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

2017 April 6

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 12, 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.

Junk Box Books by Meta StrickProgram: Adventures in Mixed Media: Junk Box Books with Meta Strick​

Anything can become a book! At the April meeting, Meta Strick will bring a juicy “junk box” filled with unexpected goodies, and we will all get to fish around for potential pages or covers or parts. Odd, silly, peculiar, unexpected…anything goes!

So dig through your junk drawer, your basement, your garage or your attic and bring some junk to contribute to the collection. You never know what will spark the creative imagination of someone else, so bring broken toys, kitchen gadgets, jar lids, candy wrappers, playing cards and ticket stubs, tiny tins, interesting boxes, nails, screws, washers, leftover parts from forgotten projects or games, sticks, stones, bones, and anything else that needs a new life.

Ideally the pieces should be no larger than about the size of your hand. Meta will bring cool junk (of course!) too, and some tools and materials.

If possible, please bring:

  • Glues (PVA or fast-tack white glue, super glue, E6000, etc.)
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Bone folder
  • Needles and linen, hemp or cotton thread
  • X-Acto knife or scalpel
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Pencil and eraser


  • Interesting fasteners
  • Other tools that you think might be useful
  • Most importantly, your sense of humor!

March Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingI feel a renewed energy in the Guild and its meetings these past few months, and this meeting confirmed that. Many new faces as well as familiar ones showed up to make a sweet leather binding, courtesy of the multi talented and entertaining teacher, Elissa Campbell.

It was glorious fun, and the soft pink leather cover magically turned into a beautiful little book over the course of the evening.

Thanks, Elissa! And thanks to all those who participated.

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

B.A.G. News

*** Both the Sherman Art Library and the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH have unique collections of handmade artists’ books.

Please join us on Saturday, April 8th when Morgan Swan, Special Collections Education and Outreach Librarian and Jay Satterfield, Head of Special Collections who is the chief selector of artists’ books, for a look at some of the many unique book structures, letterpress editions and sculptural gems their collection has to offer.

We will begin the morning with a tour of the letterpress studio with Sarah Smith, Book Arts Workshop Program Manager during the students Open Studio hours.

If you’re interested in attending the event, please email Marcia to let her know. Carpooling is available and encouraged, so please add a message if you want to carpool and she’ll will try to arrange groups.

Click here to download directions to Dartmouth and information about parking.

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.

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline: June 14, 2017
  • Reception: First Friday, July 7, 2017

Members and friends are invited to submit up to 3 pieces.

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’.

Altered book*** Axel’s Frame Shop and Gallery in Waterbury is hosting an exhibit, The Book as Art, co-curated by B.A.G. member Marilyn Gillis. Artists included in the exhibit are B.A.G. members Elissa Campbell, Marilyn Gillis, Penne Tompkins, Ann Joppe-Mercure, Rebecca Boardman, Vera Ryersbach, Judy Sgantas, and Marcia Vogler.

An artist reception will take place on March 10th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Axel’s is located at 5 Stowe Street.

*** For those of you participating in the Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s printmaking / bookmaking challenge, here’s your one month reminder!

Now that you’ve got your exchanged prints, it’s time for you to create a book incorporating them. Completed books will be shared at the May B.A.G. meeting.

Book Arts News

Book Arts Bazaar 2017 poster*** The University of Southern Maine‘s annual Book Arts Bazaar will be held on Sunday, April 10th from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Wishcamper Center on the school’s Portland campus.

This festival with book artists, papermakers, bookbinders, printmakers, educators, and writers is dedicated to all things related to the book. The free event is sponsored by USM’s Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Goodale.

*** 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.

*** The Currier Museum of Art is currently hosting the exhibit Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting. The exhibit, open through May 21st, showcases work by contemporary artists who reconsider, redefine and even subvert the centuries-old practice of paper cutting.

In the tradition of the craft, the art featured in the exhibition is impressive and intricate, but its subject matter is updated for the 21st century. Addressing deeper personal or social themes, the work touches upon complex reference points including the various cultural, economic and environmental associations imbued in the humble medium of paper.

The Currier Museum of Art is located at 150 Ash Street in Manchester, NH. For more information, please call (603) 669-6144.

Book Arts Classes

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 Saturday, April 8th, the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts is hosting a workshop with Todd Pattison, The Case for Leather: A “Fairly” Simple Leather-Spine Binding.

Leather can seem a bit intimidating to work with, but in this one-day workshop a simple method will be taught for using leather as a spine covering. Incorporating a technique learned by the instructor in Switzerland in the 1980’s, a variation of a case structure will be made that allows for binding with a leather spine with a minimal amount of paring or shaping.

Covering and decoration of the boards with leather will also be demonstrated. Using the technique with cloth, paper and other materials will also be discussed and demonstrated as time allows.

For more information or to register, please visit USM’s website. If you have any questions please contact Todd Pattison.

*** On June 10 & 11, the North Bennet Street School is offering Medieval Long and Link Stitch Bindings with Bill Hanscom.

Long-and link-stitches connect the text block directly to the limp parchment cover and can be used individually or in combination to create striking exposed-sewing patterns on the spine. After examining models and images of historical bindings, participants choose from a number of templates and create two structures using traditional techniques and features such as fore-edge flaps and string-and-button closures.

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

*** Also at the North Bennet Street School is Miniature Bookbinding with James Reid-Cunningham. The class will take place from June 16 – 18.

Miniature books present difficult design and structural challenges to the bookbinder. During this course, students construct three miniature books of diminishing size, all less than three inches tall: a long stitch binding with decorated boards, a quarter leather binding, and an accordion in a wrapper with a tongue and slot enclosure. The course contrasts the utility of case binding, accordion, and non-adhesive structures for miniature books, with a concentration on flexibility and book action. We analyze materials and techniques suitable for small format books. The limitations inherent in small-scale books challenges students to do precisely executed and finely detailed work.

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

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