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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” December 2014

December 4, 2014

Next Meeting: Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

We meet at the Unitarian Universalist Society Church located at 152 Pearl Street in Burlington, VT. We will be in the Sophia Fahs Community Room, a large room located in the basement. Click here for more information on directions/parking.


Program: Altered Books: Folded-Page Book Sculptures with Marilyn Gillis

Learn how to make easy sculptures from old books by using different page folding patterns. Fiber and book artist Marilyn Gillis will begin the meeting by showing book sculptures she has made using these techniques plus various ways to enhance the sculpture forms. Then she will get you started on your own sculpture(s).

The process is fun and easy; something to do in front of the TV or while listening to music. It can also challenge your artistic side if you want to decorate or enhance your sculptures.

Supplies to bring:

  • 1 or 2 old books about 1″ thick, can be paperback or hard coverB
  • Bone folder – not necessary, but helpful

Marilyn Gillis is a mixed media/fiber artist. Eight years ago she became interested in book arts and has enjoyed learning a new medium. Her particular interest is in making folded page book sculptures, and she had made and sold them as another expression of her creative energy.


November Meeting Reflections

Book Arts Guild of VT meetingNovember brought us together to share card tricks and booklets in mini workshops led by members of the group. The spirit of comradery, willingness to teach, and openness to learn made it a joyous evening. We all came away with new ideas and skills, and a warm fuzzy feeling with which to begin the holiday season.

Thanks to all who participated!

You can view images from the meeting on the B.A.G. blog.


B.A.G. News

*** Announcing a new meeting format for 2015!

The BAG Board of Directors met in November to plan the upcoming year, and we are excited to announce a new approach we hope will spur and support our members’ creative work. In addition to an exciting roster of presenters for meetings, starting in January we will introduce an every other month meeting format titled Studio Support and Workshop Time.

These will be open sessions (with no presenter) during which we hope four things will happen:

  1. Members will have an opportunity to briefly “show and tell” their recent work at the start of the meeting.
  2. Members can receive support and creative problem solving from other members for any challenges or problems they are having in their work.
  3. Members can continue work and follow up on the project or technique presented in the previous meeting(s).
  4. Members can bring a current piece they are working on to simply continue their own work in the company of other artists.

The Board will also be introducing a challenge project for members and those who want can use the Studio Support and Workshop Time to participate in the challenge project. Artists spend much time working in isolation, so it is our hope that Studio Support sessions will be fun and will enhance and encourage our individual work.

*** Announcing our Spring 2015 exhibit: Book Works, book-related works by the Book Arts Guild of Vermont!

The exhibit will take place at the SEABA Center Gallery at 404 Pine Street in Burlington during the month of April. The opening will be on First Friday Art Walk, April 3rd, and we will have a gallery talk on April 8th that will serve as our April meeting.

Entries will be due on March 20, but may be brought to the March 11th meeting. Entries are free for BAG members, and $10.00 each ($25.00 for 3) for non-members. The gallery takes a 30% commission on sales. Click here to download the entry form.

*** The Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s annual membership begins January 2015!

The primary mission of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont is to act as both an educational and creative resource in the field of book arts. Our monthly meetings are $5.00 an evening or free with a $35.00 annual membership. Your membership supports the mission of the Book Arts Guild, pays for our rented space, provides opportunities to exhibit and supports honorariums to presenters.

In addition to the benefits you receive (outlined on this page of our website), your paid membership also enables us to cover expenses such our website and email newsletter – key tools for keeping our book arts community in touch and informed. A special membership benefit this year is that you don’t have to pay to submit work to our annual, non-juried book arts exhibition. You’ll also receive a personal thank you from Ann Joppe-Mercure (priceless).

If you have a skill, a passion, a favorite technique or a body of work that others would love to learn about, and then take the leap and volunteer to share it with us as a presenter. If you present at a B.A.G. meeting, you receive free membership for the year. Think about it – we know you have something to share!

If you would like to become a supporting B.A.G. member, click here to download our membership form.


Book Arts News

Handmade paper*** The Paper Room (formerly known as Langdell Paper) at AVA Art Center is holding its annual open studio on December 5th & 6th. Not only are there going to be 1,000’s of sheets of handmade paper available for purchase, but there will also be refreshments and fun paper-related conversation.

There are two specials of note:

  • Buy 20 large sheets for ½ price
  • Buy 50 sheets (at ½ price) and Richard will donate an additional 50 large sheets to the starving artist or teacher of your choice

Hours on Friday are from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The AVA Art Center is located at 11 Bank Street in Lebanon, NH. The Paper Room is on the second floor in studio #209. For more information, please call (802) 222-0503 or Email rlangdell@gmail.com.

Marbled paper*** Chena River Marblers is holding an open studio on December 13 & 14 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. There will be marbling and bookbinding demonstrations, along with an end-of-year overstock and seconds sale.

The studio is located at 70 Justice Drive in Amherst, MA. For more information, please call (413) 253-2835.

Handmade artist book*** Geographies: New England Book Work, the New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers exhibition, is now on view at The University of Vermont’s Bailey/Howe Library in Burlington, Vermont through December 12, 2014.

Geographies: New England Book Work includes bookbindings and artist’s books that relate to the theme of New England created by 26 of our members. Included are classic regional texts, books that make personal connections to the region, and New England history from a variety of perspectives, among other topics.

For more information on the exhibition and the complete schedule please go to the post on the chapter blog.

*** Now through December 13, 2014, InsideOUT Contemporary Bindings of Private Press Books is on display in the Edison and Newman Room, Houghton Library at Harvard University.

Fifty-nine binders and nine private presses from North America, Canada and Britain have collaborated to form an exhibition which demonstrates the relationship of the binding design to the printed book. Because many of the binders have chosen the same title to work on, it also highlights the differing approaches to the same text.

Harvard University is located in Cambridge, MA.

*** How do your surroundings inform your work? The Chandler Gallery, in Randolph, VT invites artists to submit work that evokes a sense of place and space. They are considering both two and three dimensional interpretations of this theme which need not rely on literal depiction of location, but use the idea of place as a starting point for inspiration or source of material.

Submissions should be sent digitally to artofplace.chandler@gmail.com by midnight, December 15 with notification to artists by January 1, 2015. Submissions are limited to two per artist. The show opens on January 17, 2015 and runs through March 8th.


Book Arts Classes

*** On Saturdays from January 10 – February 7, 2015, the North Bennet Street School is offering Fundamentals of Bookbinding I with Amy Lapidow.

Students learn the foundations of bookbinding with hands-on experience and discussion. The course covers non-adhesive structures and case bindings, students learn about structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, and tools and equipment. Discussions throughout the course cover terminology, paper grain and folding, selecting proper materials and tools, and adhesives and their properties.

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

*** The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Altered Books with Daniel Embree on February 1 & 8, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Transform used books into art objects. Learn bookmaking, paper cutting, drawing, collage and decollage techniques to reinvent used books into something new. Bring some books and some small objects and images to include. We will distribute a list of good Boston book-buying places in advance.

For more information about the class, please visit the Eliot School’s website or click here to download the complete catalog.


Book Blitz and Card Tricks

November 24, 2014

Jill Abilock

handmade books

pile of handmade card materials

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting

Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting

handmade book

handmade book

handmade card

VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” November 2014

November 7, 2014

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

We meet at the Unitarian Universalist Society Church located at 152 Pearl Street in Burlington, VT. We will be in the Sophia Fahs Community Room, a large room located in the basement. Click here for more information on directions/parking.


Program: Mini Hands-On Workshops: Book Blitz and Card Tricks

waterfall cardJoin us for our always-popular annual November tradition: Member-led mini hands-on workshops in the form of a card or mini-book exchange that we call Book Blitz and Card Tricks. Get prepared now and join in the fun!

Design a card or small/simple book structure that has a trick or two; maybe a pop-up, French doors or a window. Bring your completed card or mini-book, along with materials for six undecorated cards or mini-book structures to share. We will have an exchange and then engage in some decorating fun.

Please feel free to join in the fun even if you don’t have time to prepare cards or mini-books to bring. We do a similar program every November and there is more than enough to go around. As in years past, expect to go home with some great new ideas, several new tricks up your sleeve, and a few new cards for the season.

Things to bring:

  • A decorated card/mini-book with a “trick” (optional)
  • 6 card structures of your card/mini-book “trick” to exchange (optional)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Decorative punches
  • Stamps and ink
  • Pens, pencils, markers
  • Decorative papers
  • Fun stuff!

October Meeting Reflections

BAG meeting at UVM Special CollectionsOctober brought us together at the wonderful Special Collections at the Bailey/Howe Library, where we were treated to a double whammy of a meeting.

First, the tag team of Deborah Howe and Stephanie Wolff wowed us with their insights into the stunning exhibit of book work from the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. Deborah and Stephanie discussed their love of the craft, and shared details of their own work as well as the other exhibitors in the show, Geographies: New England Book Work. Stephanie gave us an in depth look at the creation of her work Sweet New England, showing us her painstaking process resulting in a sweet tribute to familiar candies made in New England.

The second whammy was a table full of fantastic artists’ books chosen to reflect the theme of ‘place’, by Prudence Doherty, Special Collections Librarian. After Prudence gave us an overview of the works, we were let loose to handle and enjoy the books. We are very lucky to have the artists’ book collection available to us, and to have such a knowledgeable keeper of the craft to help us understand and appreciate it.

Thanks to Deborah, Stephanie, and Prudence for a remarkable meeting!

You can view images from the meeting on the B.A.G. blog.


Book Arts News

*** Announcing our Spring 2015 exhibit: Book Works sponsored by the Book Arts Guild of Vermont!

The exhibit will take place at SEABA on Pine Street in Burlington during the month of April. We encourage all members to participate in this broadly themed show, especially those who have not exhibited previously. Work can include new or time honored techniques, book-related pieces and sculpture, and generally any work that can be ‘read’. So start thinking before you get into the holiday frenzy!

More info will be available soon.

*** The Book Arts Guild of Vermont participated in the Champlain Mini Maker Faire at Shelburne Farms in September, where members demonstrated and taught simple (and not so simple) folded book structures including the one page book, accordions, and pop-ups.

Thanks to all who participated and attended. We hope we inspired a new generation of book workers and paper lovers. 

Handmade artist book*** Geographies: New England Book Work, the New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers exhibition, is now on view at The University of Vermont’s Bailey/Howe Library in Burlington, Vermont through December 12, 2014.

Geographies: New England Book Work includes bookbindings and artist’s books that relate to the theme of New England created by 26 of our members. Included are classic regional texts, books that make personal connections to the region, and New England history from a variety of perspectives, among other topics.

For more information on the exhibition and the complete schedule please go to the post on the chapter blog.

*** Merrick Grutchfield has a large flat file in excellent condition that she is selling for $100.00 or best offer. It was made to hold standard sheets of paper. For more information or to snatch it up, please contact Merrick at merrickgrutchfield@gmail.com.

*** Tisch Library on the Medford campus of Tufts University has several flat files to give away. You would have to transport them on their own during the week of December 1st. Case dimensions: 54″ w x 17″ h x 42″. Each case has 5 drawers.

For more information, please contact Laura Walters at laura.walters@tufts.edu.

*** There will be a bookbinding yard sale at The Bindery in Somerville, MA on Sunday November 9, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Available goodies include a Kwikprint with chase, sewing frames, task lights, finishing press with plow, books, leather, paper, small tools & other things you can’t live without!

The Bindery is located at 11 Miller Street in room 204. No early birds, please. Cash strongly preferred.

*** Now through December 13, 2014, InsideOUT Contemporary Bindings of Private Press Books is on display in the Edison and Newman Room, Houghton Library at Harvard University.

Fifty-nine binders and nine private presses from North America, Canada and Britain have collaborated to form an exhibition which demonstrates the relationship of the binding design to the printed book. Because many of the binders have chosen the same title to work on, it also highlights the differing approaches to the same text.

Harvard University is located in Cambridge, MA.

*** The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers will have a booth at the upcoming Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. Volunteers are needed to sit at the booth during the following hours:

  • Friday, November 14: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 15: 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 16: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

They want to have two volunteers in the booth at all times. To volunteer please email Todd Pattison at bookandtile@att.net. All volunteers will get free entry into the Fair!


Book Arts Classes

*** On Saturdays from January 10 – February 7, 2015, the North Bennet Street School is offering Fundamentals of Bookbinding I with Amy Lapidow.

Students learn the foundations of bookbinding with hands-on experience and discussion. The course covers non-adhesive structures and case bindings, students learn about structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, and tools and equipment. Discussions throughout the course cover terminology, paper grain and folding, selecting proper materials and tools, and adhesives and their properties.

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

*** The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Altered Books with Daniel Embree on February 1 & 8, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Transform used books into art objects. Learn bookmaking, paper cutting, drawing, collage and decollage techniques to reinvent used books into something new. Bring some books and some small objects and images to include. We will distribute a list of good Boston book-buying places in advance.

For more information about the class, please visit the Eliot School’s website or click here to download the complete catalog.


Visit to UVM Special Collections

October 17, 2014

Stephanie Wolff

BAG meeting at UVM Special Collections

Stephanie Wolff and Deborah Howe

BAG meeting at UVM Special Collections

Artist book by Susan Bonthron

“Stones” by Susan Bonthron

Handbound book by Patty Bruce

“Life Along the Connecticut River” by Patty Bruce

Design binding by Elizabeth Curran

“Little Women” by Elizabeth Curran

Artist book by Todd Pattinson

“My Maine” by Todd Pattinson

Artist book by Nancy Leavitt

“Plant Corridors” by Nancy Leavitt

Artist book by Graham Patten

“Call Me Trimtab” by Graham Patten

BAG meeting at UVM Special Collections

Deborah Howe and Stephanie Wolff

BAG meeting at UVM Special Collections

Stephanie Wolff

Artist book by Stephanie Wolff

BAG meeting at UVM Special Collections

BAG meeting at UVM Special Collections

BAG meeting at UVM Special Collections

Artist book by Karen Kunc

“Fractured Terrain” by Karen Kunc

Artist book by The Tideline Press

“Gooseberry Creek” by The Tideline Press

Artist book by Claire Van Vliet

Artist book by Claire Van Vliet

VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” October 2014

October 3, 2014

Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The October meeting will be held at UVM’s Special Collections in the basement of Bailey Howe Library. Click here to download a pdf of the directions to Special Collections.

Please note that in October we will not be meeting as usual on the second Wednesday at the Unitarian Church in Burlington.


Program: Special Visit to UVM Special Collections

This year, our visit to Special Collections will provide the unique opportunity to view the spectacular work of the members of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, as their traveling exhibit – Geographies: New England Book Work – is currently on display at UVM’s Bailey/Howe Library.

Even more exciting, exhibitors Deborah Howe and Stephanie Wolff will be on hand to offer a guided tour of the exhibit! They will discuss the creation of their own books in the show, methods of construction used by other exhibitors, and contemporary bookbinding and book arts. The exhibition contains a variety of artist books, bindings, and manuscript books on the theme “New England.”

Deborah Howe is the Collections Conservator and a Book Arts Instructor at Dartmouth College Library, and board member of the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio. Stephanie Wolff is an artist, hand bookbinder, and book conservator. She teaches book arts to students of all ages, including at Dartmouth College Library’s Book Arts Workshop.

The Guild of Book Workers, a national organization founded in 1906, brings together people interested in all the book arts, including bookbinding, book conservation, calligraphy, decorative paper, papermaking, and printing. For more information visit negbw.wordpress.com and www.guildofbookworkers.org.

* Please bring a pencil, not a pen, if you plan to take notes.


September Meeting Reflections

Our September meeting was one of learning and giving. Judy Sgantas provided the group with first hand knowledge of the altruistic work provided by Team Heart. Our hearts opened as she described the culture and conditions in Rwanda. The medical team will return to Rwanda again in February to provide heart surgery for young patients. This year Judy will accompany them and work with the children in the orphanage. She will teach bookmaking and provide art supplies donated by our Book Arts Guild.

At our meeting Judy taught us the book structure of wallet books. We made several for Team Heart to give to patients and care givers in Rwanda. Jill Abilock provided beautiful paste papers for the books so each one is unique special.

Thank you Judy and Jill for providing us with a few hours away from our lives to learn about the needs of others and to have the opportunity to make a positive contribution through bookmaking.

Judy will accept more wallet books and donations through December for the work of Team Heart.


Book Arts News

*** The Champlain Mini Maker Faire will be held at Shelburne Farms Coach Barn on Saturday, October 4th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, October 5th from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Faire is a family-friendly event to MAKE, create, learn, invent, CRAFT, recycle, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology.

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont will have a booth at the Faire where we will demonstrate simple book structures, and allow participants to try their hand at book arts. Stop by if you are at the Faire!

*** OSW Woodcut imageOn October 4 & 5, the statewide Open Studio Weekend is offering a wonderful selection of book artsy studios for you to visit.

If you’re up for a tour, you can find your comrades in the following locations:

Elissa created a Google Map with all of the locations to help you with your tour. You can find maps and directions to studios on the VT Crafts Council website. You can also download a pdf of the 2014 Fall Vermont Open Studio Tour Guide. Please note that this is a really big file.

*** Fiber artist Marion Seasholtz generates a lot of cotton batting and fabric scraps in her work and is offering them to anyone interested in using them for papermaking. If you’re interested, please contact Marion at marion@windsedgestudio.com.

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here*** Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is on exhibit at the Eliot D. Pratt Library Art Gallery at Goddard College now through October 10, 2014. The exhibit commemorates the 2007 bombing that resulted in the loss of a vibrant cultural and literary community in Baghdad.

The exhibit has been traveling the world since 2012 and includes artists’ books and broadsides by artists from 26 countries. Goddard College is in Plainfield, VT.

*** The McGrath Lecture in Contemporary Book Arts presents Twenty Years of the Double Elephant Press: Harnessing Influence & Ignorance on October 8, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. in the Neilson Browsing Room at Smith College, in Northampton, MA. To accompany this lecture, there is an exhibition of selected works from the Double Elephant Press, on view through December 15 at the entrance to the Mortimer Rare Book Room (Neilson Library, level 3).

Michael Kuch of Double Elephant Press began drawing in pen and ink at the age of eleven at home in northern Vermont; one year later he had a one-man show at a local museum. For the past twenty years Kuch has worked with book artisans in the Northampton area, notably the letterpress printer Art Larson, as well as numerous bookbinders. Lately, Kuch has delved into printing his own etched text and made forays into bookbinding.

For more information, please visit the Smith College Libraries website.


Book Arts Classes

onion binding*** On October 25, 2014, the North Bennet Street School, in collaboration with the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, is offering an Onion Skin Binding workshop with Benjamin Elbel.

Learn the complex sequence of scores, folds and gluings involved in the amazing Onion Skin binding, a structure that grows from the inside to the outside, gradually incorporating the single sheets into a continuous stub.

While you will learn in a traditional workshop setting, Benjamin’s instruction will be projected on a screen for students as he will be located at his studio in London.

For more information or to register, please visit the Guild of Book Workers website.

*** The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA is offering Fold & Stitch Books with Annie Silverman on Sunday, October 19 & 26, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Using simple techniques that build upon each other, learn a variety of essential book forms: sewn pamphlets, multiple-signature books, accordion and flag books, along with simple wrappers and envelopes.

For more information about the class, please visit the Eliot School’s website or click here to download the complete catalog.