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

2019 November 7

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 13, 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: Book Blitz and Card Tricks

Handmade cardJoin us for our always-popular annual November tradition: Member-led mini hands-on workshops in the form of a card or mini-book exchange that we call Book Blitz and Card Tricks. Get prepared now and join the fun!

Design a card or small/simple book structure that has a trick or two; maybe a pop-up, French doors or a window. Bring your completed card or mini-book, along with materials for six undecorated cards or mini-book structures to share. We will have an exchange and then engage in some decorating fun.

Please feel free to join in the fun even if you don’t have time to prepare cards or mini-books to bring. We do a similar program every November and there is always more than enough to go around. As in years past, expect to go home with some great new ideas, several new tricks up your sleeve, and a few new cards for the season.

Things to bring:

  • A decorated card/mini-book with a “trick” (optional)
  • 6 card structures of your card/mini-book “trick” to exchange (optional)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Bone folder
  • Awl or needle tool
  • Decorative punches

October Meeting Reflections

Librarian Prudence Doherty at UVM Special CollectionsOh how I love the Special Collections visit. It is my favorite meeting of the year, and this year did not disappoint. It feels so grand to be entertained by Prudence Doherty in that lovely space, and to be able to touch and devour the works she has chosen.

First off, we were served a table full of books that had elements of stitching, including some wonderful books full of quilting references and patterns. My favorite, though was the collection of poems, A Strawberry in the Snow. It checked all my boxes – letterpress, linocuts, stitching, cloth binding, beautifully engineered.

The second table setting featured the work of Ellen Dorn Levitt. In this case, the work was presented in boxes that housed her teaching materials, notes, samples, instructions, and some student work. I found it absolutely fascinating to see the organization and detail that she shared with her students. She was obviously adored by them.

All in all, another inspiring evening. Thanks to everyone who attended, and special thanks to Prudence for her time and her compelling narrative.

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

B.A.G. News

*** December Handmade Ornament Exchange

Handmade ornamentsAt our December meeting, we will host an ornament exchange where members and friends are invited to swap handmade baubles. Bring one, take one!

Here’s how it works:

  • Make an ornament to share – instruction or directions on how to make are optional.
  • Bring to the meeting, wrapped in some manner.
  • Swap for another ornament.

That’s it! The only rule is that the ornaments must be handmade.

Need inspiration? Check out these blog posts:

Get making!

Nancy Stone postcards*** Since B.A.G. members have expressed interest in purchasing Nancy Stone’s recently published book, 251 Vermont Vistas, she will bring copies to the November and December meetings.

Originally begun as a book arts project, Nancy painted watercolor ‘postcards’ for every Vermont town that she and her husband visited as members of the VT251 Club. A preview of some pages, with written reflections of towns, can be seen at With sales tax, the book costs $37.44; cash or checks accepted.

These make unique holiday gifts, capturing the beauty of Vermont’s scenery in all weather and seasons.

Artist book by Carolyn Shattuck*** Carolyn Shattuck will be showing her work at the Boston Art Book Fair from November 8 – 10, 2019.

As one of the largest art book fairs on the East Coast, this curated event will feature over 130 exhibitors, artists and publishers.

With art installations, DJs, workshops, panels, and a chance to mingle with truly innovative artists and creatives of our generation, this year’s fair invites audiences of all ages to engage in an art-filled weekend to expand their ideas about print.

The event is produced by the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) and Bodega and will be held in BCA’s historic Cyclorama.

For more information, please visit the event website.

Book Arts News

*** Prudence Doherty notified us that the Artists’ Book Showcase with Vamp and Tramp Booksellers at UVM Special Collections on November 7th has been canceled.

*** You may be interested in the formation of a new group called New England Book Artists. They plan to meet once a month at the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. The first meeting was held on November 1st and included a discussion of the direction on which the group should initially focus.

For more information or questions, please email Marie Canaves at

*** The conservation treatment of Dante’s 1477 La Commedia will be detailed in an upcoming lecture with independent book conservator Jeffrey S. Peachey. The lecture will be held on November 19 at Schlesinger Library at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.

An examination of the remains of earlier binding structures, and decisions that lead to its resewing and rebinding in an alum tawed goatskin conservation binding will be discussed. During the treatment, evidence was found suggesting that the Inferno and Purgatorio cantiche may have circulated separately at one point. Differences between historic 15th century binding practices and modern conservation binding techniques will be highlighted, as will the difficulties of achieving a sympathetic relationship between original and new binding materials.

Observations on the history, nature and idea of conservation rebinding will conclude the lecture, followed by an audience discussion. Conservators, bibliophiles, bookbinders, librarians, Italian scholars, and anyone curious about the physical structure of books will find this lecture of interest.

Book Arts Classes

*** The North Bennet Street School in Boston is offering Surface Gilding with James Reid-Cunningham on November 10th.

Surface gilding creates a luxurious effect on a binding, creating a book that glows. This workshop will focus on techniques for decorating leather, paper, parchment, papyrus with gold leaf over large areas, even over entire boards. Participants will experiment with varieties of glaire for adhering gold; the use of masks to create designs; polishing gold leaf; sealants, coatings and sizes to preserve the gold; and methods of seamless joining of sheets of gold leaf over large areas.

For more information, please visit the NBSS website.

*** On Sunday, November 24th, The Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Dos Equis Hand-Sewn Books with Cristina Hajosy.

Hand-bound books create unique formats for presenting photography, prints, and mixed media artworks. Learn techniques for both soft-bound and hard-bound versions of this flexible book structure. The name comes from the 2-needle stitching that crosses back and forth between the signatures or folded sections of the book interior. Decorative papers, book cloths and bead selections will be available in class.

For more information about the class, please visit the Eliot School’s website.

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