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Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Handmade books by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof DesignsLast year I was unable to participate in Open Studio Weekend (a.k.a. OSW) due to a family commitment. For what it’s worth, it was a lovely graduation.

While I am participating in OSW this year, it bums me out that I can’t visit other artists’ studios. Last year I wrote a blog post about book artists participating in OSW and I decided to make this an annual blog feature.

Welcome to the 2010 Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

I created the Google map below, which includes all of the studios to help you plan your travels. Unfortunately, the book arts studios aren’t very close to each other. By the way, I’m studio #220 .

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map below.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

First stop on the book arts tour is #107 Carolyn Shattuck. A seasoned printmaker, Carolyn cuts up scrap monotypes and uses the pieces in her handmade books. Many of her books include pop-up elements to set the scene for her storytelling.

Here’s how she describes her work.

Books represent an opportunity for me to combine my printing skills with text. The imagery in my monotype process almost always has a narrative and so this art form is a natural extension.

#142 Nancy Stone is the second stop on the tour. Nancy is one of the founders of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. Not only is Nancy an amazing book artist, she is also a well-known teacher in the books arts throughout Vermont and has inspired many students. In addition to her bookmaking, Nancy also works in watercolors and often incorporates painting techniques in her work. If you go to her studio, ask her to show you her journal from her travels to Italy – it’s fabulous.

Next stop is #170 Meta Strick. Meta has been my super-awesome booth neighbor at the Vermont Hand Crafters holiday show for several years. During slow moments, I usually wander in her booth to look at her wonderful mixed-media pieces. Meta led a “Junk Box Books” workshop for the Book Arts Guild of Vermont last year – her theory is that you can make anything into a book. After attending her workshop, I’m inclined to agree. 

Her interest in Book Arts is evident in the tiny handmade books held by her unique Art Dolls. An accomplished calligrapher, she embellishes most of her work with lettering.

She made the most wonderful little house with a blue roof – it says “bookbinder” on it. If you ever visit me at a craft show, you’ll find the house on my checkout table. Sometimes people ask me if I’ll sell it to them. Um, no.

The next stop is #191 Ken Leslie. Here’s how he describes his work in the book arts:

I began making artist’s books as a result of experimenting with non-rectangular painting shapes—especially circles. As the work took on a sequential narrative, I began folding the paintings into various book forms. I have since specialized in making limited edition and one-of-a-kind artist’s books, ranging in size from two inches to ten feet. I paint and write on a variety of themes, including our place in the Universe, a layman’s theory of relativity, the battle between nature and technology, and, most recently, light and dark on and above the Arctic Circle. My books and paintings are in many private and public collections around the world.

I’m not sure if he shows any of his large pieces during Open Studio Weekend – I saw one of them at the SPA Gallery and his use of the circular format is quite striking.

The last stop is #129, the Creative Space Gallery. Memorial Day weekend is your last chance to see Celebration of the Handmade Book, an exhibit by the Book Arts Guild of Vermont at the gallery in Vergennes, VT. The show is really wonderful, with over 50 handmade books by Guild members. Carolyn Shattuck, Nancy Stone, and I all have pieces in the show – if you can only have time for one stop during the weekend, the gallery is a good choice. You can read more about the exhibit here.

If you do go to any of the studios, share your experiences here and I will live vicariously through you. If you have any pictures, I’d love to see them…you can even do a guest post on my blog!

Make that Book Arts Tour map bigger!

One Response to “Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend”

[…] Elissa wrote a blog post about all of the book arts studios open for Open Studio Weekend and it includes a Google map to help you plan your trip. You can read the post on her website. […]

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