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

2021 June 5

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 9, 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

Program: DIY Publishing & Zines as Art with Emma Percy

Zines textZines have a recent but rich history as an underground mode of disseminating information, art, and new ideas, often from marginalized makers in working-class creative communities.

These works run the gamut from quick, sketchy single-sheet mini-booklets to beautifully detailed handmade artist’s books, and anyone can make them.

Emma Percy has been immersed in zine culture for many years, and will present an overview of small-scale DIY publishing, share a variety of diverse examples from their personal collection, and offer suggestions and strategies for making your own zines and getting them out into the world.

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

May Meeting Reflections

One-sheet bookAnother well attended Zoom meeting! I don’t know about you, but I was intrigued by the description of the program in the newsletter, sometimes a piece of writing needs a book and sometimes a book needs some content. I struggle with both, trying to find meaning and express it in my artwork.

In her presentation, B.A.G. member Deborah Stuart gave us new ideas and possibilities to help generate our own writing. I didn’t take many notes, because I was so caught up in the exercises, writing lists and figuring out how to put the words together.

And wondering why no one wanted to read their writing. So here goes, this is the story of my life in one minute: I was a happy child, an unhappy teenager, a lost young person, and finally an anxious adult with a wonderful lucky life. I never thought about it that way before, and that is the whole point of stepping outside yourself and finding new approaches.

Thanks to Deborah for leading us through the exercises that will give us some muscle, and thanks to everyone who attended.

You can download a copy of Deborah’s writing prompts here.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Non-Adhesive Binding Vol 1In the introductory pages of the great Keith Smith’s Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 1, we are given much to ponder about how the form, structure, and concept of a book all inform each other. He takes us on a reflective journey through the world of bookmaking by exploring the possibilities provided by different numbers of folds and pages while simultaneously revisiting basic book terminology.

Through his beautiful use of language, Smith reminds us that “…text can be so written that the words create the pages. The pages, as well as the writing relate back and forth, tying together all the elements into a unified flow. One would ask no less cooperation from all the elements of an orchestra (pg. 15).”

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 chapter here.

You can also purchase a copy of the book here.

B.A.G. News

*** We are pleased to announce that the Book Arts Guild of Vermont will be having an exhibit at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury from August 6th – September 18th! The exhibit title is The Art of the Book: Is This a Book?

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! Work to be displayed on surfaces as well as on walls will be greatly appreciated.

Entries are open to all members and can include up to 2 works. The exhibit entry form will be available in the next newsletter. Although we have been highlighting text in our recent meetings, exhibit entries do not need to include text.

Important dates:

  • Entries Due Date: July 17, 2021
  • Exhibit Opening Date: August 6, 2021
  • Opening Reception: August 14, 2021
  • Exhibit End Date: September 18, 2021
  • Pickup Work Date: TBD

We can’t wait to see your submissions!

*Text Me logo** For the July meeting, we’ll wrap up our concentration on making and using text in our work. We’ll review the methods, tools, and techniques we acquired from our last meetings, and then take a look at what our members have done with them.

We invite you to share the work you’ve created with your new skills! Please let us know by email if you would like to participate in the evening so we can arrange a line up. Sharing and positive feedback is always welcome.

Book Arts News

NEGBW exhibit poster*** The New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers currently has an exhibit at the Boston Athenæum through August 7th. 40 Years: Celebrating the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers showcases a broad spectrum of tradition and innovation, spanning expertly crafted fine and design bindings, as well as beautifully sculpted artists’ books and boxes.

With rich holdings in the contemporary and historic book arts, and with overlaps in our collections, membership, and staff, the Boston Athenæum is pleased to support the NEGBW by serving as the opening venue for the exhibition.

If you are unable to visit Boston, you can view the work online.

For more information, visit the Boston Athenæum website.

*** Registration is now open for the free virtual 2021 Focus On Book Arts conference, Where We Live, taking place July 15 – 17. There are three events and registration is required:

  • Artists from around the world have created books that fit the theme of Where We Live. On July 15th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (PDT), there will be a welcome reception and a panel discussion with the 4 winners of the juried exhibit. The exhibit will be available for viewing 7/15 – 8/31. Register for the panel discussion here.
  • ​On July 16th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (PDT), featured speaker Tia Blassingame will present Book Arts Futures: Musings on the Future of the Field. A book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception, Blassingame often incorporates archival research and her own poetry in her artist’s book projects for nuanced discussions of racism in the United States. Register for the featured speaker here.
  • Artists have created books that fit the theme Where We Live: Where Our Hearts Reside and submitted those works to the Challenge Book exhibit. On July 17th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (PDT), FOBA will host a Challenge Book Roundtable for a review and discussion of many of the books. It is a chance for the creators of these books to talk about their process, inspiration, and answer questions about them. The Challenge Book exhibit will be available for viewing 7/15 – 8/31. Register for the roundtable here.

For more information about the conference, visit the FOBA website.

*** Artists Book House is hosting an online series of conversations with book artists, illustrators, cartoonists, writers, poets, librarians and book collectors. Recent guests include Emily Martin, Helen Hiebert, and Don Widmer. They’ve also got free online video tutorials that include longstitch variations, interactive mail art, and making a mold and deckle.

For more information, visit the Artists Book House website.

Second Growth - Australian Brush Fire Charity Zine*** Love zines? Check out the Sherwood Forest Zine Library! They’ve got hundreds of free downloadable zines and links to online zines.

Their goal is to host and provide access to information, stories, and voices that are often buried in the mainstream media. Their collection ranges from art, poetry, and fiction to political theory, social issues, and historical discussion, and everything in between!

For more information, visit the Sherwood Forest Zine Library website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Artist Books: From Idea to Execution with Elizabeth Castaldo on June 14, 21, 28, and July 5.

In this four-session 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.

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering the Woven Accordion Window Book with Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder on June 24.

Elevate your accordions through dynamic depth and movement with the Woven Accordion Window book. This deceptively simple structure expands to create a dramatic three-dimensional effect with layered cut-out windows. This workshop includes a materials kit to create a model of the structure and is suitable for all levels (even beginners).

You will learn tips and tricks for folding “the best” accordion, how to cut out windows, basic book sewing, creating a removable cover, plus instruction on how to alter or scale the design for your future projects.

For more information or to register, please email John Cutrone at

*** BookArtsLA is offering The Jacob’s Ladder with Karen Hanmer on June 26th.

This artists’ book structure functions on numerous levels: as a codex held in the hand and read page by page in sequence, as a sculpture, and as a delightful object to play with. It can be made in a home studio with minimal specialized equipment. Instruction will focus on both craft and content. Students will have the opportunity to examine a variety of finished pieces and models. Importance of creating and refining prototypes will be stressed. Your finished book, plus detailed instructions, will be a valuable reference for future work.

Some binding experience helpful.

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

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering the ABCs of Lark’s Head Binding with Dorothy Yuki on July 7th.

A Lark’s Head knot (also known as a Cow Hitch) is often used in jewelry making and many other applications. It can also be used to bind single sheets together! The exposed spine also allows for plenty of opportunity to play with adding decorative elements such as colored threads and beads.

In this workshop, students will learn to bind different kinds and different weights of papers using the Lark’s Head knot. Students will receive an instructional handout for later reference.

The workshop fee includes a kit containing prepared pages, tyvek strips, threads, grid paper, clips and assorted findings.

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

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