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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” March 2012

2012 March 17

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

We meet at the Unitarian Universalist Society Church located at 152 Pearl Street in Burlington, VT. We will be in the Sophia Fahs Community Room, a large room located in the basement.

Click here for more information on directions/parking.

Program: Build-a-Book Round Robin with Jill Abilock

For our March meeting, come join the fun and the magic of our first-ever Build-a-Book Round Robin, where you bring in some basic materials and go home with a unique, artistic journal that reflects the combined talents and imagination of several people.

In a traditional Art Journal Round Robin, a group of participants each start a book with a theme. The books gets passed around – usually by mail over the course of several weeks – to the other participants, who typically add a page of artwork reflecting the book’s theme.

Designed to be completed in one evening, our Build-a-Book Round Robin will focus on creating, modifying and embellishing basic book structures, using a combination of pamphlet-stitch sewing and/or accordion folds. There will be more than a dozen models of books for inspiration, as well as a short tutorial on the pamphlet stitch and accordion folding.

At the start, you will hand your envelope to the person sitting to your left, who will choose a design and begin making a book with your materials (adding embellishments of their own, if they choose). After 20 minutes, they will place everything in the original envelope and pass it along to the person on their left. This will continue two or three more times (as time permits). At the end of the evening, the book and any remaining materials are packed up and returned to the original person.

Remember, many hands make unique books!

Please bring the following to the meeting:


  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Glue
  • Awl or needle tool
  • Needles (bookbinding or crewel)


  • Linen (waxed or unwaxed) or embroidery thread
  • A few sheets of 12″ x 12″ (scrapbook paper size) decorative cardstock for the cover and/or spine of your book
  • Several sheets of text-weight paper for pages. Light-weight paper from a large (at least 9″ x 12″) drawing or sketch pad is preferable to copier paper, although copier paper is acceptable if no other is available.
  • Large folder or Tyvek envelope labeled with your name.

Optional supplies for decoration/embellishment:

  • Decorative punches
  • Stamps
  • Pens
  • Colored pencils, crayons, water colors
  • Decorative paper
  • Large-hole beads
  • Other Fun stuff!

Reflections on February’s Meeting

Elissa Campbell teaching folded books for the Book Arts Guild of Vermont

February’s meeting was full of delights. We were delighted with our new meeting place at the Unitarian Church. It was full of light and easily accommodated our growing numbers. Many of us also appreciated the free parking.

We were greeted at the door with a welcome table for members to pick up their name tags and for monthly meeting book artists to make a name tag and contribute $5 towards the rental of the space.

Our talented B.A.G. member Elissa Campbell was our presenter for the evening. Elissa presented us with a superb hands-on workshop where we each made four examples of book structures invented by Hedi Kyle. We were delighted with our samples and had much fun folding and laughing with our neighbors as we worked. Elissa is our own “book arts wonder “and we are grateful to her for sharing her expertise and energy.

You can view images from the meeting on the B.A.G. blog.

B.A.G. News

Handmade book by Cynthia Weiss*** The opening reception for our 2012 spring exhibit, Shaping Pages: An Exhibit of Artist Books & Fine Bindings will be on April 6, 2012, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The exhibit is being hosted by the S.P.A.C.E Gallery in Burlington and will run during the months of April and May, 2012. Our exhibit will be part of the First Friday Art Walk.

We’ll have a potluck o’ snacks, so it would be fabulous if you could bring some finger food. We look forward to seeing you there!

*** Save the date! We are pleased to announce that book artist Daniel Kelm will be coming to Vermont to offer a Wire-Edge Binding workshop, a two-day workshop from 7/28/12 – 7/29/12. We know that this workshop will be amazing, so start saving up now!

Cost, location and other information about the workshop will be coming soon. For more information, please contact Jill Abilock.

Book Arts News

*** ArtisTree Gallery and Pentangle Arts Council, in conjunction with the Bookstock Festival, are looking for submissions for their upcoming exhibit, Unbound Vol II: Art using the book as a material/format. The show will be juried by Daniel E. Kelm, founder of the Garage Annex School for Book Arts in Easthampton, MA.

The broad theme of UNBOUND Vol II encompasses all of the possibilities of what we may think or may not think a “book” is. Is it story? An entry to another world? An exploration? What does it indicate? This 2nd annual juried show looks to explore these ideas of “the book” and all the ways artists use its format as a stepping off point or as a material to explore new ideas.

The exhibit is open to all 2D and 3D, installation, and assemblage artists working in New England and New York. Submissions must be postmarked by mail or Emailed by June 9, 2012. For more information, please visit the ArtisTree Gallery’s website.

*** The South End Arts and Business Association is looking for submissions for their upcoming mail and stamp art exhibit, We Deliver! Art must be postmarked by April 27, 2012. The opening reception will be on May 4, 2012 and the exhibit will run through the month of May.

For more information, please visit the SEABA website for the official call to artists.

*** The exhibit Close to Home: Artists Who Make Books is running now through March 25th at the Bancroft Gallery at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA. Artists include Kathleen Austin, Dianne Smith Dolan, Rebecca Goodale, Connie Hershey, Barbara Hunter, Dorothy Simpson Krause, Margo Lemieux, Elizabeth Rotchford Long, Peter Madden, Esther Maschio, Sharon McCartney, Annie Silverman, and Mary Taylor.

You can watch a video of the exhibit on the Patriot Ledger website.

*** The first annual Vermont Small Press & Comic Fair will take place on March 24th from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Winooski Welcome Center & Gallery in downtown Winooski. The fair features DIY zine makers, illustrators, comic artists, book artists, graphic novelists, and independent publishers of every type.

A limited number of tables are available for vendors and you can register online. For more information, please visit the event’s website.

Book Arts Classes

*** Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord is giving a workshop, A Gathering of Gifts: Fan Books, at the Center for Creative Wholeness in Newbury, MA on Saturday, April 14th from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Welcome in the spring with this simple book that unfolds like a fan. As a gift to the earth, the books will be made from recycled materials. For more information, please visit the CCW website.

Susan is also teaching a Homes for Poems Bookmaking Workshop at the Newburyport Literary Festival on Saturday, April 29th at 9:30 a.m. Using a stick, string or ribbon, and recycled paper, each burgeoning artist will craft a small book perfect for haiku or other small poems. Collage papers, markers, and printed haiku from the Japanese masters will be supplied. This workshop is geared for families but open to all.

*** Peter Madden is teaching The Art of the Book from March 23 – 25 at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA . This intensive workshop is designed for those with a good amount of basic bookbinding skills already in hand. You’ll work on as many multi-signature, advanced structures as time allows. In between each, you’ll take some time to look at examples of rich, contemporary artists’ books. For more information, please visit the SSAC website.

*** Sarah Smith is teaching a series of book arts workshops for the Continuing Education program at Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

  • Bookmaking for the Beginner 1: Whether you’re interested in making books as art, making blank journals, or just curious about bookbinding, this course will help you understand the basic principles of a book’s construction and function. You will construct models of these basic binding structures: one sheet fold-up (the flutter book or ox-plow), other simple folded structures, accordion, single section pamphlet, two section pamphlet and chain link stitch, and multi-section. The class meets on April 7, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Bookmaking for the Beginner 2: For those interested in expanding on what they learned in the prerequisite Bookmaking 1 workshop, this workshop explores more multi-section books and sewing techniques. Structures included will be supported sewings, such as long stitch and sewing on tapes; exposed sewings, such as the Coptic binding and the Secret Belgian Binding. Some basic pop-ups structures may also be covered. The class meets May 19, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration for these workshops is available online. For more information, please visit the Simmons College GSDLIS website.

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