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

2015 July 3

Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 8, 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: Miniature Books with Jill Abilock

When you hold a miniature book in your hand, it is like holding a jewel. Usually no bigger than three inches in height or width, miniature books have been around since ancient Babylonians inscribed cuneiform lettering on two-inch tablets beginning in around 2200 BC.

While we won’t be inscribing cuneiform letters on tiny tablets, we will explore the unique challenges and delights of creating books in miniature. Jill will share some tips and tricks as she guides us in creating a case bound book measuring just 1.5 inches tall, and, if time allows, a delightful little 1-inch accordion book.

Jill will provide all the materials (paper, board, glue, thread, etc.) for the books, but invites you to bring your favorite decorative papers for the covers if you like.

Jill will also bring extra tools, but asks that you please bring the following hand tools if you have them:

  • Ruler (both a metal edge ruler for cutting and a C-thru ruler for measuring and centering, if possible)
  • X-Acto knife or scalpel and blades
  • Cutting mat
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Small, sharp scissors
  • Bone folder
  • Awl or needle tool
  • Binding needles
  • Brush for gluing
  • Reading glasses, patience and a sense of adventure!

June Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingOur June meeting began with a showing of the exquisite corpse concept that Rebecca Boardman had presented in the May meeting. Rebecca took the art that the group had created in that meeting and turned it into two structures to show how the exquisite corpse can work. The combination of the artwork and the structure made the books fascinating to look at.

The group then played some Victorian parlor games on which the exquisite corpse is based, both with words and a combination of words and pictures. Never mind that some of us couldn’t remember the difference between an adverb and an adjective, it was both hilarious and challenging.

What’s next for the Exquisite Corpse – a group project, or a collaborative work?

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

B.A.G. News

*** The Creative Box Making workshop with Elizabeth Rideout presented by B.A.G. the last weekend in June was a fun and educational experience. A full studio of eager students learned first by observing Elizabeth apply her master skills an archival techniques to box making. Then with Elizabeth’s patient guidance and support we each created our own clam shell, flip top and fitted lid boxes using precut boards and beautiful papers.

We are all proud of our finished boxes and grateful for the new knowledge and techniques we acquired. It was wonderful to learn from Elizabeth, our master bookbinder, and come away with deepening friendships and new expertise with the design and construction of box making.

Thanks Elizabeth! Don’t go far, we are ready for more.

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.

Book Arts Classes

*** Susan Bonthron of Otter Pond Bindery in Guilford, VT is offering two workshops during the month of July:

Gathering Evidence: The Making and Using of Notebooks will take place on July 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. You will make several simple notebooks and discuss methods of “gathering evidence”, including but not limited to doodling, pen and ink & watercolor sketching, listening to poetry, pochoir, and exercises for writing and observing. Use these small, easy-to-stash notebooks to collect images, words, lists, doodles – in short, to attend to, honor and enrich your experience (and store ideas for future creative endeavors).

On August 6 – 9, Susan will hold a Book Artists’ Boot Camp. A 4-day workshop at Otter Pond Bindery, with a special concentration in “shaped drum leaf binding.” Thursday you’ll work with paper decoration techniques; Friday you’ll create a small drumleaf binding model; Saturday and Sunday you’ll work on individual book art projects with content and forms of your own devising, and private consultations with Susan.

For more information about the workshops, please contact Susan at

*** 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 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.

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