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

2014 September 4

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 10, 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: Art with a Heart: Creating Journals for Team Heart Patients in Africa with Judy Sgantas

Join us for a very special meeting in September when we come together as a group and make books to help Judy Sgantas support the efforts of Team Heart, a non-profit group of volunteer physicians, nurses, and technicians dedicated to providing life-saving cardiac surgeries in Rwanda, primarily to children suffering from rheumatic heart disease, a preventable condition.

Judy’s husband Mark is a cardio-thoracic nurse at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Last year, he and six other volunteers from Fletcher Allen became part of the 40 members of Team Heart in Rwanda, performing valve surgeries on 16 patients over a two week period. He will be participating again this year and Judy will be joining him, working to support Team Heart’s efforts at an orphanage near the hospital.

Last year, Judy made “wallet books” (pamphlet-stitched journals with pockets folded into the covers) for all of Team Heart’s patients and a few of the Rwandan nurses, so they would each have a book that would hold their stories, pictures and even medical instructions. The books were such a huge success that this year Judy has invited the Book Arts Guild to help create the books that she will bring with her to Rwanda this fall.

So come to the September meeting prepared to learn an easy but interesting and useful new book structure as Judy leads us in creating wallet books for the Rwandan care givers and patients served by Team Heart!

Please bring the following:

  • Bone folder
  • Awl
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife/cutting blade
  • Cutting mat
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Bookbinding or tapestry needle
  • Waxed linen thread


  • Judy puts index cards for medical instructions in one of the book pockets, along with a postcard of one of her illustrations. If you would like to bring a personal card to place in the book that you make, that would be lovely!

August Meeting Reflections

Gwen Morey & Jennifer AldermanOur August meeting was full of fun and hands-on experimenting. Jen Alderman and Gwen Morey came well prepared with demonstrations, written suggestion and loads of materials for us to explore. They believe in recycling trash and found objects into exciting stamping possibilities and they made believers out of us.

Some highlights included bubble wrap, ramen noodles and marbles. Their expertise and experience was appreciated as we got tips on the different types of inks, refill systems, punches and sponges to improve our techniques.

Thanks Jen and Gwen, what a wonderful way to learn and play on a summer’s evening.

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

Book Arts News

OSW Woodcut image*** On October 4 & 5, the statewide Open Studio Weekend is offering a wonderful selection of book artsy studios for you to visit.

If you’re up for a tour, you can find your comrades in the following locations:

Elissa created a Google Map with all of the locations to help you with your tour. You can find maps and directions to studios on the VT Crafts Council website. You can also download a pdf of the 2014 Fall Vermont Open Studio Tour Guide. Please note that this is a really big file.

handmade paper*** Fiber artist Sandy Jefferis is selling her stash of handmade papers. Here’s what’s for sale:

  • 83 sheets of Thai Lama Li Lokta, assorted colors, 20″ x 30″
  • 29 sheets of Thai Unryu Marbled Momi, 24″ x 36″
  • 21+  sheets of assorted bark and other handmade papers

The retail price for the batch is about $636.00. She is asking for $350.00 for all of it. If you are interested, please contact Sandy at

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here*** Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is on exhibit at the Eliot D. Pratt Library Art Gallery at Goddard College now through October 10, 2014. The exhibit commemorates the 2007 bombing that resulted in the loss of a vibrant cultural and literary community in Baghdad.

The exhibit has been traveling the world since 2012 and includes artists’ books and broadsides by artists from 26 countries. Goddard College is in Plainfield, VT.

*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers has organized a mini-conference in northern Maine during September 12 – 14, 2014. Spend a weekend in Northern Maine with a community of local artists working in the field of bookbinding, paper making and calligraphy.

The conference will be held at the Cobscook Community Learning Center near Whiting, ME. Programming includes a visit to the Book Arts Studio at UMaine Machias Friday afternoon, evening lectures by Alan Furth, Walter Tisdale and Gray Parrot Friday night, half-day workshops by Katie MacGregor and Nancy Leavitt on Saturday followed by a special presentation by David Yarborough.

For more information or to register, please visit the Guild of Book Workers website.

*** The exhibit UNBOUND VOL. IV: Art Using books as a material/format will be open from July 25 – August 23, 2014 at the Artistree Gallery in Woodstock, VT.  This juried show 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.

Book Arts Classes

*** On September 22-26, 2014, the North Bennet Street School is offering Fundamentals of Bookbinding I with Erin Fletcher in Boston.The course covers non-adhesive structures and case bindings, students learn about structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, and tools and equipment. The focus is on non-adhesive structures such as coptic, historical long stitch and case bindings such as flat back, rounded back.

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

*** The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Fold & Stitch Books with Annie Silverman on Sunday, October 19 & 26, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Using simple techniques that build upon each other, learn a variety of essential book forms: sewn pamphlets, multiple-signature books, accordion and flag books, along with simple wrappers and envelopes.

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

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