Category : Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Handmade Journal - Wild Cherry MonoJournalWelcome to the 2011 Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

It’s time for my annual nod to the many book artists participating in Open Studio Weekend. All 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 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 #213.

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 #93 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. One of her books is among the many amazing pieces in Inventive Structures: Books beyond the Codex, an exhibition juried by Hedi Kyle.

#132 When you visit Shelburne Pond Studios, you get two book artists for the price of one! Elizabeth Rideout of Wise Eye Bindery is a master of leather bindings. She’s a graduate of the drool-worthy North Bennet Street School’s bookbinding program and the current Chair of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. I seriously envy her collection of tools.

Jill Abilock of Six Loons Studio 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. One of her pieces was recently featured in Vermont newspaper Seven Days.

#138 Nancy Stone is the third 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.

Next stop is #171 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. She has a great philosophy that you can make anything into a book. 

The last stop is #183 Ken Leslie. Ken primarily creates books in a circular format – a practice that developed out of his dissatisfaction with rectangular painting shapes. His themes often 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. Ken shared his work at a recent Guild meeting and it was wonderful!

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!

Worktable Wednesday

Vermont Open Studio Weekend is 2 ½ weeks away and I finally started working on my mailing today. I know you’re asking yourself, “People still send out mail?”

Yep.

I had to order my postcards in a quantity of 500, so I got them with blank backs. It’s easy enough to feed them through my printer to customize the text. I use merge fields in my template so I can print addresses on them at the same time.

Unfortunately, my printer is wicked slow.

Did I really just say wicked?

Ever since my computer crashed last month, my printer has been experiencing sympathy pains. I spent at least 2 hours feeding the printer and I’m still not halfway done with these postcards. Argh.

At least I super-love my postcard this year. My hubby helped me design it:

Blue Roof Designs - 2011 marketing postcard

The color really is that explosive. If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll be getting one of these in the next few days. It includes a coupon that you can use when visiting me during Open Studio Weekend or if you can’t make it, there’s a special coupon that you can use in my Etsy shop until the end of May.

If you’d like to join my snail mail list (and sometimes receive really red postcards), just contact me and I’ll hook you up.

Blue Roof Designs is on foursquare!

Blue Roof Designs on foursquare

I’m considered an advanced technology user by those who know me and that’s why it’s embarrassing to admit that I don’t own a smart phone. Hopefully that will change soon…

In any event, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with foursquare, except for when I’ve been able to access wireless internet on my iPod. I’m happy to say that for those of you who are into foursquare, my studio is now registered as a venue.

If you have plans to visit my studio during Open Studio Weekend, then that would be a great opportunity for you to check in. I’m currently mayor-free, so the badge is up for grabs.

I also have a Check-in Special for foursquare users during Open Studio Weekend – I’m not giving any hints on that, so be sure to come by. 🙂

Note: My studio is open by appointment year-round. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to stop by (I need time to clean).

Open Studio Weekend – recap

Vermont Open Studio Weekend yellow signI have survived yet another Open Studio Weekend. Woohoo!

I now have 6 years under my belt. [pats self on back] I had such a great time.

I love showing off the paper in my flat files and when I see people appreciating the patterns and textures of the paper in my collection, it makes me so happy.

It’s fascinating to see how people react to an invitation to touch sheets of paper. Some people dive right in and others just can’t bring themselves to do it. I can see how some might find the paper too precious. I feel that way sometimes – especially when I have to cut a piece of paper I really like.

I can hear it now – nnnnnooooooo!!!!!!!

As was the case in 2008 (I didn’t participate in OSW last year), not many kids came. I asked someone why they thought that was the case and I was given a possible explanation. Parents are used to going places and being told that their kids can’t touch anything – perhaps that’s what keeps people from bringing their kids. Parents are so worried that something might get broken in an artist’s studio, they decide not to include their kids in a studio tour.

If that’s true, then let me say it now – I love love love to have kids in my studio! I make things out of paper. There’s not much that can get broken. Come over for a visit. A couple of my visitors were former students of mine. I was happy to see that I had properly infected them with the bookbinding bug.

Something that was different about this year was that I had many more visitors who were interested in learning how to make books themselves. I told folks about the Book Arts Guild of Vermont and invited them to come to our meetings. We love having new people. I think that most of the success of the Guild lies in the great talent of our members.

I’ve found that when people come to learn about bookbinding, they often ask for recommendations on books they can read to learn more. I created a handout for folks to take with them – one side lists my favorite bookbinding texts and the other side includes places to buy bookbinding supplies. It makes me happy to know that I can help facilitate someone’s creative pursuits.

I really wish that I had more local resources to refer people to – sadly, Vermont isn’t a bookbinding supply hub. If you weren’t able to come by for a visit during Open Studio Weekend, no worries – you can schedule an appointment for another time. With enough advance notice, I can fit a visit in on most days.

Just give me enough time to clean and I’m happy. 🙂

Open Studio Weekend update

VT Open Studio Weekend signsOpen Studio Weekend (OSW) is just a few days away. I have so much to do.

Oh boy.

At least my studio is in good shape. I’ve been working on cleaning up the piles of papers that inevitable inhabit every flat surface in my studio. I set a timer for 30 minutes and all I do is file papers or throw them in the recycling. This approach seems to be working well for me.

I still have quite a few things on my OSW to-do list:

  1. Finish cleaning my studio
  2. Finish updating signs to direct visitors to my studio
  3. Choose item for visitor raffle – oh yeah, there’s a prize!
  4. Purchase snacks for visitors (this is a serious decision)
  5. Make scrap bags
  6. Select bookbinding supplies to make available for purchase
  7. Select seconds and discontinued items for discount
  8. Print local map for studio visitors
  9. Set up shelves in studio
  10. Set up work on shelves

In the image above, you can see one of the signs that will populate the state of Vermont this weekend. When I last participated in OSW, I was #242. This year I’m #220.

I have this fantastical belief that your number on the map is somehow related to how the sales of your work rates on the Billboard charts. Sometime this weekend, Casey Kasem will appear at my door and say, “Elissa Campbell – last year you were number #242 but this year, the people have spoken and you’ve moved up the charts – you are now #220. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Now if I can just finish up my Long Distance Dedication before Saturday…

[adds to the bottom of the to-do list]

Oh yeah, I’ve been on cable tv

This past Wednesday I was part of an interview on a local cable channel – “Positively Vermont: Vermont Crafts Council“.

My friend Nancy Stone (and fellow bookbinder) & I talked about the Vermont Crafts Council, Open Studio Weekend, the Book Arts Guild of Vermont, and the State of Craft project. Oh yeah, and we got to talk about our own work too.

If you’ve got 45 minutes to spare and have a fondness for curly hair and/or odd facial expressions, enjoy the video below.

Note: That’s me on the right.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Central VT Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoVermont’s upcoming Open Studio Weekend is just a week away.

The studio cleaning has started…snack selection is in the works…things are right on schedule.

If you’re planning on visiting my studio (and you totally should!), you can visit other great artists within a 20ish minute drive of here. Area artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, jewelry, sculpting, weaving, painting, rug hooking, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2010. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels. Because the studios are so close to each other, you can visit quite a few of them within a short period of time.

Have fun!

Make that map bigger – I like my studios large!

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!

I’m in the Vermont Open Studio Weekend Map!

Vermont Open Studio Weekend tour guide coverLater this month is the 18th annual Vermont Open Studio Weekend. I missed doing it last year because I had to attend a family event, but this year I’m back! I’m really looking forward to meeting people and talking about my work.

Open Studio Weekend takes place on Memorial Day weekend – Saturday May 29th and Sunday May 30th, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. I’ll be talking more about the event and my preparations in the coming weeks.

This year’s Open Studio Tour Guide is available for request on the Vermont Crafts Council‘s website or you can download a PDF version. I’m site #220 on the map.

If you look at the back cover of the map, you’ll get to see a photo taken in my studio during a previous OSW (see photo at right – inside the purple box). In addition to getting a peek at the flat files in my studio, you’ll also see a great shot of the back of my curly head (that’s me on the left).

I don’t often get to see the back of my head and I have to say, this picture is quite nice.

I think I like the back of my head.

If you’d like to be added to my snail mailing list, please contact me and let me know. I send out coupons in my OSW mailing, so this is a good time to join.

Please indicate if you’d like to be added to my Email list as well. I’m hoping to get an Email newsletter going sometime in the next couple of months and there will be special offers and discounts in those as well.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Montpelier Watershed Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoThe last bunch of artists I’d like to give exposure to for Vermont’s upcoming Open Studio Weekend are the Montpelier Watershed Artists. This is my home crew – if I were participating, I’d be working with this great group of folks to get the word out.

The Montpelier Watershed Artists are offering 11 artist studios/galleries with exhibits and demonstrations of demonstrations of pottery, jewelry, sculpting, weaving, photography, rug hooking, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2009. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who in the Montpelier Watershed Artists (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

Luckily, these studios are close to each other either. You can visit quite a few studios within a short period of time.

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