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

November 5, 2020

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 7:00 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: Book Blitz and Card Tricks

Handmade cardJoin us for our always-popular annual November tradition: Member-led mini demonstrations in the form of a card or mini-book that we call Book Blitz and Card Tricks. Unfortunately, we’ll have our celebration of ideas without the hands-on making.

Your task – design a card or small/simple book structure that has a trick or two; maybe a pop-up, French doors or a window.

Here’s where we need YOU.

We are seeking volunteers to share a card or paper manipulation during our Zoom meeting. You will simply hold up your creation for us to see and demonstrate how you made your paper item. We can post follow up references on Chat if desired.

Please contact Ann if you are interested in sharing. The more members participate the richer our meeting will be.

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

October Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meetingWe’re getting good at Zooming!

The visit to UVM Silver Special Collections is one of my favorite meetings, and although we visited virtually, it was still a special treat. Special Collections Librarian Prudence Doherty gave us a peek into new acquisitions and books in the time of COVID-19, political upheaval, Black Lives Matter, and women’s experiences.

She pointed out how text and illustrations can be incorporated to make meaningful statements, and how structure can relate to the content and heighten the experience of viewing the book.

I want to hold all those books and cozy up with them, but unfortunately UVM has limited visitors to only staff and students for the time being. Until we can be together again, we will have to enjoy them remotely.

B.A.G. News

US Postal Service mail box*** Winter Mail Art Challenge!

Our Summer Mail Art Challenge was such a success we are having an encore performance.

To participate:

  • Join the challenge by emailing Ann by Wednesday November 18th.
  • You will receive two participants’ names and address by November 23rd.
  • Create two pieces of Mail Art and send them on their way by December 20th.

Note: Mail Art can be any sort of original envelope and/or card for creative connection….

We hope you’ll get in on the fun!

2 handmade leather journals*** Elissa Campbell is teaching Find Closure at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT on November 14 (section 1) & 21 (section 2). This is a “small batch” class that limits enrollment to 3 or 4 students, providing appropriate social distancing for health safety.

Need that finishing touch for your journal? I’ve got you covered! Consider this class the equivalent of a Closure Dressy Bessy.

In each section of this class you’ll complete one soft cover, leather book with a different variation of the long stitch binding. Then comes the fun part – you’ll experiment with a variety of ways to secure those books (up to five closures per book, as time allows).

This class offers flexible learning – take one section or the other, or both! Each section offers a different binding and five different closures. In section one, you’ll explore ways to use sticks, leather, buttons, and cord. In section two, you’ll work with buttons, leather straps, magnets, and other metal hardware.

Bring your own embellishments (buttons, ribbons, etc.) that you’d like to use for closures – there will be time for discussion and problem-solving as a group.

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

Book Arts News

*** On November 11th, the John J. Burns Library welcomes you to a special virtual tour of their exhibit Devoted Catholic & Determined Writer: Louise Imogen Guiney in Boston. The tour will be led by Burns Library conservator and exhibit curator Barbara Adams Hebard and Burns Librarian Christian Dupont.

Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920), one of only two women represented in stained-glass portraits of American authors in Bapst Library at Boston College, may have faded from the canon, yet she continues to offer a unique window into the multifaceted literary establishment of late 19th-century Boston.

Click here to register for the tour by November 9th.

*** The American Bookbinders Museum is currently hosting the online exhibit Bound for Beauty: Highlights from the Kathleen V. Roberts Collection of Decorated Publishers Bindings.

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century made the mass-production of books possible. To promote sales, publishers produced beautifully decorated book covers known as decorated publishers’ bindings. Books were bound in colorful cloth and elaborately decorated with silver and gold, reflecting the tastes of the age.

Publishers’ use of color, style, and design was affected by social events including the Civil War, Japan’s opening to the west, and the employment of women as designers. Bindings in this exhibit reflect design influences from Victorian opulence to the Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco movements.

Click here to view the exhibit.

*** The American Bookbinders Museum is also hosting the online exhibit Celebrating the 19th Amendment: Suffragists in Print.

From Abigail Adams to Zitkála-Šá, suffragists put their sentiments into print, stating their point of view and making the arguments that eventually won them the vote. Formally organizing in the 1840s, suffrage was achieved state-by-state, with national ratification in 1920. This centennial exhibit of women writers, editors and publishers celebrates their decades of activism.

Click here to view the exhibit.

*** Tumultuous Absence, the 26th annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium will be held online on November 5 – 6 and 12 – 13.

The symposium features speakers, panels, exhibits, artist in residence, and a chance to interact with other book artists. There will be live streamed and pre-recorded presentations, virtual studio tours, demonstrations, a virtual exhibit, and do-at-home workshops.

The event is free (including the workshops!), but you have to register to attend.

Click here to view the program, which includes a schedule of all events.

letterpress type*** The Los Angeles Printers Fair, a celebration of printing, paper, and book arts is currently taking place virtually throughout the month of November.

The fair brings together thousands of visitors and over 60 vendors and practitioners of letterpress and the book arts. It is a unique gathering of graphic artists, hobbyists, print history enthusiasts and appreciators of great art.

The 2020 Virtual Los Angeles Printers Fair, while not in person, hopes to offer that same community feel, learning opportunities, and great shopping selections to stock up on prints, cards, letterpress supplies, and printing presses.

Visitors will be rewarded with daily special treats such as videos, tours, hands-on at home tutorials, printable keepsakes, vendor spotlights, special sales, weekly raffles, shopping guides, and more!

To discover everything they have in store, visit the fair website and sign up for daily or weekly e-mails notifying you of the new releases.

The Book Makers poster*** A documentary about the book arts is now available for streaming on PBS. The Book Makers profiles an eclectic group of people who have dedicated their lives to answering the question: what should books become in the digital age?

From the esoteric world of book artists to the digital library of the Internet Archive, the film spins a tale of the enduring vitality of the book.

Click here to watch the film.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering From Magic Wallet to Jacob’s Ladder with Bettina Pauly on November 11 & 18.

The Magic Wallet is an oddity related to a möbius strip. The Jacob’s Ladder is a toy that is also known as ‘magic tablets’, ‘Chinese blocks’ or a ‘klick-klack toy’. It normally consists of wooden blocks held together by strings or ribbon; when the ladder is held on one end, blocks appear to cascade down the strings, and when made out of wood making a ‘klick-klack’ sound.

We will be making this structure using book board instead of wood – quieter, but still fun! In the first session, students will make a Magic Wallet; in the second session they will build on that understanding to create a Jacob’s Ladder.

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

*** On November 19th, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Mechanical Cards: Holiday Edition with Shawn Sheehy.

Stir a little whimsy into your holiday by creating a festive and gift-worthy set of movable, mechanical cards. Each card features a traditional movable structure that’s been adapted to accommodate the heaviness of cereal box chipboard.

You’ll build a simple wheel, a simple pull tab, and a wheel/pull tab combination. All you’ll need – aside from the cereal boxes – is scrap paper, glue, some simple tools, and your imagination!

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

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Artist Books: From Idea to Execution with Elizabeth Castaldo on Tuesdays from November 17 – December 8 (four Tuesdays).

In this workshop series, students will be introduced to the artist’s book creation process. Starting from idea and working toward execution, students will develop strategies for brainstorming and working with sequential and image-based content, bridging the gap between concept, material, process, form, and finished work of art.

Students will learn to make three book structures, accordion, pamphlet, and drum leaf binding, and then create their own one-of-a-kind artist’s book. This class is ideal for artists who want an introduction into the world of artist’s books or for those curious about artistic expression with the book form.

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


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