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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” February 2023

2023 February 2

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 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

Movable Books circle logoIn continuing with our tradition of choosing a theme for our meetings every year, the B.A.G. Board has selected the theme of Movable Books for 2023.

Movable books are structures with 3-dimensional pages that make a book or card come alive in your hands. These include pop-ups, volvelles, tunnel books, pull-outs, crankies, and animated structures.

Put on your hard hat, because we are going to become Paper Engineers!

We will have a series of guest presenters to familiarize you with the varied structures, and to guide you through techniques that will turn your flat two-dimensional work into exciting pop-up fun!

In the movable book world, there is of course the Movable Book Society, which promotes all things movable. A look at their website and references should be all it takes to get you warmed up for the new year. Here are some other resources to get your brain churning:

Websites to drool over:

Books to pore over:

If that’s not enough for you, just google ‘tunnel books’ or ‘pop up books’, and prepare to spend some time in the rabbit hole. Take a look – the possibilities are kind of endless!

Program: Pop-ups and Movable Books with Ed Hutchins

Ed Hutchins pop-up bookContinuing with our movable book theme, we are excited to have Ed Hutchins as our guest presenter. Ed is a creative and innovative book artist and designer, as well as a collector of artist’s books. His work is colorful, playful, and imaginative, and always tells a good story.

During his presentation, we will look at books he has made, and examples from his Architecture of the Book Collection. He will also give us some ideas on how to use photos in movable greetings, and lastly, ideas for Valentines for you to make.

We are trying to figure out how to Zoom the meeting for those unable to attend in person. If you’d like to attend the meeting over Zoom, please contact Elissa and she’ll keep you in the loop.

January Meeting Reflections

Hands holding a pop-up zineI feel a lot of excitement building for our new theme of movable books! Elissa Campbell and Becky Boardman gave us some great ideas for pop-up structures, and different ways to incorporate them into books and cards.

Well, get ready for a zine swap, because we now have the skills to make shaped and sized structures. Keep your eyes open for the announcement for the next challenge.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Cover of Creative Book ArtIf you’re anything like me, I start to dream of far-away places as winter really sets in. But why dream when you can create your own places using books, paper, and a little structural ingenuity?

Using the tutorials from Clare YoungsCreative Book Art, we can create a whimsical village or a fantastical ocean getaway to make those long winter days a little shorter.

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

*** Support the Book Arts Guild of Vermont by becoming a member!

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is supported by its members and you have kept us going for more than seventeen (!) years. Our organization is solely run by volunteers and we do what we do because we love the book arts and we love B.A.G.. We continue to be inspired by our community, and the enthusiasm and talents that you bring to our meetings.

Membership dues are our main source of income and we hope that you will show that you value what we have to offer – quality programming, future exhibits, and more – by becoming a member. You get so much value out of your $35.00 and attending just one meeting can give you your full money’s worth.

Just to give you an idea of where membership dues go, here’s a breakdown of B.A.G.’s annual expenses:

  • Zoom subscription: $149.90 per year
  • Vimeo subscription: $84.00 per year
  • Rent: $50.00 per month when we can return to in-person attendance
  • Presenter honorarium: $35.00 per meeting
  • Website and email newsletter: $100.00 per year
  • Presenter reimbursement for supplies: Varies

We hope that you will renew your membership to help us with our annual expenses. You can download our membership form and send it in with your payment by check of $35.00 made out to the Book Arts Guild of Vermont:

Book Arts Guild of Vermont
c/o Ann Joppe-Mercure
10 Brookwood Dr
South Burlington, VT 05403

Thank you so much for your continued support of the guild. We wouldn’t be here without you.

*** Announcing the annual member show for 2023, The Art of the Book!

Our annual show will be held at S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington in July 2023. The details still need to be worked out, so stay tuned for more information about the submission deadline, exhibition dates, and the opening reception date.

Members are invited to submit 2 pieces, so get started!

*** Susan Smereka will be teaching Upcycle Journal on February 12. You will rebuild an old book and give it new life as a unique journal to inspire you to write and capture your precious ideas, collages and drawings.

You will take apart an old book, and rebind it with blank pages interleaved with text from the original. Build your knowledge and skills around bookbinding as you learn the parts of a book and how to do a long stitch binding with waxed linen thread. Whether you are new to bookbinding or not, this workshop is appropriate for all skill levels and interests.​

The workshop will take place at Susan Smereka’s studio space in Burlington, VT (Howard Street off of Pine).

For more information, please contact Susan at

Handmade accordion book*** Elissa Campbell will be leading a Book Arts Open Studio at Studio Place Arts on February 17 & 18. This experimental workshop is a mini retreat, where students who have taken some book arts classes in the past can explore taking their artist books to a new level. Enjoy the creative environment of working with other artists – it’s like a book arts play date!

The use of both standard and unconventional materials will be demonstrated, along with creative ways to apply them to the book arts. A wide range of tools and materials will be available for you to try, including collage, carved block stamps, image transfer, Dremel, and paper cutting. Different binding techniques will also be explored.

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

Book Arts News

*** The Boston Athenæum is hosting the exhibition Materialia Lumina | Luminous Books: Concept & Craft in Contemporary Artists’ Books from now until March 11, 2023.

The exhibit showcases a selection of outstanding contemporary artists’ books created by some of the world’s most accomplished makers over the past twenty-five years. The books embody a distinctive marriage of “high craft” with “high concept.” They demonstrate a mastery of the traditional arts of the book – printing, printmaking, typography, calligraphy, bookbinding, papermaking, and graphic design – intersecting vigorously with the conceptual daring and exploratory nature of the best contemporary art.

The exhibition explores the extraordinary level of skill and persistence involved in creating these beautiful works, as well as their unique power to speak to a range of contemporary issues and concerns.

For more information, please visit the Athenæum website. The Athenæum is located at 10½ Beacon Street in Boston, MA.

*** On Thursday February 23, the Boston Athenæum is presenting The What, the How, and the Why: Craft as an Extension of Thought, an online exhibition lecture with Russell Maret.

Throughout the brief history of the artists’ book, craft and concept have often seemed at odds with one another. It has only been in the last forty years or so that a “third stream” of bookmaking has developed, one in which High Craft and High Concept play equal roles in the making of a book. In this talk Russell Maret will explore these various ideas through an examination of his own work, as well as the books of other artists whose work is exhibited in Materialia Lumina | Luminous Books.

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

*** Now through April 29, the Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts is hosting Building Books: New England Book Artists Members Exhibition. The exhibition is located in the Great Reading Room, 7th floor, Glickman Family Library at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

NEBA is a professional organization of book artists and bibliophiles. It celebrates, promotes, and supports the book arts and its makers, fosters public education, and nurtures an understanding and enjoyment of the discipline through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and related activities.

For more information, please visit the KCCCBA website.

*** Arts and Exhibits Committee, University Libraries, at the University of South Dakota, is now taking entries for Bound and Unbound VII: Altered Book Exhibition through March 6, 2023. The biennial exhibition is scheduled for display Aug. 21, 2023 – Jan. 3, 2024.

Brian Dettmer, an American contemporary artist currently residing in Chicago, IL will serve as juror for this year’s exhibition. There are no restrictions on when works are created. Traditionally, they have featured only new works from the past three years, but this year they hope to garner a nice historical survey of the altered book as well as new works.

Full information, including a prospectus, can be found here.

For more information, please contact Hanson-Pareek at, Danielle De Jager-Loftus at, or Michael Boring at

*** The Rochester Public Library is currently accepting submissions for its 12th juried international exhibit, Art of the Book: Artist Books, Altered Books, & Paper Sculpture. The deadline for entries is May 15.

In 2011, the first Art of the Book exhibit was held in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Rochester Public Library. At the time, they wanted to celebrate what has been at the core of libraries for centuries – the book. They marveled over the intricate interpretations of this humble format and were thrilled with the response to the exhibit from the community.

In subsequent years, the exhibit has grown to include entries from all over the world, featuring well-known artists for their exquisite work. Books continue to ensnare the imagination, both for their form and content. Artists manipulate those two components to create breathtaking, mind-bending works of art that tease and cajole people to consider the intricacies of paper, ink, words, and meaning.

For more information or to view the prospectus, please visit the Rochester Public Library’s website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering The Flutter Book with Stephanie Wolff on February 7.

The flutter book is a simple structure from the Eastern binding tradition. It’s a codex that can act a bit like an accordion, since the text block can be gently pulled out from the spine to show multiple pages at one time. Single folios are joined to create the text block, with a variety of possible cover options.

A simple soft cover will be made in class, with discussion of other options. This binding is great for single-sided photographs or prints. It can accommodate papers of different weights – from heavier to very light. We’ll create two models (one with heavier paper, the other with lighter paper) to serve as reference for future work and discuss possibilities for the structure’s creative use.

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

*** Maine Media Workshops + College is offering Unfolding Narratives: Expanded Edition of Writing for Artist’s Books with Ellen Sheffield on Tuesdays, Feb 7 – March 14.

In this 6-session course, participants will learn techniques for generating text for artists’ books through conceptual approaches to language such as words as image, narrative, or lyrical expression. Participants will experiment with text itineraries and Dada and Surrealistic techniques.

Weeks 1 – 3: Writing exercises will be assigned to be completed before, during, and in between the first three workshop sessions. Various methods for getting text onto book pages will be demonstrated through mark-making, transfers, stencils, stamps, and rub-on type.

Weeks 3 – 6: In the last three sessions of the expanded edition of this workshop participants will choose from writings generated and use these to create text for a finished artist’s book project using a simple accordion-style structure folded from a single sheet of paper. Exercises and instructor demonstrations will support participants in developing their concepts and learning the skills step by step to make an artist’s book. The final workshop session will be an opportunity to share the artists’ books completed in the workshop.
For more information or to register, please visit the Maine Media website.

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Headbands: History, Use & Techniques with María Carolina Ceballos on February 15 & 22.

In this virtual workshop, learn how to make headbands for a variety of styles of bindings such as case binding, Coptic, slotted tapes, etc. Learn the basic logic and principles of headbands so you can, in the future, sew more complex types or use them in different applications without having to re-learn for each structure.

This workshop is designed for those with previous bookbinding experience so they can apply the techniques learned in their own practice. Knowledge of how to make a case binding and a Coptic binding is preferred since those are the structures on which most headband styles can be applied.

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

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