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

2023 March 3

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 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: Tunnel Books with Dorsey Hogg

Tunnel bookAmong the movables we’re exploring this year are tunnel books, which are made from a set of panels attached to an accordion on each side and viewed through a hole in the front. This type of book dates from the mid-18th century and was inspired by theatrical stage sets.

According to Wikipedia, “the term ‘tunnel book’ derives from the fact that many of these books were made to commemorate the building of the tunnel under the Thames River in London in the mid-19th century.” (Who knew?)

In our March meeting, you’ll learn the basics of creating a tunnel book with our own Dorsey Hogg.

Here’s what you’ll need to participate in the project:

  • 5: 4″ x 6″ pieces of cardstock or similar weight paper for the pages
  • 2: 4′ x 8″ strips of paper, I used 80lb drawing paper for the side bindings
  • 1: 4.25″ x 18.25″ strip of paper, I used the same 80lb drawing paper for the wrap around cover.
  • Glue stick
  • Measuring tool
  • X-Acto knife
  • Bone folder

If you’d like to attend the meeting over Zoom, please contact Elissa so she can send you the details.

February Meeting Reflections

Ed HutchinsSome people just bring joy to everything they touch, and Ed Hutchins is one such person. What started as a show and tell, with charming videos of Ed leading us through some highlights of his artist book collection, ended with a hands-on reflection on Valentine pop-ups just in time for Valentine’s Day. Ed makes pop-ups look easy and accessible to everyone!

His presentation was a whirlwind introduction to the world of movable books, ranging from different cultures such as the Zhen Xian Bao, or Chinese thread box, to different structures such as tunnel books and flexagons. One of my personal favorites was the work of Paul Johnson, an English book artist who uses slotted structures without glue, and incorporates foldouts and pop-ups with sweet, brightly colored illustrations.

Oh, and then there were hearts, many hearts. There were accordion hearts, wiggle hearts, spiral hearts, interlocking hearts, and floating hearts. The eight different valentines Ed showed us in roughly 8 minutes was pure magic. I hope everyone took advantage of his challenge to send him a valentine and get one from him in return. There’s such joy in receiving an envelope covered with cute stickers from our friend.

Thanks so much, Ed! And thanks also to everyone who showed up and participated in this magical evening.

B.A.G. Library Corner

Cover of Adventures in BookbindingAs we continue this year’s exploration of movable books and interactive structures, I began to think about what if a book was something else entirely – like a doll?

Mimi Kirchner’s plush doll sketchbook, featured in Jeannine Stein’s Adventures in Bookbinding: Handcrafting Mixed-Media Books, is a whimsical slipcover for a handmade sketchbook. But what if the pages were actually sewn into the slipcover? Could you turn a doll, or another unexpected object, into a book?

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

Zines text*** Due to the success of our last Zine Swap, B.A.G. is hosting another one!

What’s a zine? A zine (short for fanzine or magazine) is a self-published booklet, usually made on paper and reproduced with a photocopier or printer. Our previous Zine Swap was fun and participants enjoyed receiving 10 zines from fellow members. Sally Knight and Marilyn Gillis have agreed to organize the swap.

Here are the steps for participating in this next Zine Swap:

  1. Join the swap by emailing Marilyn Gillis at by March 31, 2023 to state your desire to participate.
  2. Create an 8-page folded zine. This is a structure using one 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper which is folded and cut to create a 4.25″ x 2.75″ booklet. Copy paper is fine for making a zine. The structure is simple, fast and easy to make. There are many YouTube instructional videos, just search for how to make a one-page zine. If you need help you can email Marilyn.
  3. Create your zine content. Make a master copy.
  4. Copy your zine 11 times. One copy is for you to keep.
  5. Fold each of your copies.
  6. Send 10 copies to Marilyn Gillis, 9 Arthur Court, Burlington, VT 05401 by May 31.
  7. Receive a packet of 10 participant zines in June!

*** Susan Smereka will be teaching Generative Book with Jane Ploughman on March 22 & 29, and April 5, 2023.

Create a unique artist’s 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 (approximately 3.5″ x 5”) with 8 spreads (30 sides) handbound with a long stitch variation.

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

Blizzard book and variations by Elissa Campbell*** Elissa Campbell will be teaching Blizzard of Blizzards at Studio Place Arts on March 11.

If this winter is giving you the blues, here’s a reason to like it a bit more – book artist Hedi Kyle‘s famous Blizzard Book was invented during a snowstorm! This gem of a book has a spine made of folded pockets that lock pages into place without using adhesive. The folded components can be modified to create other structures that Hedi affectionately refers to as the Blizzard Clan.

In this workshop, you’ll start by making the book that started it all, the Blizzard Book. As time allows, you’ll complete up to five variations including the Blizzard Box, the Blizzard Pocket, and the amazing Wheel of Fortune. All of these structures are intended to house your choice of content – for example, business cards, ticket stubs, or fortune cookie fortunes.

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

Book Arts News

Femmezine logo*** Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, Vermont is hosting Femmezine, now through March 4. Zine makers from all over (with a focus on local artists) will have their work and message on display and available for reading.

The show celebrates the Femme (An identity or presentation that leans towards femininity) DIY spirit as well as the necessity to shout out the message of “We are here, we exist, acknowledge us!”

The Do It Yourself (DIY) movement started with music, but would branch out into the rest of the arts. Fanzines (fan•zeenz) were a way for kids to distribute their message to others, helping to grow the culture, the community, and their chosen family.

For more information, please visit the Chandler website.

*** On March 24, The Grolier Club is hosting an online, full-day symposium in celebration of the Pattern and Flow, A Golden Age of American Decorated Paper, 1960s to 2000s exhibition, sponsored by the Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The free event will start with introductions and the keynote address, then offer panel presentations on 1. Techniques and materials in decorated paper; 2 the expansion of decorated paper in the U.S. (programs, outreach, education, publications); 3. earning a living in decorated paper (building a business, products); and 4. distributing and collecting decorated paper (trends and sales).

For more information or to register, please visit the event 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.

*** 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 One Sheet Books with Stephanie Wolff on March 9.

A few folds, a cut or two and presto, a book! Participants will create a selection of simple folded “books” made from one piece of paper in this workshop. They are great for zines, comics, cards, and other self-publishing ventures, as well as artists’ books.

Paper choices, layout, and duplication methods will all be covered. Simple, inexpensive means of duplication or more complex artmaking methods can be combined with these forms. Our focus will be on making a set of models as reference for future work after the workshop.

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

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Mini Modeled Books with Amanda D’Amico on March 14 & 28.

What happens when you combine historical Coptic bindings with contemporary craft materials? You get small, playful book objects! For the bookbinder who loves sculpture, this virtual workshop will cover how to make a three-dimensional book cover using Crayola Model Magic, a non-toxic, lightweight modeling material.

Part one of the workshop will cover tips and tricks for working with the modeling material, as well as how to design your book object for success. Part two of the workshop will cover instruction on the two-needle Coptic stitch binding, a traditional and wonderfully adaptable sewing technique that can be used for many sculptural structures.

Note that this workshop has two weeks between the two sessions to allow the Crayola Model Magic to fully dry and shrink to its permanent size.

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

*** Maine Media Workshops + College is offering Japanese Boro Stitch for Bookbinding with Marsha Shaw on April 1 & 8.

In this workshop, students will learn to make an accordion book that uses a Japanese Boro mending stitch. What is so exciting about this structure is that you can work on the pages separately and then bind them together to make a book of any length. For example, a continuing photographic series can be added over time.

Students will learn the skills necessary to keep making these books and written instructions will be provided (The instructions are for a 3.5″ x 2.5″ playing card but the instructor will show you how to adjust the holes to your size pages). Students will be provided a small kit with two master sheets of collage paper to play with, or you can use your own papers or photographs.

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

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