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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” April 2021

2021 April 9

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 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

Text Me!

Text Me logoText is an important consideration when creating a piece, just as imagery, structure, and materials are. Our members often tell us that they struggle with incorporating text in their work.

We’ve heard you!

Our 2021 series of themed meetings – Text Me! – will focus on how to approach text in the book arts.

We’ll look at how to choose text, methods for adding text to the page, and determining where to put it. This month we’ll have special guest star Erin Sweeney as our guide through various text-creating methods.

We hope you’ll join us as we journey into the world of text!

Program: Text Me, Part 3 – Adding Text with visiting artist Erin Sweeney

Erin SweeneyIn our April meeting, Erin Sweeney, artist extraordinaire, will lead us through an exploration of methods for printing text. Erin lives and works in southern New Hampshire and received her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

From Erin:

In this demo, we will utilize pochoir, stamps, transfers, and hand-lettering techniques to include text in your books and other projects. I’ll also show you a cool stamp that has tiny hand-set rubber type, and maybe my new (old) IBM typewriter that I just received! The focus will be on easy techniques to do at home, without fancy equipment.


  • Card stock
  • X-Acto knife/scissors
  • Stamp pads
  • Stiff craft brush – round kids brushes work great, the chunky ones
  • Fresh photocopies of text – and if you have InDesign and can reverse the text, that would be great, but not necessary
  • ChartPak colorless blender pen – again, if you have one, not necessary

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

March Meeting Reflections

Artist's BookAt our March meeting, Morgan Swan from Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College treated us to a sampling of text-related random cool stuff from their artists’ book collection!

Highlights included embroidered letters and pages, cut-out letters, hidden or obscured text, and manipulated text to form images. So much inspiration! I, personally, cannot wait to use some of these techniques. Now, if only I knew what to say…

Thanks to Morgan for a delightful evening, and thanks to everyone for Zooming in.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books by Dorothy Simpson KrauseContinuing with our text theme, Dorothy Simpson Krause provides some ideas for incorporating words in her book, Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books.

She discusses a bit about how either text or image can be the primary vehicle for conveying meaning and goes on to show how she integrates the two. Exploring writing, type, and found text she provides ideas for including words, shows evocative examples, and lays out her step-by-step processes for positioning text in a work and the physical transferral of text.

If you have ideas for books to feature or if you have a library book in your possession you’d like to share something from, email Sally at

You can check out and download the article here.

You can also purchase a copy of the book here (Krause recommends Amazon, but you can certainly get it elsewhere).

B.A.G. News

***  We are pleased to announce that B.A.G. will be having an exhibit at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury from August 6th to September 18th! This is a great time of year for this exhibit as a lot of tourists are in the area at that time and it’s good to spread our book arts further afield to new parts of the state!

More information will be forthcoming, so please begin thinking of work you would like to exhibit. Work to be displayed on surfaces as well as on walls will be greatly appreciated.

Handmade photo album*** Elissa Campbell is teaching the Phabulous Photo Album online for the Morgan Conservatory on June 7 & 8.

Learn how to create an elegant stab-bound, hard cover photo album using book cloth and handmade paper. This is a wonderful keepsake that can hold 4” x 6” photos from your recent vacation, family gatherings, or quarantine photo challenges.

Each participant will leave this virtual workshop with a completed photo album and a basic knowledge of a stab binding technique. You will receive a detailed handout and resource list for all materials used, as well as a materials kit.

Get your pictures off your phone and into your hands!

For more information or to register, visit the Morgan Conservatory website.

Book Arts News

*** On April 13th, Emory Libraries is presenting the History of Pop-up Books. Shawn Sheehy and Kevin Steele will talk about the history of pop-up books and discuss their creative work.

At this free, virtual event, a short slide show of relevant items from the Rose Library’s collection will be shown. After the talks, Shawn Sheehy will provide a fun and brief instruction session in which the audience can learn how to make a simple pop-up.

For more information or to register, visit the Emory Libraries website.

*** The University of Vermont‘s Silver Special Collections is presenting a series of online presentations in April, Gathering Leaves: Conversations about Book Arts.

Road Book of VermontOn April 15th, Luis Vivanco (Anthropology) will introduce his latest bicycle history comic. As a creator of research-based comics on bicycle history, Professor Vivanco has reimagined and reinterpreted the Vermont Road Book as a mini-comic, integrating techniques and inspiration from the book arts world.

In this talk, he will publicly unveil The 1895 Vermont Road Book: A Comical Reinterpretation, explore the relationship between comics and book arts, and discuss some of the primary research, creative, and technical challenges involved in this project.

Letterpress studioOn April 29th, Elizabeth Fenton (English) invites us to tour her printing studio and learn how letterpress printing has influenced her work as a literary critic.

She will tell the stories behind the presses she has purchased over the years and offer brief demonstrations of their particular operations. She also will show some examples of pieces she has made using letterpress and explain how working to create texts and images using old techniques has changed the way she approaches literature.

The talk will conclude with a short discussion of her current project, a study of documents produced and preserved by members of the early Mormon Church, which has been deeply shaped by her work in Book Arts.

For more information, visit the UVM website.

*** The American Bookbinders Museum is currently hosting an online exhibit focusing on the decorating and finishing of books, Making Their Mark: Decorating and Finishing.

For bookbinders, finishing includes lettering, decorating and other processes that complete the binding process to identify, beautify and finish a book. Those who focus solely on this aspect of bookbinding are called finishers. When impressions are made by hand it is called tooling, and by machine, blocking.

For more than five hundred years, hand tooling of leather bindings has utilized heated brass or metal stamps, pressed into the leather to make an impression. If the impressions are left unadorned it is called blind tooling. A common embellishment is to make the impression through gold leaf for gold tooling.

The American Bookbinders Museum is proud to share its collection of finishing tools with you and to provide an overview of finishing, including hand stamping tools and machine blocking plates.

To view the exhibit, visit the American Bookbinders Museum website.

*** The virtual exhibition, Boundless Possibilities 2: USM Book Arts, hosted by the Portland Public Library presents an array of artist’s books from current students in the Visual Book classes, along with an eclectic display of topics and book formats from artists in the Critique Group at the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts.

Of particular note is their collaborative book, Remarkable Maine Women, inspired by the 2020 Bicentennial of Maine’s Statehood and the Centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment.

For more information or to view the exhibit, visit the Portland Public Library website.

*** This year the Movable Book Society conference will be presented in a hybrid format with both virtual and in-person events. The conference takes place from September 30 – October 3.

Virtual attendees will have access to:

  • Viewing all conference presentations in real time (including pre-conference “tours”)
  • Live interaction with presenters
  • Participation in the hands-on project
  • An online portion of the silent auction
  • Voting for the Meggendorfer Prize for Trade Books

For more information, visit the Movable Book Society website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering the Tunnel Book with Bettina Pauly on April 20 & 27.

Developed in the Renaissance for studying perspective, the Tunnel Book is sometimes called a peephole book. It is an accordion with multiple panels, to be viewed from the front for a 3-D effect.

In this two-session class you will learn the concertina-fold that will hold the pages and decorate the four interior “tunnel” pages with collage/rubber-stamping/painting/sketching. Once the tunnel is finished it will be glued into a simple cover to give it a more finished look.

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

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering the Seven-Pocket Chinese Thread Book with Kathleen Sheridan on April 21.

Originating in Northern China, the Chinese Thread Book or Zhen Xian Boa, was traditionally used to store thread, needles, and other embroidery materials. Constructed with printed cotton, the original thread book was designed to contain numerous interlocking compartments (or pockets) that open to remove or store items and collapse flat when not in use for efficient storage.

Today, there are many origami paper versions of this clever, satisfying, and playful model. In this virtual workshop, learn to create a square, seven-pocket origami thread book. Build skills to make the model again on your own with any number of pockets! Finished pieces may be used to store embroidery materials as originally intended, or to hold photos, notes, or other flat materials.

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

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Writing a Colophon and a Prospectus with Roni Gross on Apr 21 & 28.

Students will learn the difference between a colophon and a prospectus, what purposes they serve and how to utilize them in marketing their work. The instructor will present colophons and prospectuses written by various artists, for use of language and the accompanying artwork.

Students will have an opportunity to begin writing a colophon and prospectus in class and get feedback on their writing. We will also talk about how to market artist books.

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

*** BookArtsLA is offering Packed Tacket Binding with Anne Covell on April 24.

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.

*** The Printing Museum is offering Cyanotypes with Fall 2020 Artist-In-Residence Caroline Roberts on April 30.

Learn to make photographs without a camera, using the water-based cyanotype process and sunshine! We will learn about using objects, transparencies, and digital negatives to create images.

A materials list (with suggested sources) will be provided before the workshop for those who want to work alongside (sunshine permitting!)

For more information or to register, visit the Printing Museum website.

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