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

2021 September 3

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 8, 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: Make a Zine and Prepare to Swap!

One-sheet book coverSeptember brings a different kind of energy to life, doesn’t it? Let’s get together and make a zine!

In our June meeting, Emma Percy introduced us to zine culture and showed us examples from their collection. Now is our chance to practice the craft.

Our own Amy Burns will share some of her own comic zines and ideas on how to create your own. We will then make a one page fold book together, that can be printed on any home printer, and share a variety of versions to stimulate your creativity.

Ann Joppe-Mercure will introduce a new mail art challenge with a Zine Swap, that will enable us to see each other’s work in real life.

Here’s what you will need:

  • A print out of this template at actual size
  • 2 – 4 sheets of plain 8.5″ X 11″ paper
  • Drawing/writing tools – your favorite pen is good, markers, etc.
  • Subject matter – optional, but if you want to start some content, it’s nice to have a subject

B.A.G. Library Corner

Cover of Ultimate Cardmaking by Sarah BeamanSummer is ending, the holidays will be here before we know it, and with another mail art challenge on the horizon it’s a good time to review our envelope making skills. In her book Ultimate Cardmaking, Sarah Beaman shows us three different ways of crafting handmade envelopes.

The tutorials show how to use a template, trace an existing envelope, or create a pillow envelope to house three-dimensional contents. These easy to follow instructions will be sure to inspire the perfect enclosure for any mail art creations.

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.

B.A.G. News

The Art of the Book logo*** Now through September 25th, the Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s group show, THE ART OF THE BOOK: IS IT A BOOK? will be on view at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

NEKAG is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and is located at 430 Railroad Street.

Our reception is being rescheduled, at which time we hope that participating artists will be able to speak about their work. Stay tuned for more information.

*** Speaking of our exhibit, be sure to check out page 50 in this week’s issue of Seven Days. We received a great review:

A current show at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, were it an actual book, would have to be called a page-turner. Unputdownable. A best seller.

Our own Ann Joppe-Mercure also got a special mention for her work Written in Stone.

Can’t get your hands on a copy of the paper? Never fear – you can read the issue online.

*** The Rochester Public Library‘s 10th anniversary international exhibit, Art of the Book & Paper, is open now through November 1. The opening reception will be held on September 29 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

B.A.G. members Carolyn Shattuck, Debra Kraemer, and Dorsey Hogg have work that was juried into the exhibit. Dorsey’s pieces Bound to History won 2nd place and Delicious won Honorable Mention, both in the Altered Books category.

All of the work can be viewed in the online exhibit program.

Book Arts News

*** The Vermont Folklife Center is currently accepting applications for its Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. The program works to sustain and pass down traditional art forms (bookbinding included!) in the state of Vermont .

The purpose of the program is to provide funding to help compensate the master artist for their time and to cover the cost of travel and of materials used during the apprenticeship. Accepted master artist/apprentice pairs are supported with up to $2,000.00 of funding.

Applications for the 2021-2022 cycle are due by September 17, 2021. For more information and to access the application, please visit the VFC website.

Wood letterpress type*** The Museum of Printing in Haverill, MA is offering free admission on September 18 as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 17th annual Museum Day.

The museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the graphic arts, printing and typesetting technology, and printing craftsmanship. In addition to many special collections and small exhibits, the museum contains hundreds of antique printing, typesetting, and bindery machines, as well as a library of books and printing-related documents.

The on Museum Day, the museum will be hosting the Alphabet Factory, an interactive printing experience for all ages. While admission is free, you will need a Museum Day ticket for admission. Each ticket is valid for two visitors. You can download a ticket here.

September 18th is also the day of the museum’s Garage Sale. There will be lots of letterpress items for sale – printing presses, printing equipment, metal cuts, halftones, books, and other goodies.

*** The third annual Peace Paper Project street intervention will take place at City Hall Park in Burlington on Saturday, September 25 from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Johnny LaFalce and Drew Matott with their bicycle powered paper pulp beater team up with A Revolutionary Press to pedal-pulp contemporary issues into messages of empowerment, peace, and love.

The public is invited to hand pull a sheet of paper made from a unique blend of pulped material and fibers. The identity of the mystery fiber source in the pulp vat will be revealed that day. A Revolutionary Press will set up its mobile letterpress print station for those wanting a free print on this paper. The selected quote will relate to the mysterious material incorporated in the pulp mixture.

*** The American Precision Museum in Windsor is hosting a temporary exhibit from now until September 13. Letters and Stitches features rarely seen typewriters and sewing machines from the museum collection.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering Moving Circles: Volvelles with Stephanie Wolff on September 18.

Volvelles, sometimes known as wheel charts, have a centuries-long history. They have been used in historic books, in promotional materials, and in devices to aid computation. Two or more circles turn to show information through cut out windows. This workshop covers a basic version of a volvelle and discussion of variations and ideas about incorporating content.

Our focus in this workshop will be on making models and learning how these function in order to create more complex and finished versions after the workshop. Volvelles are fun to make as cards, personalized gifts or to include in artists’ books.

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

Suminagashi marbling*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Suminagashi Marbling with Sheryl Oppenheim on September 21.

Suminagashi is the oldest form of marbling, dating back to at least the 12th century. It is totally distinct, both in material and methods, from the size-based marbling practiced in Turkey, Iran, and Europe.

In this class you will learn about the history of Suminagashi, materials, and techniques, and you will each work at home to make your own Suminagashi marbled paper.

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

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering the Slotted Tape Binding with Rachel Schend on September 28.

In this virtual workshop, learn how to construct a Slotted Tape Binding, a multiple-section binding sewn on tapes (thin strips paper) that features a decorative paper cover. Learn how to sew book pages onto paper tapes using a French web-sewing technique. Then, make a paper cover while considering a number of unique design possibilities.

Each technical step in the process will be demonstrated and participants will come away with a completed book. Some historical background and design alternatives will also be presented.

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

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