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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” February 2014

2014 February 6

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 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: Decorative Japanese Bindings with Jill Abilock

Japanese stab bound booksElegant in their simplicity, Japanese stab-bound books are also fun to make. Key to the book’s structure, the sewing pattern on the book is also its primary decorative element. Over the years, the basic Japanese stab binding technique – which produces an identical pattern on both the front and back covers of a book – has been adapted to create beautiful, intricate sewn patterns.

During the February meeting, Jill Abilock will share both her traditional stab bound creations (which vary in size from 1/2 inch-square to three feet long) as well as adaptations that include beaded bindings, hammered wire and intricate sewn designs. Jill will also introduce some of the amazing sewing patterns that have been created by other book artists, and offer tips and techniques for creating unique stab bindings of our own.

During the hands-on portion of the meeting, Jill will lead us in making models of several beautiful sewing patterns that can be used as templates for future books.

Jill will provide the materials for making the templates; just bring your enthusiasm and the following tools:

  • Awl or needle tool (Jill will have some on hand, but please bring your own if you have one)
  • Thread (waxed or unwaxed linen for bookbinding, four- to six-ply embroidery thread,  cotton crochet thread (preferably size 10 or 12) or hemp thread of comparable diameter
  • Needle with an eye large enough to accommodate your thread of choice
  • Small scissors
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Ruler

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingJanuary Meeting Reflections

The first meeting of the new year brought out a large group eager to experience Rebecca’s explorations of the Waterfall structure. After an inspiring show of web images and videos, Becky showed us models and finished products in which she adapted the structure to suit her ideas.

For the hands-on portion of the program, we cut, scored, and pasted the templates provided with (mostly) great success, and walked away with models of our own.

Thanks, Becky!

You can view images from the meeting, along with links to related YouTube videos, on the B.A.G. blog.

B.A.G. News

*** We want to know how we can best serve you! We have created a brief online survey so there will be nothing to print out and mail – simply click on the link and answer a few short questions. We are striving to best meet the needs of our book arts community, and your feedback is both vital and greatly appreciated! Click here to complete the survey.

Thanks to those of you who have already given us your feedback!

*** The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is happy to announce that the Spring exhibit will be hosted by the Rae Harrell Gallery in Hinesburg, in May. The show’s theme will be Nature: Beasts and Botanicals.

This broad theme can inspire fantastical, outlandish ideas as well as environmental, natural concepts. Find inspiration everywhere: on your daily walk, at your birdfeeder, on Pinterest, and at the library. Whether or not you have exhibited with us in the past, all members and friends are encouraged to submit work.

The deadline for submission has been changed to April 21st. Click here to download the exhibit entry form.

*** Vermont artist Jane Davies will be teaching a one day workshop in South Burlington on February 22, 2014. The workshop, Text and Image Collage, will allow us to explore the power of image/ word relationships as well as learn basic techniques and principles of collage.

We will create expressive pages that can be used for books, with found and created text, personal photos, and found/altered imagery. This will be a great way to jump start your ideas for the Spring exhibit, and to lose those winter blues.

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Ridgewood Clubhouse, South Burlington
Cost: $55.00

NOTE: this workshop is full.  If you would like to be on the waitlist, please email Marcia at

Book Arts News

*** The New England Guild of Book Workers is looking for volunteers for an upcoming Girl Scout event on Sunday February 9th. The event will run from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Camp Edith Read in Norton, MA, which is about 20 miles south of Boston. This program is for Cadette scouts (age 11-14) to earn a Book Artist badge.

You do not need to be a member of the NEGBW to volunteer. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Todd Pattison at

Book Arts Classes

*** The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Carousel Books with Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer on Sunday, February 23, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This sculptural book opens to form several shadow box-style pages in the round, like a carousel or zoetrope. Create images by cutting, drawing and painting, then precisely cut, fold and assemble accordion pages.

For more information the class, please visit the Eliot School’s website or click here to download the complete catalog.

*** On February 17 – 20, the North Bennet Street School is offering Rebind a Book and Make a Custom Box in Boston. In this workshop, students rebind an existing commercial binding by carefully removing the case and make a new binding with a leather spine and false raised bands. Students learn a new binding structure and how to work with leather. In addition, students construct a clamshell box to fit their newly bound book.

For more information or to register, please visit the NBSS website.

*** Jill Timm will be presenting her fabulous workshop The Amazing Dremel on May 10-11 at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA. The workshop will be hosted by the New England Guild of Book Workers. The registration fee is $250.00 with an additional material fee of $50.00, which includes your own deluxe Dremel kit with over 100 various attachments.

In this workshop, Jill will demonstrate the limitless options of the Dremel tool. Each student will provide their own Dremel and learn about the various attachment options while using the tool to drill, cut, carve, etch, shape, polish and grind into non-traditional book materials. Students can expect to experiment on materials such as glass, plastic, metals, wood, tile and more.

To register for the workshop, please contact Todd Pattison at

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