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

2016 July 7

Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 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: Practical Calligraphy 101 with Penne Tompkins

Have you ever wanted to use handwriting in your books but felt like your writing needed more style, or needed to look neater? This month, B.A.G. member Penne Tompkins will help us meet this goal with a hands-on introduction to basic calligraphy, focusing on an alphabet style known as “foundational” or “bookhand”.

We will begin by reviewing a few basic principles and exploring a variety of tools, and then get writing. According to Penne, calligraphy is a skill best begun with some instruction, and then followed up with much practice!

Penne will supply will one broad edged marker and some graph paper for making practice sheets.

Please bring the following supplies, if you have them:

  • Straight edge ruler
  • Pencil or tool for drawing lines
  • Any calligraphy pens or markers you already have
  • A padded surface for writing on (makes it easier)

June Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingOur June meeting focused on Studio Support and Workshop Time. Attendees shared personal projects, and sought ideas, critiques, and accolades. There was a lot of awesomeness.

We also had a lot of discussion about upcoming events, and venues for future shows. Some of the venues up for consideration are Frog Hollow (Church Street), New City Galerie (Church Street), Burlington City Arts (Church Street), Emile A. Gruppe Gallery (Jericho), and Walkover Gallery (Bristol).

Thanks to all who attended, thanks for your participation and spirit, and thanks for making the studio time a success.

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

B.A.G. News

*** This summer, B.A.G. member Jill Abilock is teaching a series of bookbinding workshops at the Bixby Memorial Free Library in Vergennes, VT. All workshops run from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

You’ll learn how to make several book structures, each offering a variety of uses and exciting artistic possibilities. Each workshop focuses on a different technique and book structure. You can sign up for individual workshops or the whole series – all workshops cover basic skills.

Hardcover Coptic Books
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Coptic-stitch bindings have endured through the centuries because, in addition to their strength and beauty, they are flexible enough to lie flat when open. You will make a traditional Coptic bound book with covers made from heavy book board and decorative paper.

Case-Bound (Hardcover) Books – Part I
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Although historically not the first structure to be called a book, the sturdiness, durability and attractive appearance of hardcover books have made them both ubiquitous and highly prized. In the first session of this two-part workshop, you will learn the basics of case binding by making and attaching a hardcover case to a single-signature textblock to create a thin, elegant hardcover book.

Case-Bound (Hardcover) Books – Part II
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Prerequisite: Case-Bound (Hardcover) Books Part I
The second session of this two-part workshop will be held at Six Loons Studio in Shelburne, VT. You will begin by making traditional multi-signature textblocks that are sewn onto tapes. After discussing methods of end-sheet and case construction, you will create a case for your textblock and assemble it into a beautiful, handmade hardcover book.

For more information and a registration form, please email Jill Abilock at

*** B.A.G. member Elissa Campbell is teaching Join the Fold – Part 2 (origami books) at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT on July 20, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The first Join the Fold workshop is not a prerequisite for taking this one – everyone is welcome!

The simple fold has lots of potential – it doesn’t take much to transform a piece of paper into a book. We’ll be playing in the intersection between origami and bookmaking, creating folded books that require little or no adhesive. Among the structures you’ll learn are three invented by master book artist Hedi Kyle – the Fishbone Binding, the All-in-One Book, and the Pocket Folder Booklet.

Experience in origami is helpful, but not required.

To register, contact SPA via phone (802) 479-7069 or Email.

Book Arts News

*** The Walker Contemporary Gallery in Waitsfield, VT is currently showing Time Honored, an exhibit of stunning cut paper art by Maude White. The exhibit is open now through July 30, 2016.

White’s hand carved paper scenes honor the gravity and importance of marking time and bearing witness to a past world. The work embraces a secret and hushed worship of the seasons and seasonal change. One is invited to live wholly and gracefully in the present while glimpsing scenes and visions of the past. One can imagine that this past is with us now, comforting us with the continuity and solidity of time.

For more information or to view pieces in the exhibit, please visit the Walker Contemporary Gallery’s website.

*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers will be holding their second New England Chapter Mini-Conference in northern Maine from August 26-28, 2016. Spend a weekend with a community of local artists working in the field of bookbinding, book arts, paper making and calligraphy.

The event includes two 1-day workshops with Andrea Peterson and Velma Bolyard, evening lectures, a mix and mingle event and material swap. Registration is open to both members and non-members of the Guild of Book Workers and covers both workshops and all meals.

For more information or to register, please visit the GBW website. You can also feel free to contact Erin Fletcher at

Vessel exhibition logo

*** The North Bennet Street School is hosting the final stop of the Guild of Book Workers‘ juried traveling exhibition, Vessel, from July 15 – August 31, 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.

NBSS and the New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers will co-host the opening reception on July 21st at 6:00 p.m. Three local exhibitors, Erik Demaine, Graham Patten and Colin Urbina, will be present to speak about their work. Talks will take place around 7:00 p.m.

The North Bennet Street School is located in Boston, MA. For more information about the exhibit, please visit the GBW 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

*** From August 1-7, 2016, the Wishcamper Center at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME is hosting seven days of book arts workshops, including printmaking, paste paper, intaglio printing, coptic bookbinding, letterforms, and more.

During this program, each participant will have the opportunity to work with 8 different instructors in half-day and full-day workshops. Every participant will be exposed to a variety of approaches and opinions from a stimulating group of professional artists.

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

*** The Women’s Studio Workshop is offering Bookbinding: Case Binding with Rounded Spine with Abigail Bainbridge from July 25 – 29, 2016. The workshop will take place in Kingston, NY.

In this class you’ll learn how to make a traditional case binding from start to finish (although without cutting all the corners that modern machine binding does!). This is the style of your average hardcover book, with cloth covering and a rounded spine. You’ll learn the basics of paper selection, sewing, rounding & backing, edge trimming, and casing-in.

Those who are a little faster will have time to learn more advanced techniques – such as hand-sewing endbands – or start a second book and really consolidate their skills. Use your book for a sketchbook or journal or just to learn the process so you can go home and make them on your own. We’ll talk about ways to get around any lack of equipment.

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

*** The Women’s Studio Workshop is also offering The Missing Link: Papermaking in the Islamic World with Radha Pandey from July 18 – 22, 2016.

Students will learn about the history and technique of a papermaking style that has remained largely unchanged since the 8th century CE. Islamic World Papermaking is essentially the link between the Eastern and Western papermaking traditions. We will learn how traditional fibers – hemp and flax – were prepared for papermaking, and how equipment was made using readily available materials.

Students will focus on sheet formation using a variety of fibers. Finished papers will be sized and dyed using natural materials and then burnished by hand to a high shine. On the last day we will bind our papers into a sample book displaying this ancient technique’s wide range of possibilities. No prior papermaking experience is necessary.

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

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