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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” January 2016

2016 January 8

Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 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: Build-a-Book Round Robin

Handmade bookTo get the new year off to a creative start, come join us in January for the fun and collaborative magic of a Build-a-Book Round Robin, where you bring in some basic materials and go home with a unique, artistic journal that reflects the combined talents and imagination of several people.

In a traditional Art Journal Round Robin, a group of participants each start a book with a theme. The books gets passed around – usually by mail over the course of several weeks – to the other participants, who typically add a page of artwork reflecting the book’s theme.

Designed to be completed in one evening, our Build-a-Book Round Robin will focus on creating, modifying and embellishing basic book structures, using a combination of pamphlet-stitch sewing and/or accordion folds. There will be more than a dozen models of books for inspiration, as well as a short tutorial on the pamphlet stitch and accordion folding.

Before the meeting, simply assemble some basic materials and place them in a folder or envelope (see below). At the start of the meeting, you will hand your envelope to the person sitting to your left, who will choose a design and begin making a book with your materials (adding embellishments of their own, if they choose). After 20 minutes, they will place everything in the original envelope and pass it along to the person on their left. This will continue two or three more times (as time permits). At the end of the evening, the book and any remaining materials are packed up and returned to the original person.

Remember, many hands make unique books!

Please bring the following to the meeting:


  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Glue
  • Awl or needle tool
  • Needles (bookbinding or crewel)


  • Linen (waxed or unwaxed) or embroidery thread
  • A few sheets of 12″ x 12″ (scrapbook paper size) decorative cardstock for the cover and/or spine of your book
  • Several sheets of text-weight paper for pages. Light-weight paper from a large (at least 9″ x 12″) drawing or sketch pad is preferable to copier paper, although copier paper is acceptable if no other is available.
  • Large folder or Tyvek envelope labeled with your name.

Optional supplies for decoration/embellishment:

  • Decorative punches
  • Stamps
  • Pens
  • Colored pencils, crayons, water colors
  • Decorative paper
  • Large-hole beads
  • Other Fun stuff!

December Meeting Reflections

Hands making origami cubeSo many things going on at our meeting last month!

First off, a grand buffet to celebrate the New Year. Thanks to everyone who contributed and helped consume it.

Next, encouragement from Becky to submit individual pieces to be included in the Exquisite Corpse collaborative book project. We had a chance to revisit the book Becky made from the initial exercise done in a previous meeting, and get some inspiration for submissions due at the January meeting (that’s this month, people). It will be exciting to have a piece in which all members can be represented at the Book Arts show.

Finally, another collaborative project, led by Jill. Jill gave us instruction to make origami cubes, which will be submitted to the Genesis Project, a crowd-sourced art installation led by artist Valerie Hird. We have committed to submitting 100 cubes, and I believe we got a huge start on that number at the meeting. Plus it was super fun to chat while folding, once we all got the hang of it.

It was great to see so many familiar faces as well as some new ones at the meeting. I know I look forward to the new year with excitement about new projects and learning opportunities, as well as greeting old and new friends. Thanks to all who attended and participated!

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

B.A.G. News

Spring Exhibit at UVM Living/Learning Gallery

Our Spring 2016 exhibit Book Works: Artists’ Books by the Book Arts Guild of Vermont will take place at the Living/Learning Center gallery on the UVM campus from February 15 – March 18, 2016.

We encourage all members and friends to participate in this broadly themed show. Work can include new or time honored techniques, book-related pieces and sculpture, and generally any work that can be ‘read’.

The gallery is in a unique spot that serves UVM students as well as the public, offering exposure to a variety of artistic media in a creative setting. It is a perfect venue to exhibit all styles and levels of work.

After such a fantastic show last year at SEABA, we’re excited to see what comes next for everyone!

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2016. Please bring your work along with the entry form to the January meeting. Work can also be mailed to Marcia. For special arrangements, please contact Marcia. Address and contact info are on the entry form.
  • Set up: February 15, 2016. If you would like to help hang the show to see what goes on pre-show, please let me know.
  • Opening reception and artists’ talk: February 18, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. This will be in place of our usual February meeting.

The exhibit entry form and additional information can be downloaded here.

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s
annual membership begins this month!

The primary mission of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont is to act as both an educational and creative resource in the field of book arts. Our monthly meetings are $5.00 an evening or free with a $35.00 annual membership. Your membership supports the mission of the Book Arts Guild, pays for our rented space, provides opportunities to exhibit and supports honorariums to presenters.

In addition to the benefits you receive (outlined in the sidebar of this newsletter), your paid membership also enables us to cover expenses such our website and email newsletter – key tools for keeping our book arts community in touch and informed. In addition, you don’t have to pay to submit work to our annual, non-juried book arts exhibition. You’ll also receive a personal thank you from Ann Joppe-Mercure (priceless).

If you have a skill, a passion, a favorite technique or a body of work that others would love to learn about, and then take the leap and volunteer to share it with us as a presenter. If you present at a B.A.G. meeting, you receive free membership for the year. Think about it – we know you have something to share!

If you would like to become a supporting B.A.G. member, click here to download our membership form.


Save the date!

Chinese Sewing Box BookOn March 26th, the Book Arts Guild of Vermont will present a workshop with the awesome Erin Sweeney – the Chinese Sewing Box Book.

This book structure was created by the amazing Hedi Kyle – it’s made entirely of folded boxes and enclosures based on paper wallets, and used to store sewing supplies – an origami lovers’ dream!

More details are coming, but mark your calendar now!

  • Date: Saturday, March 26, 2016
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: Ridgewood Clubhouse, South Burlington

Book Arts News

BOOKBODY exhibition poster*** Now through January 26th, the New City Galerie is presenting BOOKBODY, a juried exhibition of art and books relating to book forms and the human body. Artists and authors are exploring the intimate relationship between the human body and the physical book.

How do the tactile characteristics of the book impact how our bodies read? How does the body make books? What occurs between this give and take? What is the nature of this symbiosis?

The New City Galerie is located at 132 Church Street in Burlington, VT.

*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is looking for volunteers for an upcoming Girl Scout event. They will be partnering with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offering programs for Cadette scouts (age 11-14) to earn a Book Artist badge. In addition, they will run a program for younger scouts.

The event will be held on Saturday March 26, 2016 at Camp Maude Eaton in Andover, MA. They will run a 3-hour program for Cadettes in the morning from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and then have a 2-hour program for younger girls from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. You can volunteer for just one program or make a day out of it and do both!

There will be an introduction and then five stations that the girls will rotate through which may include printing, accordion folds, a pamphlet, origami book, a scroll, decorating paper or a collaborative book, depending on the interests of the volunteers. Each rotation will last for about 30 minutes. The younger girls will have similar programming in a shorter time frame with possibly only four rotations. If you have a book arts technique or project that you’d like to see done with the Girl Scouts please make some suggestions.

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 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts has announced their 2016 summer workshop lineup. There are two book arts workshops of note:

  • 6/26 – 7/8: Artist’s Books: The Balancing Act of Concept and Form with Rebecca Goodale. The rich complexity of the artist’s book involves rhythm, pace, and form and is driven by a desire to express an idea and/or narrative over and across the pages. In this workshop participants will develop a vocabulary of book structures and then consider appropriate concepts to use with those forms.
  • 7/31 – 8/12: A Letterpress, an Artist’ Book, and some text walk into a bar… with Erin Sweeney. This intensive workshop will focus on the depth and breadth of the artists’ book. Participants will learn a variety of printmaking techniques using a Kelsey platen press and a Showcard proof press, experimenting with alternative materials, as well as type, to create imagery.

If you would like to receive a course catalog or be added to their Email list, please contact them at or (207) 348-2306. Haystack is in Deer Isle, ME.

*** On February 1 – 5, 2016, the North Bennet Street School is offering Introduction to Blind and Gold Tooling on Leather with Samuel Feinstein.

In this week-long intensive, students learn the fundamentals of blind tooling and gold tooling on leather, focusing on straight lines and using BS Glaire to affix the gold. Line-work is one of the most important, fundamental, and versatile decorative techniques used on tooled bindings, and it is used in both traditional and contemporary designs. Students also have time to explore the use of curved lines and small decorative tools within a limited scope. A final plaquette will be completed using the techniques covered.

This is an introduction for beginners as well as a step forward for those who would like to build on their existing knowledge. The goal of this workshop is to familiarize you with the processes involved and prepare you for further practice.

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

*** On Saturdays from January 16 – February 13, 2016, the North Bennet Street School is also offering Fundamentals of Bookbinding I with Amy Lapidow.

Students learn the foundations of bookbinding through hands-on experience and discussion. Learn structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, in addition to proper use of 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.

*** The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Case Binding: Flatback Journal with Joshua Crotty on February 20 & 21, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Learn the fundamentals of basic case binding, including signature construction, a common sewing structure, lining up, case making with cloth and decorative paper and casing in. Go home with a small journal and the skills to produce your own case-bound books using a basic set of tools.

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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