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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” May 2019

2019 May 2

Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 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: Artist Talk with Elizabeth Bunsen

Handmade Journals by Elizabeth BunsenPlease join us for the opportunity to meet celebrated artist Elizabeth Bunsen, winner of the 2018 Barbara Smail Award. Elizabeth will share notes on her artistic practice and life, and show us examples of her work in book form.

Elizabeth begins each morning with a creative practice, somewhat like journaling, but more like ‘messing around’ with whatever elements catch her eye. She says “Morning practice is optimally a daily practice (like yoga) of creating a meditative environment – an oasis of peace, clarity and intention…sinking (relaxing) into the sensual moment and the timelessness of play resulting in a mandala-like assemblage that can be documented…”

She works with found materials, natural dyes, stitching, and any number of techniques to create unique assemblages and books. Her training as a painter shows in her use and combination of color, and her interest in manipulating materials through dying, staining, and rusting results in magic.

Come share some magic. In the meantime, visit her website and Instagram posts, and her show, Pivonkarose, at Burlington City Arts on Church Street until May 4th.

April Meeting Reflections

Sally Blanchard-O'BrienAt our April meeting, Sally Blanchard-O’Brien introduced us to many techniques for including stitchery in our work. Some of the explorations she showed us included stitchery as an addition to an image, or to create the image itself, as well as to finish the edges of the book in a new way.

She also touched on stitching as not only a structural element in book making, but as a way to enhance the design of the book itself. Whether you are new to hand stitching or an accomplished seamstress, we all benefited from Sally’s lively presentation.

Thanks to everyone who attended (many new faces!), and thanks to Sally for providing us with new ideas, and for sharing her book making story.

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

B.A.G. News

Jill Abilock*** The board of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont sadly bids a fond farewell to one of our fearless leaders, Jill Abilock, who has been acting as co-chair for the past six years. She also worked tirelessly planning programs for our monthly meetings.

Jill will continue attending meetings as a member, so we’ll still get to see her smiling face. If you haven’t yet had the chance to thank her for her hard work, please pat her on the back at the next meeting you attend.

Thanks for everything Jill!

*** Bound to Happen – B.A.G.’s annual exhibition

Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit at SPACE Gallery

Our annual book arts show will be hosted by the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington, VT. We are excited to be in a wonderful space in Burlington from June 7 – 29! The title for the show is Bound to Happen, and it’s open to any interpretation from the artists.

Here are some important dates:

  • Entry due date: May 31, 2019. No Entries will be accepted after this date. Artists are encouraged to bring work and appropriate paperwork to the May 8th BAG meeting. If you can’t attend, or if you’re not quite ready, please email Marcia
  • Exhibit dates: June 7 – 29, 2019
  • Opening reception: June 7, 2019, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The reception coincides with First Friday, a popular event in the South End.
  • Artist’s Talk: Work will be returned to the artist at the July 10th B.A.G. meeting, at which time we will share our work.

Information for entry:

  • Entry paperwork can be downloaded here.
  • Entry fee will be $10.00 for up to 3 pieces.
  • Work must be ready to hang or display. If you have display instructions, please include them with your entry.
  • Work must have identification somewhere on the piece.
  • The gallery commission is 40%, so please price accordingly.
  • Also, if you have photographs of your work, please email them to Marcia if you want them to possibly be included in marketing materials.

Have questions? Please ask Marcia.

*** Post-Meeting Postcard Exchange: Use What We’ve Learned

Collaged postcard by Marcia Vogler

With the end of our multi-month presentations about imagery, let’s close with a collaborative project to celebrate. We invite you to create 6 postcards to swap, and 1 to keep for yourself. They can all be the same or all different, as long as they are 4″ x 6″. Some ideas might be to pick a theme like shoes, birds, or a quote, and play around with ways of adding the imagery. Any medium can be used – take inspiration from the huge amount of techniques we have learned!

At the July meeting, we will exchange postcards with 6 others. With these original artworks, participants will create a book structure to hold the cards, and share their creation at the September meeting. Plenty of time to complete the challenge!

Here’s a recap:

  • July meeting: Participants bring 6 original postcards, 4″x6″, in any medium to swap. Participants leave with 6 different postcards to collect in a book structure.
  • September meeting: Participants present their book structures, and we are amazed.

Let’s start making!

*** Show us what you’re working on!

B.A.G. member workAs we continue with meetings that teach us more about image making the idea of sharing what we’ve learned has emerged. At each meeting we learn some skill and then go away and often explore that skill on our own. No one gets to see this private work.

Now we would like to invite participants to share their explorations into collage and mark making and stitching and whatever else strikes your fancy. We encourage everyone to bring in something you’ve been working on/experimenting with to share with others.

This is to be a very informal activity and outside the agenda of the meeting since it is so hard to accomplish everything in the two hours as it is. Works can just be put out in a designated place to provide an opportunity for informal conversation. The room is available to us beginning at 6:00 p.m. so between 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., we can use the space for free time or for sharing.

B.A.G. Member News

Penne Tompkins calligraphy*** Penne Tompkins has work featured in The Art of Calligraphy, exhibit open through May 29th at the Gallery at the VAULT in Springfield, VT.

The exhibit includes an amazing display of artwork created by five of Vermont’s finest calligraphers. This is an opportunity to be inspired by their wonderfully diverse styles, each reflecting the artist’s love of words enhanced by their own unique art forms.

The gallery is open on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information please email or call (802) 885-7111.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo*** On May 25 & 26 (Memorial Day Weekend), the statewide Open Studio Weekend is offering a wonderful selection of book and paper arts studios for you to visit.

If you’re up for a tour, you can find members of your tribe in the following locations:

Elissa created a Google Map with all of the locations to help you with your tour.

Copies of the the 2019 Spring Event & Resource Guide will be available at the May B.A.G. meeting. Maps and directions to studios are also available on the VT Crafts Council website.

Book Arts News

Girl Scout Cadette badge*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is looking for volunteers to teach simple bookbinding techniques and creative content at an upcoming Girl Scout event. Through this event, NEGBW volunteers will be helping Cadettes earn their Book Artist badge and potentially inspire future bookbinders.

The event will be held on Sunday May 19, 2019 at Camp Cedar Hill in Waltham, MA. There will be two sessions – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

You do not need to be a member of the NEGBW to volunteer. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Todd Pattison at

UNBOUND logo*** ArtisTree Gallery is accepting submissions for their 9th annual juried exhibit, UNBOUND: VOL IX. The theme of the show is simple – art using books as a material or a format. Visitors will have an opportunity to examine curious folios, recent grimoires, tomes turned to sculpture and some works having a relation to “books” in concept only.

This call for submissions is open to all 2D, 3D, installation, assemblage, film and video artists who are working in New England or New York 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 28, 2019. All submissions must be made through their online entry form.

For more information, please read the online exhibit prospectus. You can also contact Gallery Director Adrian Tans at

Book Arts Classes

*** Maine Media Workshops + College is offering Single Signature Variations with Erin Fletcher from June 23 – 29, 2019.

Books come in all shapes and sizes. Some may span only a single signature, while others become a thick tome. In this workshop, you’ll explore the former as you create a multitude of models with both soft and hardcovers.

Students will begin this workshop by making a series of simple softcover pamphlets using a variety of sewing patterns before moving on to hardcover structures. Finally, you will create a modified version of the Bradel binding using a stub at the spine. This will give your books an elegant rounded spine, which will be covered in leather and sided up with decorative paper. All of these structures allow the book to lay flat and are perfect for chapbooks, presentation pamphlets or short stories.

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

*** The third annual Artist Book Intensive will be held at 26 Split Rock Cove in South Thomaston, ME from August 2 – 4, 2019. The event is sponsored by Midcoast Book Arts and will offer five workshops.

As book artists, we work with structure and content, as well as choice of materials. In the 2019 Artist Book Intensive we will focus on three structures that can yield sculptural possibilities that influence both materials and content. We are excited about introducing some new ideas and techniques to all of you. All skill levels welcome!

For more information, please visit the Artist Book Intensive website.

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