Skip to content

VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” May 2015

2015 May 7

Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 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: Exquisite Corpse Collaborative Book with Rebecca Boardman

Many guild members have expressed interest in participating in collaborative projects. Fortunately for us, Becky Boardman has taken the initiative and will get us going on a series collaborative book projects that promise to be fun, inventive, and inspiring. At our May meeting, Becky will introduce the first of these projects: The Exquisite Corpse Collaborative Book.

During the first part of the meeting, Becky will give a brief description of Exquisite Corpse books and how the project will work, and share some samples. She’ll then provide us with templates and written instructions, and lead us in creating an Exquisite Corpse image. Whether your creation turns out to be a work of art or a fun practice piece, it will certainly familiarize you with the process and get your creative juices flowing. And even if you’re not inclined to participate in the collaborative project, please join us and learn how to make your own Exquisite Corpse book!

Tools and materials: Please bring whatever you like to use to create images.

Possibilities include:

Drawing tools:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers, Sharpies, Gel pens, etc.

Collage tools and materials:

  • Collage materials you like to work with
  • X-Acto knife/cutting blade
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or Quick Dry glue

April Meeting and SEABA Show Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont Exhibit and Artists' TalkIt was a cold snowy evening – in April! Thanks to everyone who came out for the artists’ talk at the SEABA gallery, and to all the artists for sharing details about their amazing work. I was struck by the level of emotion that the group expressed in and about their books, and really thankful that we were able to share the insights.

So what is a book? Nancy Stone noted that if she says it’s a book, then it is. Nina Gaby seconded that notion, citing her porcelain vessels full of ‘pages’ as reminiscent of scrolls, an early book structure. Ann Joppe Mercure answered the question with a book of the same title, a Jacob’s Ladder structure that confirmed that a book can be read, played with, and enjoyed.

And how does a book come into being? Elissa Campbell explained her method of making it difficult for herself by soliciting answers from her blog readers, and magically forming them into a story that makes sense, according to her quirky sense of humor. Yes, books may even have capes. Others take an idea for structure or material and make it speak to them. Nancy Stone could not leave a collection of glass slides alone, and worked with them until the answer unfolded.

Where does the meaning come from? So many of the works contained remembrance, grief, or tribute to loved ones. Bonnie Hooper’s moving story about her mother’s influence on her life choices revealed itself in a lovely folded book, full of beautiful natural imagery. Rebecca Boardman’s Tribute to Ellen pays homage to a dedicated and beloved teacher of book arts, with intricate patterns reminiscent of Ellen’s work. Debra Kramer’s shrine containing her deceased relatives’ holy cards is a fascinating combination of religious imagery and influences of gravestones and statuary. My own Shoes for M serves not only as a remembrance to my friend, but also a record of my life over the course of three years. Dorsey Hogg explained her piece, The People of Moeng College, sharing her luck of having taken pictures of the people she worked with 20 years ago, and forming them into a dynamic flag structure which seemed to embody the idealism of her Peace Corps experience. Jill Dawson’s Farewell to Robin Williams incorporated LED’s in the binding, and featured a heart on the cover as a memorium.

Really, each piece deserves special attention. I hope you have all had a chance to visit and enjoy the show. Thank you all for participating, supporting, and attending. I’m looking forward to the next show, and seeing the fantastic work I know is coming!

– Marcia Vogler

You can view images from the meeting and work in the exhibit on the B.A.G. blog.

B.A.G. News

Handmade box*** The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is pleased to announce a fun and creative weekend workshop with bookbinder Elizabeth Rideout. Creative Box Making for Book and Paper Artists will take place on June 27 – 28, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Participants will construct a variety of basic box structures using traditional box making materials and techniques. Pre-cut bookbinders’ board, book cloth, and decorative papers will be provided for each student to assemble and cover three different finished box styles as well as personal reference models to take home. Students will leave the workshop with a clear understanding of basic box making (design and construction) and three completed boxes including a classic dropspine box, flip-top box, and miniature box with fitted lid.

Box making is an important and FUN skill to have for any artist or art owner.  I strongly believe that these skills can broaden an artist’s toolbox both creatively and professionally.  Whether applied in an integrative manner or simply in efforts to protect or preserve a special object, box making enhances what we make, how we experience it, and how long it will last.

All experience levels welcome!

Dates: June 27 – June 28 (Saturday – Sunday)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Six Loons Studio at Shelburne Pond Studios, Shelburne, VT
Class fee (all-inclusive): $145.00

Space is limited, so sign up as soon as possible! Click here to download the registration form.

For further information about the workshop, please contact Jill Abilock at (802) 238-0883 or

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo*** On May 23 & 24 (Memorial Day Weekend), 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 2015 Spring Vermont Open Studio Event & Resource Guide. Please note that this is a really big file.

Book Arts News

“Call Me Trimtab” by Graham Patten*** Geographies: New England Book Work, the New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers exhibition, is now on view at the Dartmouth College Library in Hanover, New Hampshire through August 21, 2015.

Geographies: New England Book Work includes bookbindings and artist’s books that relate to the theme of New England created by 26 of their members. Included are classic regional texts, books that make personal connections to the region, and New England history from a variety of perspectives, among other topics.

For more information on the exhibition and the complete schedule please read the post on the chapter blog.

UNBOUND Vol. 5 logo*** ArtisTree Gallery is looking for submissions for their upcoming exhibit, UNBOUND: VOL V. The broad theme of UNBOUND: VOL V 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 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.

This call for submission is open to all New England and New York residents of the U.S. who are 18 years of age or older. All artwork must be original in concept, design and execution. The deadline for submission is June 13, 2015. For more information, please visit the ArtisTree Gallery’s website.

Book Arts Classes

*** From January 26 – 31, 2016, Daniel Essig will be teaching Wooden Books – Greek & Centipede Binding at the North Country Studio Workshops in Bennington, VT.

Easily master the centipede stitch by first understanding the structure and workings of this ornate 7th century Greek binding. Using simple hand tools to begin, we will drill, shape, and smooth our wooden book covers. Sealing the covers with milk paint will create a leathery appearance. We will adorn our books with the centipede stitch using two different colors of thread. This elegant sewing structure, combined with wooden covers, opens a wide range of possibilities for both the beginner and the advanced bookbinder.

Applications are now available and the review process begins June 1st. For more information or if you have any questions, please visit the NCSW website.

*** The Guild of Book Workers is offering Making Simple Finishing Tools with Jeff Altepeter, June 13 & 14 in Portland, ME.

This two-day workshop will offer an introduction to the materials, tools and techniques of making your own finishing tools for bookbinding. A robust combination of demonstration, discussion and hands-on practice will prepare students for continued experimentation and more advanced future projects. During the workshop students should be able to complete 3 tools – a simple line pallet, and a couple of decorative tools of either closed or open designs (a dot and a circle being very basic examples of closed and open designs).

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

*** From June 12 – 14, the North Bennet Street School is offering the 19th Century Field Book with Martha Kearsley.

This 3-day workshop concentrates on making useful books to bring into the field. Based on historic examples of 19th-century field notebooks, students produce a quarter- or half-leather binding, tight-back over sawn-in cords, with a handy pencil-locking mechanism. Issues of utility, ease of use and accessibility are addressed, as well as practical techniques to include specimens, notes and ephemera. This workshop is a great introduction for students interested in working with leather, as edge paring, shaping spine pieces and covering are addressed.

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

*** The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Artists’ Book Boot Camp with Annie Silverman on August 24 – 28, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Present your photographs, prints, collages or paintings in book form. Bring 2-D imagery you have generated to incorporate into your books. Learn basic folded and sewn bindings, discover a range of hard and soft cover options, and explore how to sequence your content. Forms will include pamphlets, multiple signatures, accordions, composites, dos-a-dos and French doors.

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

Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This