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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” September 2013

2013 September 5

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 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: Amy L. Burns presents How to Package Your Work and Cake Box Books

Anyone who attended the December Swap and Shop meeting last year had the opportunity to see (and purchase) Amy Burns‘ beautiful books, and also to see how much her unique and professional-looking packaging enhanced their appeal.

Amy, who has been creating and selling handmade books to people around the world for 5 years, will begin our September meeting with a presentation on how she packages and presents her work using simple materials and tools that create a professional yet handmade look. If you’ve ever considered packaging your own work to sell (perhaps at a BAG event!), you will learn how to create a cohesive look and feel easily and economically.

In the second part of the meeting, Amy will lead a hands-on workshop, showing us a fun way to recycle boxes from cake mix, crackers, or whatever else we’ve got in the cupboard, into books.  These books make wonderful personalized gifts (like using a brownie mix box to make a book for a friend who loves brownies…you could even use chocolate brown paper for the text block!)

Please Bring:

  • Cake mix type box (muffin mix, baking soda, Junior mints, etc.)
    • NOTE: The left side panel of your box will become the spine – since we will only have time to sew 3 or 4 signatures into the book, please choose a box with a narrow side panel (no more than 1″ wide).
  • 16 sheets of paper for the text block, cut to size as follows:
    • Height: The same as the cover height. Paper grain should run in the height direction, parallel to the spine.
    • Width: Double the width of the cover (since the pages will be folded to create signatures) minus 1/4 inch (so the pages don’t stick out beyond the cover)
  • Scissors and/or an X-acto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Awl
  • Straight (not curved) bookbinders needle
  • Portable punching cradle (or an old phone book)
  • Bone folder

Amy will provide bookbinding thread and graph paper.

Request to more experienced members: Not everyone has specialized tools, like an awl, bookbinding needles or a bone folder. If you happen to have extra, it would be wonderful if you could bring them in to share with a neighbor who doesn’t. Thanks!

August Meeting Reflections

Carolyn GuestShe really does cut with sheep shears!  Carolyn Guest wowed us all with her papercut art that is full of meaning. Taking a cue from the Polish craft of papercutting, she uses Vermont barns as ‘story boards’, filling them with images that are particular to her experience and life in Vermont.

Her whimsical and delicate images provided us with visual pleasure and a unique perspective on rural life. It was clear in her presentation that Carolyn gets pleasure from talking about and demonstrating her art, and her humor gave us all encouragement to test out her tricks.

We folded and cut snowflakes, and then produced a small silhouette image with interior cuts. While we all struggled with small scissors or x-acto knives, Carolyn clipped minute bits with her sheep shears creating feathery light snowflakes. Thanks to Carolyn for making it look so easy!

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

B.A.G. News

*** Call for Ideas: Suggest a theme for our upcoming exhibit! This year, we would like to invite our membership to submit ideas for the theme for our 2014 Book Arts Guild Show. The ideas you submit will appear in the October newsletter, and you will have the opportunity to vote on a theme.

Please Email your suggestions to Jill by September 25th to be considered. To get your creative juices flowing, here is a reminder of some of our past themes:

  • Spring 2013: There’s No Place Like Home
  • Spring 2012: Shaping Pages
  • Spring 2011: Big Ideas, Small Books

UNBOUND VOL III logo*** Several members of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont will be represented at the Artistree Gallery in Woodstock, Vermont.  Included in the show, UNBOUND VOL III, are works by Amy Burns, Dorsey Hogg, Ann Joppe Mercure, Debra Kraemer, Lorraine Reynolds, Carolyn Shattuck, and Marcia Vogler.

The broad theme of UNBOUND VOL. III 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 show, juried by Erin Sweeney, looks to explore this idea of “the book” and all the ways artists use that format as a stepping-off point or as material to explore new ideas.

We’d like to wish special congratulations to Dorsey Hogg for winning second prize in the exhibition – way to go!

The show runs from July 26 – September 7, 2013.

*** B.A.G. is introducing a new membership option for those who wish to join later in the year. We now have a July – December membership for only $20.00, which is the same as paying $5.00 for each of the four remaining meetings. We hope that this will encourage you to join B.A.G. as a member and take advantage of the many benefits we offer.

Book Arts News

*** On September 19th, the New England Guild of Book Workers will team with the North Bennet Street School to present The Artist Awakened, a free lecture by Edgard Claes.

Edgard Claes is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most technically proficient and stylistically progressive bookbinders. Originally from Achel, Belgium, Claes has been a monk of the Crosier Order since 1976 and currently resides in Cujik, Netherlands, where he practices bookbinding as well as sculpture and painting. The visit in September will be his first visit to the United States.

In addition to speaking about and showing slides of his life, work and influences generally, Claes explores the ways in which materials, color and technique become interwoven in his work.  Please visit the NBSS website to reserve a space.

Book Arts Classes

Handmade books by Bexx Caswell*** On October 5th, the New England Guild of Book Workers is co-sponsoring a Coptic and Bookworm Binding workshop with the Kate Cheney Chappell Center for Book Arts at the University of Southern Maine. The workshop will be held at the Wishcamper Center Multi-Purpose Room at the USM Portland Campus.

In this workshop, participants will work with Bexx Caswell, bookbinder and book conservator from Iowa City. Caswell will lead participants to create three hardcover, non-adhesive bindings in miniature.

For more information and to register, please visit the USM website.

*** Bill Hanscom is teaching Enclosures for Preservation and Beyond on October 13, 2013 at the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston. Boxes, wrappers and slipcases are widely used to house and protect library and archival collections, but they also offer terrific opportunities for artistic exploration.

Beyond the protective housing of original artistic works such as books or print portfolios, enclosures can be altered and embellished to complement, enhance, and conspire with their contents. Over the course of this workshop students will work to create a reference set of enclosures which neatly nest together.

For more information or to register, please send an Email to or call (617) 521-2803. The workshop will be held at 300 The Fenway.

Wire edge binding by Daniel Kelm*** Daniel Kelm will teach The Book Restructured: Wire Edge Binding at his studio in Easthampton, MA,  September 21-22, 2013. 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 hinging 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.

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

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