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

2009 August 1

Next Meeting:

Wednesday August 5, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Enter by side door: Punch in the code (contact us for code). When the green light glows, pull open the door.

$5 voluntary contribution to Burlington City Arts for their education programs. (Remember, if you write a check, it can be evidence for a tax deductible contribution.)

Program: The Dowel Spine Portfolio with Elissa Campbell

Come learn the Dowel Spine Portfolio, a non-adhesive structure created by Peter Thomas. I learned this structure in a class I took with Peter at the Focus on Book Arts conference. It’s an easy binding that requires few tools and materials. The first book we’ll make will be of a size that can accommodate a standard business card. The second book is a version of the structure that I adapted to fit a CD.

  • Materials to bring:
  • Bonefolder
  • X-Acto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Reflection on the Jane Davies Workshop on July 18th

Jane led a full class of fifteen participants eager to Unbind the Visual Journal. The morning was spent creating quick random collages on 8 folios of 90# paper. Although collage papers were shared, there was not much talk was since everyone worked furiously and quietly to complete the spontaneous pages within the short time frame. We discovered that creating art without much deliberation was a new and freeing experience which would help us avoid the familiar “Blank Page Syndrome”!

By afternoon it was interesting to see what varied themes and collage techniques had emerged. Time was spent selecting the order of our individual folios before assembling them into 4 signatures which were then bound into a cover with the pamphlet stitch. At this point, we went home with an intriguing book that will evolve over time.

Possibilities for future development include unifying the images with swashes of gesso, stamping designs or messages, hand writing journal entries and even adding more collage to physically and visually connect the verso to the recto. The fascinating images will lead to reflections and more deliberate choices. Jane wrote in her epilogue that she hopes “this book helps you tune into this balance, this ebb and flow, and enjoy the pleasures of your own collage journey.”

Jane’s book is already in its second printing. Ask your local bookstore to order Collage Journeys by Jane Davies.

Reflection on the July meeting: Field Trip to UVM Special Collections

Our July meeting was a field trip to the University of Vermont’s Special Collection of artist books. Prudence Doherty, Public Services Librarian, provided us with an abundance of artist books that she selected from the Collection. After her informative and teasing introduction we had time to examine the books at our leisure. The artist books were beyond imagination in the variety and wealth of artistic vision expressed through the structure, text and illustration of the book form. Carolyn Shattuck, a B.A.G. member,had one of her books pulled from the collection for our viewing. In addition old and new books by Julie Chen’s Flying Fish Press were one of the highlights of the evening. One new member even enlightened us all with a explanation of the mathematical and architectural features of Julie’s new book True to Life. The evening ended too soon for most and left us all with a deeper appreciation for artist books.

You can view images from the trip to Special Collections on the B.A.G. blog.

Update on B.A.G.’s Lake Champlain Flag Book:

Our collaborative B.A.G. book Lake, Land and People is complete and now on display in the Educational Center on the second floor of the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. It will be there through the summer as part of Burlington’s celebration of the Quadricentennial. The book has beautiful paste paper covers rich with blues and golds and texturized with a carved brayer made by Liz Kappel. The book’s structure is a flag accordion and has pages that can be viewed a few at a time or all at once when the book is extended. The book was unveiled at our July meeting. Special thanks go to Jen Alderman, Liz Kappel and Ann Joppe-Mercure for coordinating the project and constructing the book.

There’s more….! Prudence has accepted our book to become part of the UVM Special Collections to be part of their collection of artist books inspired by the Quadricentennial!

There’s still more…. according to Ann Joppe-Mercure:

We had an offer to buy the book from a Bruce Piasecki, founder and president of AHC Group, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. He offered to buy the book if it were priced at $250 or under. I will email him and decline his offer, but you all should know the interest the book is getting. The AHC Group has been active in assisting organizations and individuals in the field of environmental and management strategy.

How’s that for a compliment!?
You can view images of the collaborative book on the B.A.G. blog.

Upcoming Programs:

  • September: Design Bindings by Rebecca Coll
  • October: Simple One Paper Book Structures with Amazing Possibilities by Liz Kappel
  • November: Sharing of Design Binding challenge with Rebecca Coll and Post-it-Note Books workshop with Janet Ballantyne
  • December: Annual Ethnic Potluck with Swap & Sale
  • January: Sharing of challenges, projects & resources
  • February: Personal Journey as a Book Artist by Nancy Stone
  • March: Technology: Resources, Communication and Inspiration by Elissa Campbell

Note: If we have a book arts exhibition a meeting will be rescheduled to make a time to share the books in the exhibit.

Member news:
It is with heavy hearts that we learned recently that Rebecca Coll, our “Mistress of Show & Tell” chair of the exhibition committee will be moving to Boston soon. We wish her well and a lively book arts scene. Hopefully she’ll come to some future BAG events in Vermont. Here’s her message:

There are many sad goodbyes that we have to make, but saying goodbye to the Book Arts Guild is one of the saddest. I have so much enjoyed getting to know and to work with all of you.

All the best to you all,

Book Arts Learning Opportunities:

*** Scribble Collage workshop with Jane Davies:

Hi, All, again. I heard from a few of you who did not get the details in the original e-mail about my Scribble Collage workshop in Rupert this fall. I put the details after the image, and I guess they did not come through in everyone’s e-mail program. Here they are:

If you think you are “not artistic” or “can’t draw”, try drawing and painting with the intention of tearing up the results for collage! It is definitely in the category of dance-like-nobody-is-watching, and it’s a great way to engage your creative spirit. In this weekend workshop we create our own collage materials by making “paint playgrounds” and scribble drawings using acrylic, watercolor, crayons, pastel, oil pastel, charcoal, and other materials. We experiment with a variety of approaches to collage using these paintings-drawings as our foundation.

Dates: October 23 – 25, 2009
Friday: Check in any time after 4:00 p.m.
Dinner 6:30 p.m., opening session 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday: Workshop session 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with an hour break for lunch (lunch is included)
Sunday: Workshop session 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with a lunch break (included)

Accommodations are at a guest house two miles down the road from my studio, next door to a general store. Each person has a private room, and there are shared baths and full kitchen facilities.

Cost is $495, which includes tuition, accommodations for Friday and Saturday nights, dinner on Friday, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. I will stock the guest kitchen with stapes for breakfast (bread, milk, eggs, coffee, etc.) and provide a list of restaurants and other dinner options for Saturday night.

If you think you might be interested (without necessarily committing) please let me know asap. I will send out registration forms upon request. Space is LIMITED due to the size of my studio and capacity of the guest house, so sign up early!

Best to you all,

Jane Davies Studios
PO Box 45 / 66 Main St.
Rupert, VT 05768
(802) 394-2521

*** Friends of Dard Hunter Conference:

Hi everyone! I am new to your group.

I am the Vice President of Publicity and Outreach for the Friends of Dard Hunter and wanted to let everyone know that our annual conference is fast approaching. We are thrilled to announce that the 2009 Friends of Dard Hunter Conference information is now launched on our website Remember to refresh your screen on each page to receive the most recent information. All of the forms are downloadable PDF files, AND they are interactive. You may complete them in Adobe Acrobat and submit them directly on-line if you so desire. The one challenge is that when you complete your registration form and submit it on-line to our treasurer, Cecile Webster, you MUST remember your total. Then, click on the Buy Now button on the Annual Meeting page to pay with your credit card via PayPal. It is a single field that will ask you for the total amount. Not exactly seamless, but we’re still learning.

The one piece of information that is yet to be posted is the Member’s Exhibition. We are finalizing the information and hope to have it posted soon. If you have never attended one of our conferences this would be a good place to start! Hope to meet many of you in Atlanta!

Happy Papermaking and Bookmaking!
Shannon Brock

*** Garage Annex School: Come learn wire edge binding fundamentals from its inventor! You’ll find wire edge is a great solution for everything from a codex to a book sculpture.

Join us in Easthampton, MA, U.S.A. at the Garage Annex School for Daniel Kelm’s The Book Restructured–Wire Edge Binding. (If you click on the workshop title below you can go to our website and view a gallery of wire edge bindings.) You may register online using MasterCard or Visa, or you may download a PDF registration form and mail it with your check. (If you want to mail a check, email us to put your name on the list.) And please help spread the word by forwarding this message to friends and colleagues who would be interested to know about this workshop and the Garage Annex School. Thank you!

The Book Restructured–Wire Edge Binding with Daniel E. Kelm
August 15-16, Saturday-Sunday
Tuition: $195 plus materials: $25
Enrollment limited to twelve.

The range of books being produced today by artists is truly remarkable. Some diverge wildly from what we recognize as traditional book form, others play with slight variations.

If you’re interested in creating a nontraditional book (e.g., a book with thick pages, or a book that is sculptural), the achievement of your goal may require the use of a material or movement not possible with conventional structures. Wire edge hinging grew out of just such a challenge. This binding configuration utilizes a thin metal wire along the spine edge of each page. The metal wire is exposed at regular intervals creating knotting stations where thread attaches one page to the next. The result is a binding that opens exceptionally well, and gives you the option of producing unusual shapes.

During the two days we will look at various wire-edge structures useful for books, enclosures, and articulated sculpture. You will produce both a simple codex, and an accordion model that forms a tetrahedron.

*** 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 Exhibit Opportunity:

*** VERMONT HAND CRAFTERS is looking for creative and artistic Vermonters as members. Membership applications must be postmarked by July 31, 2009 to be considered for the annual CRAFT VERMONT SHOW held at the SHERATON HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTER in S. Burlington the third week in November. This annual show is a long standing tradition in the Burlington area and is the largest event of Vermont-only artisans in the state attracting over 7000 customers from the greater New England area. Contact Shannon Greenlese – Jury Chair 802-899-3956 or

NEW THIS YEAR: VERMONT HAND CRAFTERS is now accepting applicants for a newly created category called Alternative Craft. This category reflects the current trend towards green, recycled, and repurposed crafts. As with all other categories, the creativity and quality of the work is more important than the actual medium or technique used to produce it.

OTHER ACCEPTABLE CATEGORIES include: baskets; botanicals; decorative painting; digital art; fiber decorative; fiber wearable; furniture; glass; leather; metal; mixed media; paper; print-making; and wood. VHC is currently limiting new members in the following categories: photography; jewelry; fine art; ceramics; and aromatherapy/soap. Applications will still be accepted in these areas but may be reviewed more stringently for uniqueness as compared to the work of our current membership.

NEW MEMBER APPLICATIONS are available online at All applicants must be legal residents of Vermont who produce original handmade functional art and craft items. Applicants selected for membership will join a nurturing and inclusive community of Vermont’s best artists.

Book Arts Guild of VT chat room:

Book Arts Guild of VT blog:

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