlington City Arts for their education programs.

Program: Valentines with a new twist presented by Megan Humphrey

Wear your heart on your sleeve and come prepared to make Valentines at the next BAG gathering on Wednesday, February 4! Valentines don’t have to just be for your sweetheart. Perhaps your sister, babysitter, or neighbor would love to receive a card this year. Let’s pool our resources of interesting papers, cardstock, ribbons, glue guns, glue sticks, scissors, tapes, envelopes, and glitz in any form to have some wonderfully fun things to use for making cards, so please bring anything that you’d like to contribute to the evening’s fun. I’ll bring a couple of special formats to make some sweet new designs.

Megan suggests a source for “Biobags” for card sleeves made from a corn base, so they’re biodegradable. Check out the ClearBags website at or call 800-328-1847. They come with or without flaps — I’ve learned that I like the ones without flaps the best because otherwise there’s a strip on each one that needs to be peeled off, then glued shut. It’s less “green” that way, it takes more time, and it’s not as easy to re-use the bags.

Book Arts Guild to participate in Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration
Jennifer Alderman explained the Guild’s book project for a collaborative flag book to be displayed at the Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center next summer during the 400th Anniversary of the naming of Lake Champlain by Samuel de Champlain, a year-long celebration that begins next summer on the theme of Vermont: The Lake, The Land and The People.


  • RSVP Jen Alderman that you plan to participate: jenstevealderman[at]msn[dot]com
  • Do three pieces of art on the lake, the land and the people. Some helpful websites:
  • The artwork can be a painting, drawing, collage (keep the layers thin.
  • Use 5” x 5” of any stiff paper, such as cardstock or watercolor paper.
  • The paper’s grain should run from the top of the artwork to the bottom to match the grain of the accordion fold (vertical).
    • To determine the grain, lay the paper down on the table.
    • Curl one edge (as though you were going to fold it) and compare the ease of curling it to the next, perpendicular edge which you curl.
    • The grain runs matches the direction that curls easiest.
    • Note: If your artwork grain does not match the grain of the accordion it will be glued to, the tension is likely to cause warping or torquing.
  • Sign your name on the back of the artwork along the left side (the right side will be glued to the accordion fold).
  • Bring or send the artwork to a Book Arts Guild meeting, April 1st at the latest.

Reflection on the January meeting:
After a discussion of the flag book project, the meeting became a “Share & Tell” of book arts projects, products and resources. Since the meeting had been postponed a week and the temperatures outside were dangerously frigid, we wondered if anyone would turn up. Hah! There were 17 enthusiastic people who signed up for the Quadricentennial project and then shared wonderful artists books, tools, publications and challenges. There was much laughter and conversation about where-to-buy-what and which websites were inspiring. Wonderful meeting!

New member Rebecca Coll shared her beautiful “designed binding”, explaining that the term refers to a published book which has an altered cover created by a book artist that makes it relate in an artful manner to the content inside. She also shared this website:

This is a UK-based group that is dedicated to fine binding, and specifically “design bindings” — the artistic covers we were discussing last night. I got to thinking on the drive home that it might be fun to have a group activity where we all do a design binding and then have a show (either just show and tell within the group and/or in a gallery around town)…we could either all do the same book, or everyone pick their own. It’s a very fun activity and artists need not be adept at the finer points in bookbinding to participate as covers can be altered as well as completely replaced…just a thought! Great meeting last night! — Rebecca

Upcoming Programs:
Ann Joppe-Mercure, our Keeper of the Calendar, and the creative Program Committee have lined up the following programs for 2009:

  • February: Valentines with new twist presented by Megan Humphrey
  • March: Book Arts Technology Workshop by Elissa Campbell, involving tour of online book arts resources (stores, organizations, blogs, forums, etc.)
  • April: Books & Fiber Art by Sally Knight
  • May: Origami and Bookmaking hands-on workshop by Jill Abilock
  • June: Personal Journey as Book Artist by Carolyn Shattuck (pending confirmation) plus information for members about B.A.G.’S September exhibit at the Firehouse, Burlington
  • July & August: Pending; possible field trips
  • September: Sharing of books that will be in our annual Firehouse show
  • October & November: Pending (Have an idea? Contact the program committee below.)
  • December: Annual Ethnic Potluck with Swap & Sale

Members’ news:

Lorraine Reynolds will be teaching an upcoming workshop on altered books at Artists’ Mediums in Williston.

Book Arts Opportunities:
The Garage Annex School, Inc. in Easthampton, Massachusetts has their 2009 workshop schedule available on their website at There is also a new Summer Institute.

Greta D. Sibley, Co-director
Garage Annex School, Inc.
One Cottage Street, #5
Easthampton, MA 01027

*** Haystack Mountain School of Crafts has their 2009 workshop schedule on its website:

*** Liz Demas wrote: Here’s the exhibit I mentioned. It came from a “Making Books Monthly” newsletter from Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord, author and artist. Would we want to go on a field trip? The Book As Art: Artists’ Books From The National Museum of Women in the Arts exhibit will be held during February 14  – May 31, 2009 at the McMullen Museum of Art Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA.

This should be a fabulous exhibit and has an accompanying catalog. I’m looking forward to going. — Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

*** Some of us had the pleasure of working with Carol Barton last summer. She was interviewed on NPR Radio January 17 as she taught Scott Simon how to construct a commemorative inauguration pop-up. The pop-up appeared in the “Washington Post” January 20th special edition and you can download the do-it-yourself project from her website. Her fine newsletter is

*** If you have a website and/or blog that showcases your creative work, we’d love to share it on the member links page of the B.A.G. blog. Send an Email with the details to Tech Schmoe Elissa Campbell: erscampbell[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Book Arts Guild of VT chat room:

Book Arts Guild of VT blog:

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