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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” February 2018

2018 February 9

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 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: Mining for Gold – Exploring Tunnel Books

Tunnel book with a cute poodleTunnel books are a visually exciting way of presenting content in book form. Join us over the next few months as we dig deep into the treasure-filled world of tunnel books.

In February, we’ll explore and share ways of constructing tunnel books together. Do you have a favorite tunnel book structure? A particular way of incorporating content in your tunnel books? Come and share it with us! Bring the tunnel books you’ve made (photos are okay, too) and share what worked well or discuss some of the challenges.

In addition to sharing and learning from each other, Elissa Campbell will bring a resource list that includes cool books and websites with tutorials, and Ann Joppe-Mercure will bring a slide show with more exciting examples. Please feel free to come and discover new techniques and ideas for constructing tunnel books, even if you don’t have one to share.

In March, we will have a hands-on tunnel book construction extravaganza based on some of the methods shared in February to create tunnel book models you can adapt to your own designs.

Things to bring (optional):

  • Tunnel book(s) you’ve constructed (or photos)
  • Models of tunnel book structures you’ve learned
  • Paper and pen for taking notes on all the cool new methods you’ll discover!

January Meeting Reflections

Jar of Froebel starsIt was ‘hygge’ all around at the January meeting, featuring Annette Hansen and her Froebel star tutorial. Annette shared stories of her Danish childhood, where holidays centered around traditional paper crafts. The beautiful paper stars we made together gave everyone a sense of satisfaction, and of cozy togetherness. Thanks, Annette!

The holiday ornament exchange turned out to be great fun. After participants had a chance to appreciate their swapped ornament, the maker identified herself and shared the method and materials. Let’s do it again next year!

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

B.A.G. News

*** 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 (you can check them out here), 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 Guild of Vermont 2018 Show news!


Book Arts Guild of Vermont 2017 exhibitMembers and friends are invited to submit work for our show at Studio Place Arts in Barre from May 22 – June 30, where we will be exhibiting in the second floor gallery. Here is our show name and description, which leaves it wide open for interpretation:

Beyond Words: Artworks by the Book Arts Guild of Vermont

Books can take on a language of their own, as shown in the multimedia work of this group of artists that use shape, structure, and materials to get their message across.

Important dates:

  • Submissions: Work must be submitted by May 1, 2018. No work can be accepted after that date.
  • Opening: May 22, 2018
  • Closing: June 30, 2018
  • Artist’s talk: Date TBD

The second show will take place in June at Frog Hollow Craft Gallery on Church Street. This will be a great opportunity to get exposure for our group in the heart of Burlington.

The show will be called The Art of the Book, which leaves it wide open to interpretation.

Important dates:

  • Submissions: Work must be submitted by May 22, 2018. No work can be accepted after that date.
  • Opening: June 1, 2018
  • Closing: June 30, 2018
  • Artist’s talk: Date TBD

B.A.G. Member News

*** B.A.G. member Jane Ploughman is teaching two classes in March:

Handmade book

Collage and Simple Bookmaking
In this workshop, you will make 3 or more books using simple techniques. You will also have time to fill the pages of your books with words, images, color, and all manner of collage material provided!

This workshop is for ages 18+ and all materials will be provided. ​Jane will be co-teaching these workshops with Lily Hinrichsen.

The workshop is being taught twice, so you can attend either on March 23rd or March 24th. The workshops are being held at ARTSight in Bristol from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and cost $70.00 (or $60.00 if you’ve taken our workshops before).

For more information, contact Lily at

Handmade booksHandmade Books: Simply Sewn
Learn how to sew beautiful single and multiple-signature book bindings. Learn about some of the tools and techniques and how to make informed material choices. The workshop’s focus will be on form and structure. Students will leave with three different sewn softcover bindings. Some bookbinding experience is helpful but not necessary.

The workshop is taking place at the Middlebury Studio School on Saturday, March 31st from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.The cost is $55.00, which includes all materials and handouts.

For more information or to register, contact Barb Nelson at (802) 247-3702 or

Book press / cider press*** B.A.G. co-founder Nancy Stone is selling a book press that was formerly a cider press.

The frame is hardwood taking up a 20” x 20” floor space. It has a 33” height to the top of the metal turning/press mechanism.

As a cider press, it has a wooden cylinder to hold the apples but is missing the 2 wooden parts needed for pressing apples down and for the cider to run out. It’s likely that you could make these if you want it for cider.

Nancy loves the press, but is currently downsizing. She’s selling it for $50.00 and an even deliver it if you need that.

For more information or to buy the press (do it!), contact Nancy at (802) 879-0243 or

Book Arts News

*** The exhibit Illuminating Words: Artists’ Books at UVM is being held at the Francis Colburn Gallery in Williams Hall, UVM, now through February 15th. For over 50 years, the Department of Art and Art History and Special Collections have been making, collecting and sharing artists’ books. Drawing on the rich resources in Special Collections, Illuminating Words celebrates book arts at UVM.

In the 1970s, printmakers in the Art Department – faculty and students – were combining images and text to create books that found their way to the shelves in Special Collections. Over the years, Art faculty and Special Collections librarians have worked together to develop an outstanding artists’ book collection that is eclectic, broad, and deep.

Curated by librarian Prudence Doherty, this exhibition features works made by UVM students and faculty as well as impressive selections from the library’s collection.

A gallery tour will be held on Wednesday, February 14th at 12:00 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For information, please email or call (802) 656-2138.

*** Now through February 25th, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord will have her Spirit Books on display at the McCoy Gallery at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA.

In the words of the artist:

The Spirit Books connect my experience of the inherent spirituality and mystery of nature with the long-standing tradition of books as testaments of faith and belief.

The McCoy Gallery is located in the Rogers Art Center on Walsh Way. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..

*** From February 17 – July 8, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting the exhibition Keith Smith at Home. This is a rare opportunity to view the creative work of the well-known author of such a beloved series of bookbinding manuals.

Friendship, love, desire: Keith Smith’s life is an open book. For five decades, the Rochester-based artist has used surprising combinations of materials to chronicle his experiences. In this exhibition, explore an array of Smith’s mixed-media photographs and prints, and – his specialty – handmade artist’s books, most from his own collection.

In his work, Keith Smith irreverently disregards the supposed dividing lines between “fine art” (photography, etching, watercolor), “craft” (sewing, quilting, bookmaking), and “utilitarian technologies” (transparencies, photocopies). Although his subject matter is rooted in his personal life, he also grapples with universal themes such as self-representation, domesticity, and intimacy.

For more information, please visit the PMA’s website.

Book Arts Classes

*** The Eliot School is offering Altered Books with a Purpose with Wendy Wolfe Fine on four Wednesdays, March 7, 14, 21, & 28.

Turn an old or used book into a work of art with a purpose, using imagination and a variety of mixed media techniques. Take a thematic excursion, tell a tale or dramatize an issue through color and visual imagery, creative materials, and 3-D structures.

Use your book’s existing contents if you like, add new materials or use your book to display a collection of valued objects, images or photographs. Learn to assess the condition of the various components of an old book, decide which parts to keep and which to remove and create layouts that communicate your message or story.

For more information about the class, please visit the Eliot School’s website or click here to download the complete catalog.

*** On Saturday, April 28th, the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts is hosting a workshop with Erin Fletcher of Herringbone Bindery, Secret Belgian Binding – Two Ways. The workshop will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room in the Wishcamper Center at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

This workshop will explore the Secret Belgian binding (also known as Criss Cross binding) and ways to modify it. The binding is simple and easy to construct; it opens flat and is perfect for smaller text blocks. Students will complete two versions of the structure; one bound in the traditional sense and the second will offer a bit more secrecy and refinement to the structure.

Registration is available online or alternatively, you can call (207) 780-5900.

Wells College Book Arts logo*** Registration for Wells College Book Arts Center‘s Book Arts Summer Institute is now open. The week-long intensive courses include letterpress printing, bookbinding, calligraphy, typecasting, and font design. Week 1 runs from July 15 – 21 and Week 2 runs from July 22 – 28.

This year’s instructors include Jenna Rodriguez, Aimee Lee, and Scott McCarney. Wells College is located in Aurora, NY.

For more information, please visit the Wells College website. Ann will also have postcards from the Summer Institute available at the February meeting.

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