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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” September 2020

September 4, 2020

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This month’s meeting will once again be held via Zoom, an online conference program. If you’ve never attended a Zoom meeting before, check out this video – it will go over the basics of how to join a meeting.

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Program: Sharing from the Mail Art Challenge

US Postal Service mail box

With seventeen B.A.G. members taking up the challenge to send Mail Art, our September Zoom meeting will be a sharing of the mail we received. If you wish to share, have your Mail Art pieces ready to hold up to the camera for a quick show and tell.

Our meeting will surely be a feast for the eyes and spirit!

Things to bring:

  • Received mail art
  • Enthusiasm

If you plan to attend the meeting, please contact Elissa so she can send you the Zoom meeting details.

August Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont - Zoom meetingOur August meeting was a balance of challenges and meditative acts of sewing signatures. Marcia Vogler led the workshop and again highlighted the versatility of the accordion. Using the concertina as the spine, Marcia demonstrated how to sew signatures into the mountains or the valleys for different results.

Once we found the pattern there was quiet concentration as we stitched. (Of course we were on Zoom and everyone was on mute – but we could all feel the calm.)

Marcia ended with multiple variations of how to include covers demonstrating her craftsmanship and abundance of creativity.

Thanks Marcia!

Book Arts News

*** The Camden Public Library is hosting a virtual exhibit of work by the Midcoast Maine Book Arts Group through the month of September.

The exhibit, Structure & Narrative encompasses two concepts about artists’ books for viewers to consider. First, each book is a made object -something that has a material aspect, a structural component, and a nod to what a book does: invite the viewer in. The second idea is the narrative: What is the story being told, how is it being told, and what are the aspects of narrative that a viewer can discern?

For more information and to view the books in the exhibit, visit the library’s website.

*** On Tuesday, September 8 at 6:00 p.m., the Camden Public Library will host artists from the Midcoast Maine Book Arts Group for a special event, Zoom Into the Book Arts Studio.

This will be an opportunity to virtually visit the studios of Rebecca Goodale, Cynthia McGuirl, Joelle Webber, and Dudley Zopp. You’ll learn about their work and some of the tools and processes they use. The event will provide you with an intimate look at the artists’ work spaces from the comfort of home. A Q&A session will follow each studio visit.

Please email jpierce@librarycamden.org to request a Zoom link to attend.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** BookArtsLA has a number of online courses coming up during the month of September:

September 26: Drumleaf Binding with Anne Covell

The Drumleaf Binding is an ideal structure for featuring photographs, prints, or drawings that span the spread of a book. In this binding, individual folios are folded, stacked, and glued at the spine and tipped at the fore-edge. There is no sewing to interrupt the images. The spine remains flexible, allowing open pages to lay flat.

In this workshop, students will complete one hardcover binding with a decorative Japanese tissue spine. Students in this class will be provided with a descriptive handout and materials list in advance of the class to allow students to bind along with the instructor during the demonstration.


September 27: Packed Tacket Binding with Anne Covell

The packed tacket binding, dating to the 2nd century AD, is one of oldest known multi-quire sewing styles. Composed of an exposed spine that combines coils of thread that snake up and down the spine, this structure combines speed and simplicity with flexibility and durability of form. Few tools and little to no adhesives are required to make this binding. Emphasis in this class will be on signature punching and sewing methods.

Students in this class will be provided with a descriptive handout and materials list in advance of the class to allow students to bind along with the instructor during the demonstration.


For more information or to register, visit the BookArtsLA website.

*** Papermaker and letterpress printer Radha Pandey is offering the following online papermaking workshops during the month of September:

September 18: Paper from Plants

In this class, participants will learn how to process plants for papermaking. There are several plants that are good for making into paper and fall is the best time to harvest what you have in your yard or in neighbourhood.

Participants will learn how to identify which part of the plant might be good for papermaking, how to process the plant for fiber by steaming, stripping, cooking, or all three, how to process fiber into pulp and how make simple sheets of paper from materials you may have around the house.


Indigo dye pot on stoveSeptember 26 & 27: Natural Indigo Vats

In this class, participants will learn how to set up two types of natural indigo vats, the fruit vat and the ferrous vat. We will cover the history of Indigo in India, how to be conscientious when sourcing this and other dyes, using natural indigo for a range of projects on paper and cloth, reviving the vat for re-use over a long period, as well as safe disposal of the vat after you are finished with it.

This class will not cover shibori or resist-dyeing in detail, but will provide general information and resources on these techniques.


For more information or to register, visit Radha’s website.

*** The Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is also offering online workshops during September. Here’s a few to check out:

September 17: Long Stitch Binding with Aubrey Dunn

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to make a soft-cover journal using the long stitch. This book structure binds the pages and cover directly together, eliminating the need for any glue. You will also learn some of the many possible variations to this stitch, making it highly decorative. This is a fantastic book making foundation for more complex stitches, especially if you are interested in binding with leather.


September 26 & 27: Clay Resist and Indigo Printing with Gretchen Schermerhorn

In this workshop, students will learn how to make a clay-resist paste, print and paint with it on fabric, and then overdye their work with organic indigo. Day one will be spent learning how to mix the non-toxic clay-resist paste and the various, inventive methods of applying it. This will include block-printing, screenprinting, stenciling, and direct painting. Day two will cover how to make and maintain a vat of organic, fructose indigo, and the techniques for dyeing.

Students will learn how to build layers of pattern and imagery with additional resist to create varying shades of beautiful indigo blue. At the end of class, each student will leave with their samples, recipes, and trade secrets to continue developing the techniques at home. This workshop includes a kit that will provide all of the necessary ingredients for the resist and indigo vat.


For more information or to register, visit the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center website.

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is also offering a number of online workshops via Zoom. Here is a selection of what’s available during the month of September:

September 14, 21, & 28: Introduction to the Artist’s Book with Matt Runkle

In the first of three sessions, we’ll look at an overview of artist’s books, discussing definitions, concepts, and numerous examples from the form’s history. We’ll then learn a simple book structure, which students will then develop into a “book sketch” as homework.

The second session will involve learning several more advanced book models and structures, as well as a couple low-tech printing techniques (stenciling, image transfers) that students can do at home. Students will then pick a model that they’ll begin to develop with content for a mockup that they may hope to later develop into a more finished edition.

In the final session, students will share their works in progress. The instructor will help them address any hurdles they face on their way to completing an artist book edition, discussing strategies for furthering and expanding concepts developed during the class. We’ll wrap up by talking about some of the practical considerations when embarking on a content-based book project and how they relate to the book artist’s many roles: author, illustrator, editor, publisher, printer, and binder.


Papercut - CurioCity by Beatrice CoronSeptember 19: Papercutting Basics with Béatrice Coron

During this workshop, participants will discover the multiple facets of papercutting by making their own samples of different techniques.

Learning basic principles of designing with full and empty shapes, each student will explore adapting pictures they collected to papercutting. Tips and tricks will be shared.


For more information or to register, visit the SFCB website.


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