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Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Pile of handmade leather journals by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof DesignsWelcome to the 2016 Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

It’s time for my annual rundown of the book artists participating in Vermont Open Studio Weekend (coming up on May 28 & 29). Some of these talented folks are also members of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont, an organization I hold near and dear to my heart.

I created the Google map at the bottom of this post, which includes all of the studios to help you plan your travels. I wish I could say that the book arts studios are close to each other, but they’re not. Sad face.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the green Vermont Studio Tour Guide. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map. By the way, I’m studio #83.

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

On to the studios!

First stop on the tour is #1, Nancy Stone. Nancy is one of the founders of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont and has mastered the integration of her painting and book-making skills. Not only is Nancy an amazing book artist, she is also a well-known teacher in the book arts throughout Vermont and has inspired many students. 

Next stop is #2, Shelburne Pond Studios, which is where you’ll find Jill Abilock of Six Loons Studio. She creates one-of-a-kind work that is really inspirational. Her compelling storytelling and creative voice are enhanced by her innovative combinations of materials and structure. And the woman is a fantastic folder. In addition, she’s my partner in crime – we’re currently acting as the co-chairs of the Book Arts Guild Vermont.

Studio #31 belongs to Meta Strick – she is a Jackie of all trades. She does wonderful mixed media work, including dolls that have a book component. It’s quite wonderful to read the “history” of each doll. She has a great philosophy that you can make anything into a book (is it any surprise that she’s a teacher?).

New to Open Studio Weekend this year is Marcie Scudder, studio #35. According to her website, Marcie creates “handmade books that yoke together…words and images into sculptural art.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any images of her work online and I haven’t seen her work for myself. So, if you like surprises, this is the studio for you. Go visit her studio and report back on what you saw – I’m dying to know more.

Next on the tour is #149 – Ken Leslie. Ken often creates books in a circular format – a practice that developed out of his dissatisfaction with rectangular painting shapes. His themes frequently focus on natural cycles, such as day and night. The size of his work ranges from miniature to really ginormous – you can walk through some of his books when they’re open.

Last, but not least, is #166 Carolyn Shattuck. A seasoned printmaker, Carolyn cuts up scrap monotypes and uses the pieces in her handmade books. For her, the book arts have been the focus of a body of work combining drawing and print assemblage techniques in three dimensional form. Many of her books include pop-up elements to set the scene for her deeply personal storytelling.

2016 VT Open Studio Weekend - Book Artists Map

Click on the map to enlarge

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!

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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