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

April 16, 2012

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 18, 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: Book Conservation and Repair with Deborah Howe

Please join us at our April meeting when Deborah Howe, the collections conservator at Dartmouth College Library, provides us with a rare in-depth look at the repair and handling of precious, ancient manuscripts. Through a slide presentation, Deborah will talk about a conservation treatment done on a 15th century manuscript called the Brut Chronicle, which was purchased by Dartmouth.

As it was received, the manuscript came in a tacket binding which was deteriorating and therefore was no longer protecting the manuscript. The treatment involved investigation and decision making on many levels, and Deborah’s talk will explore the actual treatment, what transpires to make choices about the treatment, and how those choices fit within the context of an academic institution.

This presentation will offer an exciting an opportunity to learn quite a bit about a very important subject!

Deborah Howe is the Collections Conservator at Dartmouth College Library. Previously she headed the conservation lab at Northwestern University Library for over 10 years. She has taught classes at Columbia Center for Paper and Book, the Newberry Library and currently teaches bookbinding classes at the Book Arts Workshop at Dartmouth. She is a long standing member of the Guild of Book Workers and on the board of directors of the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio.


Reflections on March’s Meeting

Book artist Jill Abilock

Our March Book Arts Guild meeting was attended by a group of fun loving creative book arts enthusiasts. Jill Abilock orchestrated our Build-a-Book Round Robin workshop. First Jill introduced us to a multitude of book designs. When we were beginning to get overwhelmed with the infinite possibilities of book structures, Jill let us loose. We worked in a rotating manner with materials and “in process” book designs that were passed to us.

At the end of the evening our original materials were passed back to us as a “book”! The books were all unique in their design and materials. We delighted over the how the collaborative process made books beyond our own individual imaginations. What a great way to get our creative juices flowing. Thanks Jill!

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


B.A.G. News

Handmade book "There Will Be" by Ann Joppe-Mercure

"There Will Be" by Ann Joppe-Mercure

*** Our 2012 spring exhibit, Shaping Pages: An Exhibit of Artist Books & Fine Bindings is on display now through April 28th at the S.P.A.C.E Gallery in Burlington.

You can view images from the exhibit on the B.A.G. website. Be sure to check out our review in Seven Days.

*** 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.

*** B.A.G.’s Chair, Elizabeth Rideout, recently wrote an article for Dartmouth’s Preservation Services blog – Toning Book Cloth and Basic Color Mixing. A common use for this type of technique is to use a color-matched piece of muslin to replace a broken spine or hinge. Check out the blog post for tips and great visuals!

*** B.A.G. members Carolyn Shattuck, Meta Strick, Ken Leslie, Marianna Holzer, Elizabeth Rideout, Jill Abilock, and Elissa Campbell are opening their studios as part of the state-wide Open Studio Weekend sponsored by the Vermont Crafts Council. If you want to visit fellow book artists on May 26 – 27 (Memorial Day weekend), you can find them in the following locations:

  • Carolyn: Rutland, studio #88
  • Jill: Shelburne, studio #130
  • Elizabeth: Shelburne, studio #130
  • Marianna: Hinesburg, studio #135
  • Meta: Fairfield, studio #172
  • Ken: Hardwick, studio #186
  • Elissa: Montpelier, studio #211

You can find maps and directions to studios on the VT Crafts Council website. You can also download a pdf of the 2012 Spring Vermont Open Studio Tour Guide. Please note that this is a really big file – 13.5 MB.


Book Arts News

*** The exhibition Paste Papers of the Pioneer Valley is running now through the end of May at the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College. A reception will be held on Thursday, April 26 from 4:00 p.m. –  6: 00 p.m. Carol Blinn will be giving a paste paper-making demo at which you’ll be able to make your own paste papers.

For more information, please visit the Rare Book Room’s website.

*** Unbound: Speculations on the Future of the Book, a symposium exploring the future potential of the book, will take place on May 3 – 4, 2012 at the Bartos Theater at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

The symposium showcases practices by writers and artists in and outside of MIT, putting them in conversation with scholars and thinkers from across the disciplines who are framing discourse about this technology’s possible futures, promises, and challenges.

Keynote speakers include James Reid-Cunningham (Associate Director for Digital Programs and Preservation of the Boston Athenaeum, also a bookbinder and book artist) and Bob Stein (founder and president of the Institute for the Future of the Book.

The event is free and you can register online. For more information, please contact Amaranth Borsuk or Gretchen Henderson.

*** 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.


Book Arts Classes

*** Susan Bonthron is teaching a Tunnel Book class on May 19th from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. All materials are included except those you may want to incorporate in your tunnel book, such as photographs, postcards, etc. The tunnel is a book with content, so I do urge you to think about what you want to commemorate/play with/include in it.

The fee for the class is $90.00 and includes lunch. For more information, please contact Susan via Email.

*** The North Bennet Street School is offering a Bookbinding Intensive with Stacie Dolin from June 25 – July 27, 2012. The five-week program meets Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

This class is designed for individuals interested in an intensive, hands-on bookbinding experience and is suitable for book artists and novice binders wishing to learn or enhance fundamental bookbinding skills. Explore a variety of book structures and binding techniques and the process for determining what materials and structures to use for a given project.

Field trips and other specific topics are part of the curriculum and will be based on student interests. The tuition includes a materials fee for paper, board, and other basic supplies; students are expected to provide some materials and all hand tools.

For more information or to register, please visit the NBBS’s website.

*** The North Bennet Street School is also offering a Springback Bookbinding workshop with Amy Lapidow from June 8 – 10, 2012. The workshop meets from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The spring-back binding is a structure originally developed in Britain for ledger books or anything that needed writing across the gutter. This flat spine is achieved using a rigid spine and lever system to snap the book open. In this class we will make a more portable version of this historic structure. This is an advanced beginner class.

For more information or to register, please visit the NBBS’s website.


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