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

2017 May 4

Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 10, 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.

Program: Studio Support and Workshop Time

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingStudio Support and Workshop Time is two hours that you give yourself, in the company of fellow book- and paper-arts lovers, to learn, share and create in a supportive and encouraging environment.

The May meeting will begin an exciting Show and Tell of the wonderful books created for the two-part Printmaking /Bookmaking Challenge.

For the Printmaking Challenge, participants made an edition of 12-16, 6″ x 6″ prints inspired by the surface design theme of the January and February meetings, and then exchanged their artwork at the March meeting. The Bookmaking Challenge called upon participants to bind the wonderful artwork they received into a book to be shared in May. In addition to seeing all the wonderful books that were created, we will also discuss various methods for binding prints and other artwork.

The remainder of the time will be devoted to creative work. In April, Meta Strick fired up our imaginations by encouraging us to make anything-goes, mixed-media “junk-box books.” Although Meta can’t make it this month, she left us her giant box of cool, unexpected stuff, and has invited us to use it to continue exploring, playing, and creating one-of-a-kind “out-of-the-box” books!

Of course, you are always welcome to bring along a project or model from a previous meeting that you’d like to continue working on or develop further, or bring a piece of your own to simply continue working on in the company of others.

Suggested tools and supplies include:

  • 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
  • Wire cutters and other tools that you think might be useful

April Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingThe program for the meeting, Junk Box Books with Meta Strick, was hilarious and inspiring. Meta shared many beautiful books she has made from materials at hand, and gave us a new perspective on seeing the bookish potential of anything, including a potato masher.

From there, participants swarmed the pile of junk as if it were the first day of a rummage sale, and then manipulated their finds into some kind of book object.

Success was in the eyes of the beholder for this challenge. Thanks to Meta for leading us into the unknown, and thanks to everyone who followed.

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

B.A.G. News

Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit*** Show your work at the Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s Annual Exhibit!

Correspondence: Book Works, our show for this year, will be held 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. We encourage all members and friends to participate in this show, and to respond to the theme in any way. Work can include new or time honored techniques, book-related pieces and sculpture, and generally any work that can be ‘read’.

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline: June 14, 2017. Please bring your work along with the entry form to the June meeting. Work can also be mailed to Marcia. For special arrangements, please contact Marcia. Address and contact info are on the entry form.
  • Opening Reception: First Friday, July 7, 2017
  • Artists’ Talk: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 (in place of the July meeting)

Submissions are limited to 3 pieces per artist. The exhibit entry form and additional information can be downloaded as a pdf or a fillable Word document.

26 Reasons: why my garden will not be featured in Martha Stewart Living - artist's book by Jane Ploughman*** Jane Ploughman and her husband John Vincent are the featured artists in Art on Main‘s The Art of the Word. The exhibit is open now through May 7th.

Under the name Ploughgirl Press, Jane creates beautiful artist books and handmade journals using unique papers and structures that incorporate decorative elements and a wide range of bookbinding techniques.

Her artist books include a range of printmaking techniques including mono prints, letterpress, and linoleum cuts. The exhibit will include a portion of her 365 “make a book a day for a year” project that she completed in 2012.

Letterpress broadsides by John VincentJohn designs and creates visually engaging posters, broadsides and cards, using antique, foot and hand powered printing presses under the imprint of A Revolutionary Press.

He handsets wood or metal type with images he carves from linoleum, wood and other materials. Vincent’s work often features quotes from other writers that he hopes will raise questions in the viewers’ mind and encourage them to think critically rather than simply being “for or against.”

For more information, please contact the gallery at Art on Main is located in Bristol, VT.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo*** On May 27 & 28 (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:

Copies of the the 2017 Spring Event & Resource Guide will be available at the May B.A.G. meeting. You can also download a pdf of the guide from the VT Crafts Council website. Please note that this is a really big file.

Elissa created a Google Map with all of the locations to help you with your tour. You can also find maps and directions to studios on the VT Crafts Council website.

Book Arts News

UNBOUND 7 logo*** ArtisTree Gallery is looking for submissions for their 7th annual juried exhibit, UNBOUND: VOL VII. The theme of the show is simple – an exploration of what a book can be…art using books as a material or a format.

Bill Hanscom is this year’s juror. The exhibit will be presented in conjunction with the Bookstock Literary Festival in Woodstock, VT.

This call for submissions is open to all New England and New York residents of the U.S. who are 18 years of age or older. All artwork must be original in concept, design and execution. Note: Reproductions, if used as mixed media, will be considered.

The deadline for submission is June 29, 2017. For more information, please visit the ArtisTree Gallery’s website. or contact Adrian Tans at

Handmade Paper with US Currency*** Calling all papermakers! Harley Smart, a book publisher in Montreal is looking for a partner in Vermont to manufacture recycled cotton rag paper incorporating U.S. currency. Because it includes shredded U.S. currency, the Bureau of Engraving requires that the paper be manufactured in the United States.

For more information, please contact Harley at 514-884-5765 or

*** 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

*** Maine Media Workshops + College is offering Book Arts Basics Part I: Letterpress Printing and the Pamphlet with Richard Reitz Smith from June 18 – 24, 2017.

This course will cover everything you need to know to start hand-setting type and use the printing press on your own. This class begins by providing a strong conceptual foundation to your practice by covering history, terms, tools, type, and material. Then, through demonstrations and hands-on practice, students will learn the correct procedures for setting type by hand and for printing on a Vandercook proof press.

Each student will have the opportunity to print a two-color broadside as well as various, smaller, one-color pieces. Students will also be exposed to the pamphlet stitch, learning how to combine a few printed sheets into a small booklet.

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

Wells College Book Arts 2017 logo*** In July, the Wells College Book Arts Center is offering its Summer Institute, two week-long intensive courses in letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, artist’s books, lettering arts and font design. Week 1 runs from July 9 – 15 and Week 2 runs from July 16 – 22.

This year’s instructors include Samuel Feinstein, Barb Tetenbaum, and April Sheridan. Wells College is located in Aurora, NY.

Please send inquiries to You can also download the course catalog (pdf) from the Wells College website.

*** 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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