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

2019 June 5

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 12, 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: Mini Leather Journals with Elissa Campbell

Handmade books by Elissa CampbellStart your summer by adding a Keith Smith 3-signature binding to your collection!

In this hands-on presentation, Elissa Campbell will teach you Keith Smith’s Triple Parquet binding, using leather for the cover. This three signature binding creates a lovely decorative pattern on the spine. The book also has an integrated closure that coordinates with the sewing.

All materials will be provided, but please bring the following tools:

  • Bone folder
  • Awl
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Bookbinding or tapestry needle

Optional (for punching small holes in leather):

  • Japanese screw punch with a 1.5mm bit
  • Eyelet hole punch with a 1/16″ bit

May Meeting Reflections

Elizabeth BunsenMulti talented artist Elizabeth Bunsen blew us away at the May meeting, showing us hundreds (well maybe not 100, but 50 at least) of her assemblage books. In explaining her unique practice, Elizabeth gave us a sense of how experimentation and playfulness play a great part in the making and the outcome.

She shared information on her techniques for manipulating materials by dying, staining, and rusting, and generally thrilled us all with her presentation.

Thanks to all who attended, and a special thanks to Elizabeth!

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

B.A.G. News

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

BAG Exhibit 2019 - postcardThe Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s annual member show, Bound to Happen, opens this Friday, June 7th at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington, VT. The exhibit will be open from June 7 – 29.

Using the book as a format or as material, artists use the interaction of concept, structure, materials, and content to create a kind of happening or experience for the reader.

The exhibit, the first at the gallery since April 2012, includes a wide range of techniques and subject matter ranging from repurposed books turned into sculptural shapes to miniature woven paper structures.

The opening reception is on June 7th, during First Friday Art Walk, from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The gallery is located at 266 Pine Street and is open Thursday – Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The gallery has a Facebook event with more details, as well as an announcement on their website.

*** 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!

B.A.G. Member News

*** Nancy Stone‘s grandfather’s 1936 Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary is looking for a new home. She’s hoping that an altered book artist might like it. The dimensions are 11” h x 8.5” w with a 5” deep spine.

Nancy will bring the book to the next B.A.G. meeting for the first person who expresses interest. You can contact her at

Pop-up Books by Elissa Campbell*** Elissa Campbell is teaching The Moving Book – Pop-Up Basics at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT on June 15th.

If you want to add more magic to your cards and artist books, then give pop-ups a try! Also known as paper engineering, pop-ups use cuts and folds to create motion and energy in paper structures.

Through the creation of a series of pop-up cards, you’ll learn the basics of three-dimensional construction, including box supports, props, and straddles. You’ll then bind these cards into a book, which will become a handy reference for future work.

Register online or contact Studio Place Arts at (802) 479-7069.

Book Arts News

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.

*** 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 14 – 20 and Week 2 runs from July 21 – 27.

This year’s instructors include Radha Pandey, Stephanie Carpenter, and Nancy Callahan. Wells College is located in Aurora, NY.

Registration is open now. Please send any inquiries to

*** 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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