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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” February 2017

February 3, 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 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.


Carving rubber stampsProgram: Adventures in Surface Design Part II – Hands-On Printing Extravaganza!

In January, about 20 members gathered to share, show, and tell their favorite methods for printing designs or images on paper. This month, we invite you to once again bring your favorite printmaking tools or methods, this time with enough inks, paints and other materials to demonstrate your method to the group, and to enable at least six members to try it out.

The format of the meeting will be similar to the November Card Tricks and Book Blitz meeting: first everyone will do a quick demo of their method, and then members can move around freely, trying out the different methods. There will be 8.5″ x 11″ copy paper available for trying out different methods (and taking notes on what you did); you are also welcome to bring your own paper.

After the meeting, the Guild will hold a two-part printmaking/bookmaking challenge to encourage you to use some of the new techniques you’ve learned. Here’s how it will work:

  1. Create an edition of sixteen 6″ x 6″ prints at home.
  2. Bring those prints to the March meeting to exchange with other members.
  3. Everyone participating will give away 15 prints (you keep one for yourself) and receive 15 new prints in return.
  4. Make a book incorporating the sixteen 6″ x 6″ prints.
  5. Completed books will be shared at the May B.A.G. meeting.

Even if you don’t have a technique to share, please feel free to come and try out new techniques and ideas, and participate in the subsequent printmaking challenge!

Things to bring (optional):

  • Your favorite tool and/or techniques for printing designs or images on paper
  • A sample image or design made with the tools or techniques
  • Enough ink, paint or other material to demonstrate your method and enable at least 6 members to try it out
  • An apron (or clothing you don’t mind possibly getting paint or ink on)

January Meeting Reflections

Linoleum carving tools and materialsWhat I love about the Book Arts Guild meetings is the surprising variety of people, skill sets, knowledge, and well, just about everything. The January meeting gave members and friends an opportunity to share tools and methods for surface design, printing, and stamping.

No surprise that we all learned a lot about those things and each other. While we didn’t have time to practice any methods during the meeting, I’m sure everyone took home inspiration to start working on a new project.

Thanks to Ann Joppe Mercure for facilitating!

And thanks to Jill Abilock for lugging the entire contents of our lending library to the meeting, so everyone could peruse the collection and make some choices. Not exactly like Special Collections, but almost as fun.

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


B.A.G. News

Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit*** Announcing the Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s Annual Book Arts Show!

Our show for this year will be at SEABA on Pine Street in Burlington, during the months of July and August. This venue gives us a great exhibit space and a lot of exposure to the community.

If you need some inspiration, you may use a loosely defined theme of Correspondence as a stepping off place. All work is welcome, though, so no need to fret about the ‘theme’. Further details about the timing and submissions will be coming soon!

B.A.G. book swap logo*** Based on the success of our first book swap, we’re going forward with another challenge.

For those of you who missed it the first time around, here’s the scoop – participants are randomly assigned a person for whom they anonymously create a book – it’s a bit like Secret Santa, but more like Confidential Codex.

We want to encourage our members to step outside their comfort zones, have fun, and experiment with new materials, structures, etc. For this swap, you’ll have to create a book that primarily uses one color – you can interpret this as broadly as you like.

Here are the details:

  • Sign up deadline: 2/17/17
  • Assignment of names: 2/20/17
  • Book swap (and deadline for book completion): 4/12/17 (April B.A.G. meeting)

If you’d like to participate or have questions, please contact Elissa by February 17th. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the April meeting – you can always mail your book.

We can’t wait to see the final books!

*** It’s time to renew your annual membership!

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. A special membership benefit this year is that 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.


Book Arts News

books on bookshelves*** The University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting a symposium on March 4th – Canons & Contingence: Art Histories of the Book in England & America. You can view the symposium schedule on the event website.

Recent scholarship in bibliography and the history of the book has attended to the ways in which bibliographic media resist, defy, and elude uniformity, even under the greatest technological pressures to conform. Whether through variables in the production process or through the vagaries of transmission and consumption, each manuscript or printed book carries with it the traces of a unique history. Yet bibliographers and historians of the book have long neglected the role of the visual in these histories, perceiving the pictorial as supplemental to the book, an import from some other medium.

At the same time, the book itself has never featured in art history’s triumvirate of media: painting, sculpture, and architecture. In the belief that the book itself is an important medium in the history of art, this symposium brings together scholars who explore how the visual and pictorial features of bibliographic media behave (and can be made to behave) in defiant ways.

The event will take place in the Integrative Learning Center, room S240. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested.

*** On Thursday, March 9th, the North Bennet Street School is presenting a free lecture with Radha PandeyIslamic World Papermaking.

The talk explores traditional Islamic-world papermaking history and technique, with a focus on contemporary practices in India. The Kagzi family is used as a case study to illuminate the introduction of papermaking in India and how it changed under British rule. The talk will also briefly cover how papermaking affected printing, publishing and literacy, and why it is relevant today.

Please register in advance as space is limited.

*** Now through April 30, 2017, the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts is hosting the exhibit Bookbinding and the Pursuit of the Human Touch: The Work of Gray Parrot, curated by Britta Konau.

Gray Parrot began learning the ancient craft of bookbinding in 1971, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, under Master Bookbinder Arno Werner, who trained several generations of U.S. binders. While there, Mr. Parrot absorbed Mr. Werner’s work ethic and his appreciation and knowledge of time-honored materials and techniques, which to this day have directed the course of his career. After studying fine finishing techniques at the Legatoria Artistica in Ascona, Switzerland, he opened his own bindery in 1973. Except for an 8-year interlude in Massachusetts, Mr. Parrot has worked from his home in Hancock, Maine.

During the past 43 years, Mr. Parrot has been commissioned to create edition bindings for numerous private presses, including Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press, Dard Hunter’s Mountain House Press, Henry Morris’ Bird & Bull press, and the Khelcom/New York press of Peter Bogardus. In addition, he has produced many fine bindings and housings for rare books, as well as modern rebindings. His work may be found worldwide in major libraries and museums, as well as in many private collections.

The Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts is located in Portland, Maine. The exhibit is in the UNUM Great Reading Room on the 7th floor of the Albert Brenner Glickman Library.


Book Arts Classes

Dos-à-dos binding by Elissa Campbell*** B.A.G. member Elissa Campbell is teaching Do the Dos-à-dos at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT on March 16 & 23 from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The dos-à-dos (translated from the French, “back-to-back”), is a book structure in which two separate texts are bound together so that they share a central back cover. The two books open in opposite directions. This binding offers many creative possibilities in that it can be used to physically represent the relationship between two books.

In this workshop, participants will create a 2-sided journal with a double-needle coptic binding, an intricate stitch that will be visible on each of the book spines. Not only is the coptic binding beautiful, but it also allows books to remain flat when opened.

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

Handmade book by Jacqueline Sullivan*** Masscribes is hosting a workshop with Jacqueline Sullivan, the Sumptuous Surface Collage Book on April 8 and 9, 2017. The workshop will take place at the Sportsman’s Club in Norwood, MA.

This class will be an unhurried exploration of how to develop a rich surface as pages for your books. Through a series of exercises, you’ll use simple materials – mainly paint and gesso. You’ll build layers, starting with mark making and Asemic writing. You’ll add gesso and color then cover and uncover portions of those layers. As you practice simplifying, omitting and adding text as we go, balancing visual activity and quiet, you will discover from within what leads to the best integration of our ideas and feelings. Covering, uncovering, discovering!

Your final project will be a sewn book made from one sheet of watercolor paper. The flaps and folds of this artist book make way for many creative opportunities for cut outs and collage. As you assemble your pages, you will talk about and use the elements of good design as they apply to your books.

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

*** On March 4 & 5, the North Bennet Street School is offering Limp Vellum Binding with Erin Fletcher.

This simple yet elegant binding arose in the 15th century in response to the advent of the printed book. This structure allowed the binder to quickly construct a solid and durable binding. Each student constructs their own binding learning how to sew over alum-tawed thongs on a sewing frame, create traditional hand-sewn endbands and work with vellum and leather. If a student has a sensitivity to using animal products, they may use handmade paper for the cover.

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

*** The North Bennet Street School is also hosting a workshop with Radha Pandey on March 11 & 12 – Islamic World Papermaking.

In this class, students learn about Islamic-world papermaking and its role in the broader history of papermaking. On the first day, students are introduced to the papermaking technique used throughout the class. On the second day, surface finishing techniques such as brush dyeing, mordanting, sizing and burnishing are demonstrated and are applied to the finished sheets. Everyone creates a sampling of the various techniques on their own Islamic-world papers.

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

*** Snow Farm in Williamsburg, MA is offering two book/paper arts workshops this summer:

  • June 9 – 11: A Cut Above: An Exploration in Papercutting with Béatrice Coron
    ​Both beginners and advanced students alike will delight in learning about the long multi-cultural history of papercutting as well as the world of paper-cutters today. Explore the unique possibilities of papercutting techniques while making black and white, and color artwork. Demonstrations will include stenciling and working in 3D. Tips, tricks, and resources will be provided.
  • June 11 – 17: Variations on the Accordion with Melanie Mowinski
    There are so many ways to fold paper, Tyvek, and other materials into an accordion book! In this workshop, make models of star, storage, flag, pocket, circle, pivoting panel and other accordion structures. Paint papers to prep, create cover boards, fold papers, all with attention to structure, form, and ways of bringing accordions into your everyday life from journaling to travelogues and special artist books.

For more information or to register, please visit Snow Farm’s website.


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