Skip to content

VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” September 2022

2022 September 12

Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 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

Woven logoIn continuing with our tradition of choosing a theme for our meetings every year, the B.A.G. Board has selected the theme of Woven for 2022.

Weaving is one of the oldest surviving crafts in history, and is an integral part of all of our lives. We wear woven clothing, we sit on woven seats, we use and admire woven baskets.

In the paper and book world, there are many examples of paper weaving, woven book covers, and woven structures. Here are a few resources to get your brain churning:

The possibilities are kind of endless!

During the meetings this year, guest presenters will guide you through techniques to get you started on your woven explorations. The simplest methods can produce exciting results and we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Program: The Woven Codex with Dorsey Hogg

Woven CodexIn September’s meeting, Dorsey Hogg will be teaching us how to make the Woven Codex from Alisa Golden‘s Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms.

You’ll be weaving together 4 signatures using 2 long strips of material that will bind the pages together without adhesive or sewing. The covers can be made from any heavyweight paper you have around, for example an old watercolor painting.


  • 1 12″ x 7″ piece of heavy paper for the cover
  • 8 8″ x 4″ pieces of medium weight paper
  • 4 4″ x 4″ pieces of medium to heavy weight paper
  • 2 10″ x 0.75″ strips of tyvek (I used a USPS priority mailer, you need a material that can fold, is thin, but strong enough to hold the book together.
  • Glue (only a little is needed)


  • Measuring tool
  • X-Acto knife
  • Cutting mat

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

August Meeting Reflections

2 Crossed Structure BindingsFor our August meeting Elissa Campbell presented the second half of the Crossed Structure Binding Linked lesson. This structure is very doable and at the same time is so impressive when completed. I never tried it before Elissa demonstrated because it seemed intimidating but it really isn’t difficult!

Elissa’s instructions were very clear and at the end of the meeting participants showed variations that they created using some different materials and stitching designs. The structure lends itself to designing different weaving patterns and stitch patterns. Cover materials that were successfully used were leather, Tyvek, and stiff paper. I would also recommend Kraft-Tex paper. It is a material that can be made to look like and feel like leather and can be painted/dyed or printed on.

I hope participants will share what they do with this wonderful structure in subsequent meetings! Thanks, Elissa.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Cover of Non-Adhesive Binding Vol 1It’s back to school time, so let’s get back to basics! Keith Smith’s primer on book covers in Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 1 gives us tips on papers and measuring techniques to use, as well as describing methods for creating more complex covers with slots, layers, overhangs, and reinforced spines. Let these basic tools of the trade inspire your next book’s cover!

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

You can check out and download the selection here.

B.A.G. News

*** Susan Smereka and Jane Ploughman are co-teaching two classes at Susan’s Burlington studio in September:

  • Creative Bookmaking will take place on Tuesdays, September 20 – October 18. Learn the process of paste paper, Gelli plate printing, and Japanese marbling; Suminagashi. These decorative papers will be incorporated into book structures such as single sheet, a single flag, and an accordion with a hardcover. In your final book project, you will also work on the content (words, drawings, collage, etc) for your book. ​
  • The Generative Book will take place on Thursdays, September 22 – October 6. Create a unique artist book while learning new bookmaking and printmaking techniques. This workshop will guide you through a three-part creative process to generate text and images using Gelli plate printmaking and collage. Your completed project will combine your edited and refined creations in a hardcover book with 8 spreads bound with a long stitch variation.

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

*** B.A.G. member Laura Lacroix is looking for recommendations for a printing service local to East Charleston, Vermont. If you have any ideas, please contact Laura at

Vermont Open Studio Weekend 30th anniversary logo*** Vermont Fall Open Studio Weekend is coming up on October 1 & 2 and it’s a great way to combine fall foliage viewing and harvest activities with visits to artists across Vermont.

There are a few opportunities for you to visit B.A.G. member studios:

You can download a pdf of the complete Fall Event & Resource Guide from the Vermont Crafts Council website (this is a really big file). Studios have been organized into loops to help you plan your travels and you can see them here.

Book Arts News

*** The traveling exhibition Pulped Under Pressure will be hosted by the University of Southern Maine from September 7 – December 22, 2022. With traditional hand papermaking at its core, the exhibition underscores important contemporary issues steeped in history and craft. Enticed through touch, these works encourage a contemplative slowing down even as they urge acknowledgment of some of the most pressing issues (environmental crisis to global marginalization) facing civilization today.

The artists’ multifaceted works incorporate a rich range of printmaking, letterpress, papercutting, and installation with a diversity of recycled disposable materials (junk mail, egg cartons, old cotton t-shirts, ripped denim jeans) as well as old bedsheets, beetroot, heirloom plants, and illuminated el wires. In very unique ways, these artists consider paper beyond its most common function as a passive surface of record or craft. Instead, the material is transformed and embedded with content that turns communication into a public practice.

For more information, please visit the USM website.

*** On September 29, the University of Southern Maine’s Special Collections and the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts are co-sponsoring What is Book Arts: A Panel Discussion. The discussion will be moderated by Susie R. Bock, Coordinator of Special Collections and Director of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine. The event is free and open to the public.

Panelists include Liz Brown, Rachel Church, Anna Low, and Angel Simoneau. The event will be held on the 7th floor in the University Events Room at the Glickman Family Library, USM Portland Campus.

For more information, please visit the KCCCBA website.

*** Thanks to Helen Hiebert‘s amazing newsletter, I discovered the work of artist Jonpaul Smith. He creates complex paper weavings using (in his words) “discarded consumer packaging, original traditional and non-traditional prints, gouache paintings, smoke transfers and other paper ephemera.” Check him out!

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Alternative Printmaking at Home with Rosae Reeder on Wednesdays, September 14 – 28.

This virtual printmaking workshop focuses on using accessible materials to make prints and embellish existing art projects. Explore several techniques including packing tape transfer, Matte Medium transfer, watercolor monoprint, and Gelli plate printing. All of these processes can be done safely at home without caustic materials, chemicals, or printing presses.

After learning printing techniques, participants will construct a single-page book structure to experiment with creating simple artist’s books from prints. No prior bookbinding or printmaking experience is needed.

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

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Long Stitch Binding At Home with Scott McCarney on Thursdays, September 22 – 29. In this workshop, participants will learn how to create a book using the long stitch binding technique two different ways. This binding technique is versatile and can be applied to multiple materials, making it an excellent option for any book project.

Long stitch bindings are non-adhesive and require no paste or glue. They are relatively easy and quick to sew, adaptable to small edition binding. The finished books can lay flat, making them suitable for sketchbooks and journals. The sewing technique is centuries-old, originating in medieval Germany, and historically can be found on limp parchment bindings (though we will be sewing sections onto reinforced paper covers).

On the first session, you will learn how to tailor a reinforced paper cover to a stack of folded sections, prepare sewing stations in the cover and sections, and sew a basic long stitch that creates an alternating pattern of thread along the spine. In the second session, you will learn a variation on the basic long stitch where the threads are parallel across the spine. Some exterior sewn thread reinforcements will be introduced that reinforce the spine and can be quite decorative.

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

*** Maine Media Workshops + College is offering the Sewn Board Binding with Suzanne Glémot on September 24 & 25, 2022.

The sewn board binding is a light and versatile book structure that opens flat – an appealing structure for artists working in a variety of 2-D media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital printing, and collage (it also makes for a great journal). Its materials are quite adaptable, too, making it a great binding to explore at home or with a small studio set-up.

Workshop participants will complete this structure, from text block preparation to covering the layered boards with decorative papers, over the course of two sessions. Working with an instructor-provided book kit, students will sew the covers into the text block using a French link stitch; learn how to line a spine; and build a fitted, cloth-covered spine piece.

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

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering The Road Book with Stephanie Wolff on October 1. Participants should have solid basic bookbinding skills to get the most out of the workshop.

This workshop covers an historical book structure useful for maps, prints, or other material, inspired by an example the instructor observed while working as a book conservator. The Road Book (the title of this 1904 New England road atlas) is a pamphlet bound single-signature structure, but the configuration and attachment of the pages allows for clear double-page spreads.

A simple (and perhaps obvious) idea once learned, it’s a useful structure. We will talk about a few adaptations, materials, and share our ideas for its use. Our model will be softcover, but easily adapted to a hardcover version.

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

Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This