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

2019 October 2

Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The October meeting will be held at UVM’s Silver Special Collections in Billings Library at 48 University Place. Click here for directions.

Please note that in October we will not be meeting as usual at the Unitarian Church in Burlington.

Program: Field Trip to UVM’s Silver Special Collections

Prudence DohertyThe October meeting will be our annual visit to UVM’s Silver Special Collections hosted by our own Prudence Doherty. This year we will highlight the work of Ellen Dorn Levitt; artist, printmaker and extraordinary teacher.

The collection of her work was gifted to UVM by her husband and curated by Linda Lembke. This is not to be missed as it is a wonderful opportunity to admire and learn from the best.

Prudence will also share books with collage and sewing to reflect our postcard focus.

* Please bring a pencil, not a pen, if you plan to take notes.

Directions: UVM Special Collections is in the Billings Center. The Special Collections Library is on the second floor but we will meet in the conference room on the first floor just as you enter the front main doors. Parking available at the top of College Street across from Waterman.

September Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingOur September meeting was full to the brim. We first shared our postcard challenge books as each book artist explained their inspiration and techniques. The time we set aside to examine the books was rich with conversation and admiration. Well done B.A.G. members!

You can view images of the challenge books on the B.A.G. blog.

Decorated capital letterThe second part of our meeting was the tag team of Meta Strick and Penne Tompkins sharing how to design creative uppercase letters. The challenge and fun began as we all took off designing our own letters with coaching and support from Meta and Penne.

Their two part workshops with lettering have made us all more aware or our style and consistency. Perfect for book artists.

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

B.A.G. News

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo*** Looking for something to do this weekend? The statewide Fall Open Studio Weekend is taking place on October 5 – 6, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The event is a great way to combine fall foliage viewing and harvest activities with visits to artists across Vermont.

You can download a pdf of the complete Fall Event & Resource Guide from the VT Crafts Council website (this is a really big file). If you’re looking for something closer to you, county-specific maps and directions to studios are also available online.

Book artists Kelly McMahon (#74) and Elissa Campbell (#75) are both participating this time around and are conveniently located within a 5-minute drive of each other. Be sure to stop by!

Book Arts News

*** The current exhibit at UVM’s Silver Special Collections features a selection of miniature books from their Rare Book collection. Librarians and collectors often define miniatures as books that measure 4 inches or less in either direction, although the miniatures on their shelves can measure up to 5.5 inches.

Like their collection, which has grown organically rather than intentionally, books in the exhibit are diverse, ranging from a 16th-century Bible to 21st-century artists’ books. Many of the selections reflect the demand for portable and affordable reading material. The exhibit also includes miniature artists’ books that display creative and innovative ways to work within small dimensions.

Visit Special Collections on the second level of Billings Library to see the exhibit.

*** On Tuesday November 5th at 7:00 p.m., the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts will host Touching, Seeing, Knowing: Movable Books in Nineteenth-Century America, a free lecture presented by Juliet Sperling.

Juliet Sperling researches and writes about American art and visual culture from the 18th to the 20th century, with particular emphasis on the history of moving images. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, and is a Faculty Fellow in American Art at Colby College.

Her current book project explores how engineered paper – books and prints with kinetic features including layered anatomical illustrations, mechanical political ephemera, and hidden-paneled religious books – revolutionized American encounters with a swiftly changing media landscape. Her research has been supported by institutions including the Luce/ACLS Foundation, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.

The Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts is located in Portland, Maine. The lecture will be held in the University Events Room on the 7th floor of the Glickman Family Library.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Goodale at (207) 228-8014 or

Book Arts Classes

*** The North Bennet Street School in Boston is offering Travel Journals with Amy Lapidow on October 20th. All tools and supplies are provided for this class.

Books that fit in your pocket! Add a pen loop, picture or pocket for memorabilia. Make it waterproof with Tyvek. Tie it up with beads and buttons, or close it with a magnet. This one day workshop explores the possibilities of a versatile book that goes wherever you go.

For more information, please visit the NBSS website.

*** Also at the North Bennet Street School is Fundamentals of Bookbinding, taught by Erin Fletcher from November 4 – 8. Students will learn the foundations of bookbinding by combining hands-on exercises and discussion.

The class starts by exploring non-adhesive structures: soft cover pamphlet, Coptic, historical longstitch and link stitch. The class ends with a look at case bindings, with the creation of two hardcover flatback bindings. Students also learn different structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, tools and equipment.

Throughout the course discussions will cover terminology, paper grain and folding, selecting proper materials and tools, and adhesives and their properties.

For more information, please visit the NBSS website.

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