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

2021 July 7

Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 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

Program: Text Me! Wrap Up!

Text Me logoOur 2021 series of themed meetings – Text Me! – has focused on how to approach text in the book arts. We visited Special Collections at both UVM and Dartmouth to look at how other artists approach text in their work.

Prudence Doherty, UVM Silver Special Collections Librarian, and Morgan Swan from Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College each gave us a jam-packed presentation of examples from their respective libraries, showing us many inspirational works with creative use of text. There was handwritten text, stitched text, text as part of the illustration, shaped text, typewriting, and woodcut text. Also embroidered letters and pages, cut-out letters, hidden or obscured text, and manipulated text that formed images. Phew, so much inspiration, but what to say and how to say it?

Well, that was covered in the other meetings. The extraordinary artist Erin Sweeney showed us how to use pochoir, stamps, transfers, and hand- lettering techniques in our work. Deborah Stuart focused on generating ideas for text, and gave us steps to make the text-to-page process easier and, well, fun. And finally, Emma Percy presented us with an alternative to traditional book arts structures by showing us their collection of ‘zines’, mostly text-based booklets.

So what have you been working on with these techniques, or other techniques that have presented themselves during this odd period of time? We want to see it! Whether you have made a book, are working on a book, or have something else entirely that you would like to share, we invite you to give your own short presentation at the next meeting so we can celebrate it. If you would like to share, please contact Elissa so we can accommodate everyone. Our group is incredibly talented and interesting, and you are part of it. Sign up!

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

June Meeting Reflections

ZinesThanks to Emma Percy, we all got a glimpse inside the world of zines and zine making, a fun and sometimes radical way of sharing art and ideas. Their personal collection of zines included many creative and varied subjects and structures.

It was fun to hear what made them attractive to them, and how they manipulated the form in their own work.

Although not all of the zines were text based, I think the structure and concept lends itself to a kind of infomercial about your favorite subject!

Thanks, Emma! And thanks to everyone who tuned in with Zoom.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Enrich Your Calligraphy coverIn Diana Hardy Wilson’s book, Enrich Your Calligraphy, she tells us that “by looking at other work we can be inspired to continue with our own…to push ourselves and our own work to our present limits, and then, beyond.”

We have certainly had lots of inspiration with our Text Me theme over the past year, and this month’s library corner continues that inspiration with a look at some beautiful pieces of calligraphy.

Included in this selection are works from June Francis, Daphne Dobyn, Catriona Montgomery, Dave Wood, and more. Though these pieces are all specifically centered around calligraphy, they are inspiring examples of what can be done creatively with 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 selection here.

You can also purchase a copy of the book here.

B.A.G. News

The Art of the Book logo*** The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is proud to present our group show for 2021, THE ART OF THE BOOK: IS IT A BOOK?

Here are the juicy details:

The members’ show will run from August 6 through September 18, 2021, at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. We will have an opening reception on Saturday, August 14, which will take the place of our regular August meeting. We will be able to see each other in person!

While our last several meetings have been all about using text in our work, entries do not need to have text. We encourage members to submit up to 2 entries, and we will try to accommodate all submitted work. It is preferred that at least one of your entries be for sale, and considering the time of year, we expect to have sales!

The due date for entries is July 17, at which time work must be in the hands of either Becky Boardman or Ann Joppe-Mercure, along with the appropriate paperwork (download here). If you have already submitted your work to either, please fill out the entry form and forward it on to them. B.A.G. will cover the entry fee for all members.

If you have any questions or concerns about the show or your entries, please email Becky or Ann.

We can’t wait to see your submissions!

Handmade journal*** Elissa Campbell is teaching the Travel Companion Journal on July 22 at the Swanson Inn in Waitsfield.

In this workshop, participants will create a journal with a double-needle coptic binding, an intricate stitch that will be visible on the spine of the book. Not only is the coptic binding beautiful, but it also allows books to remain flat when opened.

The journal will include pockets both inside the covers and in the text block, allowing you the opportunity to save lots of stuff from your travels – tickets, photos, pressed flowers – you name it!

All materials and tools will be provided. Lunch and snacks are also included in the fee – all you have to do is show up!

For more information, please visit the Swanson Inn website.

To register, please contact the Inn at

Book Arts News

*** Vermont is home to over a thousand migrant farm workers, people largely from Mexico and northern Central America. El Viaje Más Caro / The Most Costly Journey, a collaborative project by the Open Door Clinic, Vermont Folklife Center, UVM Extension Bridges to Health, UVM Department of Anthropology, and Marek Bennett’s Comics Workshop has enabled a number of those farm workers to tell their stories.

These accounts appear in zine form with drawings by cartoonists and words of the workers, in both English (to educate local Vermont residents) and Spanish (to enable the workers to hear each other’s stories).

All of these zines are downloadable here:

They’re educational and make for great learning tools. All of these works in English have also just been published together in book form.

*** In celebration of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers’ 40th Anniversary exhibition, the Boston Athenæum is hosting a virtual panel discussion called Meet the Makers: Contemporary Book Artists.

Join artists Erin Fletcher, Nancy Leavitt, and Julie Stackpole as they explore what it means to make and collect books in the twenty-first century with Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections John Buchtel. All three artists have work featured in 40 Years: Celebrating the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, on view at the Athenæum through August 7, 2021.

Their work can also be found in the Athenæum’s Special Collections alongside historic and contemporary fine bookbindings, artists’ books and manuscripts by local, national, and international makers.

For more information or to register, please visit the Athenæum’s website.

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is hosting the virtual exhibition, Solastalgia: Book Art and the Climate Crisis, now through October 17, 2021. The exhibit features expansive and experimental works by twenty local, national, and international artists addressing the paradoxical nature of grief, despair, beauty, elegy, regeneration, and loss that we are facing as we confront one of the most defining issues of our time.

The artistic vision is grounded in solastalgia, a term coined by environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht to better describe the psychological toll of climate change. Solastalgia is the pain caused by recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault – the lived experience of environmental change and a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at home.

From traditional codices to pop-up books to sculptural vessels made of bacteria cultures, this exhibition is both a call to alarm and a symbol of hope that through compassion and ingenuity, it is possible to imagine new futures.

To view the exhibition, please visit the MCBA website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Artist Books: Examples and Methods with Ben Denzer on July 8 & 15.

In the first session, Ben will introduce a working definition of the term “Artist Book,” share a survey of historical examples, and outline basic bookmaking techniques. Students will then be prompted to create their own experimental artist books using materials they have readily available.

Between sessions, Ben will be available for one-on-one conversations to give feedback and construction advice. In the second session, each student will share their completed artist book in a group critique.

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

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Zine-Making Against Climate Change with Regula Russelle on July 21 & 28.

Zines are a super easy and inexpensive way to disseminate information to friends and to strangers. In this workshop you’ll explore how to make a zine related to the climate crisis. Content might range from Veggie Gardening for Beginners to pointers on Zero Waste Practices to How to Talk with Legislators.

We will look at examples for inspiration, cover content development, practice a couple of simple zine structures, and learn how to make multiples and ways to share them.

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

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering Be There, Be Square with Susan Joy Share on July 22.

This workshop will explore several folded paper structures based on squares, including a flexagon infinite card, a box, an origami folded picture frame, and a snake. Our process will emphasize mountain and valley guide folds that land us easily at our finished objects. We’ll discuss how these formats can be used with content to create dynamic artworks.

Materials include text and card weight papers and common adhesives. This is a nice opportunity to use your paper collection… or to start one.

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

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