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

2016 May 4

Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 11, 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: Jacob’s Ladder Books with Ann Joppe-Mercure

Join us in May as we explore the enchanting structure of Jacob’s Ladder to make a very unique book.

Jacob's Ladder by Ann Joppe-Mercure

Under the expert guidance of Ann Joppe-Mercure, we will each will make a five-section Jacob’s Ladder book. Just like the old fashioned toy, the pages will flip back and forth, revealing different information in a mesmerizing fashion. Ann will provide the basic materials (mat board, ribbon, and paper squares).

Please bring the following tools and materials:

  • See-Thru ruler for measuring
  • Pencil
  • Glue (or double-sided tape) to adhere the mat board squares together
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife or scalpel
  • Cutting mat
  • Fun materials to design your pages

April Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingRemember when we made the origami cubes back in December as a contribution to a group project? The project’s originator and designer, Valerie Hird, presented a video of her finished project, The Genesis Tree, at our meeting in April, and talked about her idea behind the project and how it came to be. Really good stuff here, an example of how important collaboration can be in a world so broken up by false perceptions. Watch the video here, and be proud of our group’s contribution.

During the workshop time, we had a lot of different projects going on, giving way to lively discussion as well as focused work. Without a planned program, there was the opportunity to find out more about each other, and to get work done that may otherwise sit on the worktable at home until we ‘get to it’. It was hard to get everyone out of the room at the clearing out time.

Thanks to all who participated, and a special thanks to Valerie.

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

B.A.G. News

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo*** On May 28 & 29 (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 2016 Spring Event & Resource Guide. Please note that this is a really big file.

*** B.A.G.’s very own Ann Joppe-Mercure will be teaching The Art of the Book at Saint Michael’s College from July 5 – 15 (no class on 7/4).

Educators and students are invited to explore and create in this studio course addressing the art of the book. Participants will experiment with forms, structures, materials, and concepts as we investigate the limitless possibilities of the Book. By surveying the historical need to record and contain knowledge and by examining the work of contemporary book artist students will gain a foundation for their own creative expression of ideas and meaning. Students will make a working portfolio of paper treatments, book models and altered structures then create their own individual art books.

The class will be a working model of a 21st century collaborative community supporting the creative process through practice, constructive criticism, reflecting, and refining technique. The Common Core anchor standards of Craft and Structure and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas will be addressed.

No previous bookmaking or art experience required. Students who have previously taken GED 671 The Art of Bookmaking and/or GED 673 Science, Art and Bookmaking: Making Connections, are welcome in this class. A $50.00 materials fee is required and due at registration.

For more information, please visit St. Mike’s website.

Book Arts News

*** On Thursday, May 26th, Burlington City Arts is hosting a party in honor of those who participated in the The Genesis Tree project.

There will be a video tour of the tree and its assembly, as well as some of the outstanding examples of the origami cubes, boxes and birds. Parents, teachers and friends are welcome.

Genesis Tree party invitation

Please RSVP to Valerie Hird at if you plan to attend the event.

Vessel exhibition logo*** The Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection is hosting the Guild of Book Workers‘ juried traveling exhibition, Vessel, now through June 17, 2016.

The book as vessel inspires beautiful metaphor – a craft for traveling, a container, a holder, a receiver, a transporter. Across time and culture, the vessel is at the center of many ceremonies and rites of passage. Native American cultures regarded the vessel as a portal to a sacred realm. The book as craft is our vessel to sail the high seas, to hold our dearest memories, and to indicate the pulse of life. Guild of Book Workers members contributed works to interpret “vessel” as broadly or as narrowly as they wished.

The exhibition features approximately 50 works by GBW members. Selected works include fine and edition bindings, artist’s books, broadsides, and historical binding models.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit the GBW website.

*** On Thursday, May 12th at 5:30 p.m., the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection is presenting a lecture with Todd Pattison, Art, Craft and Conservation: De-mystifying A Book Conservator. Pattison is the Senior Book Conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center. A reception will follow the lecture.

Todd will discuss his work as a book conservator and how it relates to research and teaching in the field of bibliophily. He will also highlight his artistic contribution to the Vessel exhibition, as well as those of some of his peers, who are also professional book conservators around the country.

For more information, please visit the Cary Graphic Arts Collection’s website.

*** The Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA is hosting the exhibit Paper and Blade: Modern Paper Cutting, now through July 31, 2016. The exhibit celebrates the pioneering spirit of artists working in cut paper.

Exhibiting artists were selected for their passion for this humble material, their masterful techniques, and their innovative approaches to working in this media, and together they will present a collective vision of the future of paper craft. Participants includes Beatrice Coron, Maude White, Randal Thurston, Nikki McClure, Elizabeth Alexander, Bovey Lee, and Charles Clary.

For more information, please visit the Fuller Craft Museum’s website.

*** In collaboration with The Ticknor Society, The Movable Book Society is holding its biennial conference in Boston on September 15 – 17, 2016. The Movable Book Society was organized in 1993 to provide a forum for collectors, artists, curators, book sellers, book producers, and others to share enthusiasm and exchange information about pop-up and movable books.

This year’s speakers include Matthew Reinhart, Shawn Sheehy, Laura Davidson, and Emily Martin. The conference also features hands-on activities, presentations, a silent auction, and a book sale.

For more information, please download the conference program or contact The Movable Book Society at

Book Arts Classes

*** The Women’s Studio Workshop is offering The Medium as Message: An Adventure in Low Tech with Caroline Walp from July 11 – 15, 2016. The workshop will take place in Kingston, NY.

You will begin this workshop by learning letterpress basics, including setting type, mixing ink, and various ways of generating images by different means. You’ll also learn basic bookbinding techniques to make accordion or single signature artists’ books and/or zines.

In this immersive, multi-media class, students will learn the simplest and most direct ways of generating text and image as a multiples, using a table top letterpress, hand printing, lino cuts, hand stamping, rubber stamping, and other alternative printing processes. The emphasis will be on effectively transmitting your message into a publishable format.

For more information or to register, please visit the Women’s Studio Workshop website.

*** On June 25- 26, 2016, the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is excited to present Making Simple Finishing Tools with Jeffrey Altepeter.

For traditional design nothing really beats a collection of decorative finishing tools. But making your own tools can offer more immediate control in the design process, the ability to modify as you work, and the ability to do more unique work. Making tools is also gratifying and fun.

This workshop will offer an introduction to the materials, tools and techniques of making your own brass finishing tools for bookbinding. A combination of demonstration, discussion and hands-on practice will prepare students for continued experimentation and more advanced future projects.

The workshop will be held at Third Year Studio in Boston, MA. For more information or to register, please visit the GBW website.

*** Maine Media Workshops + College is offering Merging Content & Craft with Frank Hamrick on June 19 – 25. The college is located in Rockport, Maine.

The first part of this weeklong workshop will focus on learning four bookbinding methods: hardbound pamphlet, accordion, Japanese and Coptic. Each structure introduces various techniques materials, closure methods and sewing methods. In the second half of the workshop each student will take what they have learned to make a small artists’ book of content, be it image, text or some combination of the two.

You will work together one on one and in group critiques to edit, sequence and shape each person’s images and/or writing to create a book structure fitting for each body of work.

For more information or to register, please visit the Maine Media Workshops + College’s website.

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