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

2015 September 3

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The September meeting will be held at UVM’s Special Collections in the basement of Bailey Howe Library. Click here to download a pdf of the directions to Special Collections.

Please note that in September we will not be meeting as usual on the second Wednesday at the Unitarian Church in Burlington.

Program: Visit to UVM Special Collections

Prudence DohertyLibrarian Prudence Doherty will guide us through some of the amazing artists’ books held in the Special Collections Department at UVM. Not everyone knows that we have one of the finest collections of artists’ books in the nation, right here in Burlington.

Join us in a hands-on exploration that will stimulate your imagination and spark your creativity!

* Please bring a pencil, not a pen, if you plan to take notes.

August Meeting Reflections

Penne Tompkins calligraphyThe small but committed group of book arts enthusiasts who met in August had the great fortune to see some of the beautiful work that two of our members have done at conferences over the last several months. Elissa Campbell impressed us with the medieval girdle book she made in Karen Hanmer‘s four-day workshop at the 2015 Focus on Book Arts Conference, which took place in June. Penne Tompkins then delighted us with some of the beautiful calligraphic artist books she made in Marina Soria’s four-day Calligraphy in Blossom workshop at The Passionate Pen Calligraphy Conference in July.

We then moved on to creative work time. Jill Abilock shared supplies from her July Miniature Books presentation for people to try their hand at making a tiny accordion book, others worked on personal projects and shared ideas, and everyone enjoyed each other’s company! Whether we actually got something done or just enjoyed the spirit of the meeting, the time passed quickly.

Studio Support and Workshop Time is a new meeting format introduced this year. We would love your feedback on meetings held so far, as well as any ideas you might have on ways to make this format even more useful and inviting.

Book Arts News

*** New City Galerie in Burlington is accepting submissions for BOOKBODY, a juried exhibition of art and books relating to book forms and the human body. There are two sections for consideration: books that consider or reference the human body (preferably small press); and unique book objects or sculptures that relate to the forms and structures of both the human body and the book. The show is November 6, 2015 to January 26, 2016.

The submission deadline is September 15th. Please send submissions to

*** On Thursday, October 22nd at 6:30 p.m., there will be an illustrated talk sponsored by The New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers and The Ticknor Society. Historical Bookbinding in the British Isles 1660-1800 will be presented by Stuart Bennett.

Bennett’s 2004 publication, Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles 1660-1800, examined booksellers’ and bookbinders’ records as well as thousands of historical bindings to offer a new analysis of how books came to be bound in early modern Britain. One reviewer called the study “a tool for the discerning book connoisseur [which] fills a long-standing gap in the bookbinding literature that, in retrospect, is as self-evident as a missing front tooth.”

The lecture is being held at the North Bennet Street School in Boston.

Book Arts Classes

*** Valerie Carrigan will be teaching Handmade Books: Painted and Sewn at the Messenger Press Studio at the Beaver Mill in North Adams, MA. The workshop will be on Saturday September 26, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

In this workshop, you will construct a series of handmade books with watercolor covers and a variety of decorative sewing patterns. You will spend the first hour of our workshop making experimental watercolors – with pigment, salt and stencils – to be used as creative covers for our structures. Using these covers, you will learn how to create decorative sewing patterns exposed on the spines of your books. You will leave this workshop with a set of colorful and uniquely bound books and the knowledge of how to make more! No experience necessary.

The workshop is sponsored by is 183 Art School of the Berkshires. To register, please call them directly at (413) 298-5252.

*** Masscribes is hosting a workshop with Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord on Saturday November 7th, at the Sportsman’s Club in Norwood, MA.

Book Play is an introduction to simple bookmaking and its possibilities for creative exploration. It is bookmaking at its most friendly and accessible – no rulers or precious papers, no designing or planning ahead. The emphasis is on freedom and possibility – how the simplest forms can be adapted, varied, and combined to unlock our creative juices. Using mostly recycled materials, we’ll make intimate books that fold and fan, hang and stand. Most of the time will be spent making books but there will be opportunities to add calligraphy.

For more information, please contact Nita Padamsee at or Elissa Barr at

*** From September 12 – October 5, the North Bennet Street School in Boston is offering Fundamentals of Bookbinding I with Amy Lapidow.

Students learn the foundations of bookbinding with hands-on experience and discussion. 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. Discussions throughout the course cover terminology, paper grain and folding, selecting proper materials and tools, and adhesives and their properties. 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.

*** 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.

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