Category : Vermont

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Eastern Washington County Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend 2010Vermont’s 22nd Open Studio Weekend is just around the corner (October 4 & 5)! If you’re planning on visiting my studio (you know you are…), you can visit other great artists within a 20-ish minute drive of here.

There are 11 studios and galleries participating in eastern Washington County. Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, woodworking, painting, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the purple 2014 Vermont Studio Tour Guide. 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!

Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild

This week I dropped off inventory at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild, a lovely gallery in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. I’ve had my work on display there for a number of years now and I’ve never shared any images of the space.

Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild

Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild

They have work on display by over 100 artists and it’s a wonderful selection of Vermont craft. They’ve done a good job curating the work.

Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild

Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild

I’m proud to be a member of the gallery, especially now that it’s part of the network of Vermont State Craft Centers. The designation requires rigorous review to ensure that a gallery is a good representative of Vermont craft – it’s quite an honor for a gallery to be designated.

I highly recommend that you visit the gallery if you’re ever in the area (and become a fan on Facebook). Here are the details:

Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild
430 Railroad Street, #2
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Deputies of Delight

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a member of the Vermont Arts Council‘s Teaching Artist Roster. By working with teaching artists, schools can access Artists in Schools Grants that support arts integrated units. It’s a wonderful opportunity for both artists and schools.

Last year I was accepted into and attended the Arts Connect Professional Development Program, a training opportunity for teaching artists to learn more about arts integration, universal design (UDL), and classroom collaboration. The program is a joint effort between the Vermont Arts Council, the Integrated Arts Academy, VSA Vermont, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, and Burlington City Arts.

Participating the program was both challenging and rewarding – I hope that it opens up more opportunities for me to teach bookbinding in schools.

Check out the wonderful video below to learn more about the Arts Connect program.

You can also learn more by reading this article published in Seven Days.

Open Studio Weekend wrap-up

I had a wonderful time visiting with folks during this past weekend’s Open Studio Weekend. Many thanks to those who came by!

OSW is always a great excuse to get my studio in shape (and it needed it). Here are some pictures of the studio (so shiny!):

Bookbinding studio of Blue Roof Designs

Handmade books by Blue Roof Designs

Handmade books by Blue Roof Designs

It seems no one noticed (or at least mentioned) the inflatable Jerry French that watches over the studio. It’s kinda my version of “Where’s Waldo?”

One of the highlights of the weekend was a visit from Linda, a former student of mine who brings me goodies on occasion. I was happy to be able to give her one of the journals I made with the leather she gave me recently.

This time, Linda brought me a batch of travel ephemera from a recent trip to England.

Travel ephemera

Included in the fabulous stash were maps, travel tickets, and French cigarette wrappers. I’m looking forward to playing with my new treasures!

 

Elissa’s Picks for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoWelcome the third in my series of blog posts about ways to plan your Open Studio Weekend tour.

In this post I listed the book arts studios I’d visit if I were touring this weekend. Of course, I would also visit studios by artists working in other media. Some of my suggestions are listed below.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2014. 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 would be #110, Judith Reilly. Her work is seriously wonderful and Judy is a serious sweetheart (and a good hugger). To consider her a quilter just doesn’t do her justice – she really paints with fabric. In her own words, her pieces “express both realistic and fantastic interpretations in a catawampus and quirky style”.

#167, Mary Hill of Mary Hill Studios would be my next stop. Mary is a vibrant person and her work reflects it. She creates inspirational banners that beckon you to listen to the messages within. I commissioned her to make me a banner that says “cheese” and it hangs prominently in my studio. You’re in for a treat if you visit Mary this spring, as she has a participatory truck painting project in store for you.

Next I’d visit Kristin Richland of Sweet Enemy Art, #170. I really can’t describe Kristin’s work better than she does – “I do enjoy the spookier side of the art world as much as I do the cuter side, so consider yourself warned.” Her paintings of creatures and critters are the work of an active imagination, the one you wish you never lost when you grew up. I love love love her monsters. I want to hug them. And run screaming from them. It’s the best of both worlds.

Lastly, I’d visit #197 Trenny Robb and Bob Michaud of High Beams. Trenny and Rob create light fixtures from copper and brass and use real leaves and petals, mica, fabric, and parchment in the shades. The mica shades are particularly awesome – when the lamps are lit, the glowing color is just mesmerizing. You can check out their most recent work on this Pinterest board.

Overall, these studios aren’t very close to each other (although Mary and Kristen are nearly neighbors). If you split your tour up between two days, it should be doable.


Make that map bigger!

Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Handmade coptic journalsWelcome to the 2014 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 #215.

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 #94 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.

Next stop is #147, Marianna Holzer. In the Holzer family, binding and preserving books is a family tradition. Marianna is a third generation bookbinder following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps. Before founding a bindery of her own in 2008, Marianna helped to preserve and restore the permanent records of hundreds of municipalities across the United States for thirty years. The history behind her work is reason alone to go see her studio. You can read more about Marianna in this recent article in Seven Days.

When you visit Shelburne Pond Studios, you’ll be able to see two artists. At studio #151, 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. And the woman is a fantastic folder.

#152, Lyna Lou Nordstrom, is the other artist with a studio at Shelburne Pond Studios. She is a wonderful printmaker, focusing her work on the painterly aspects of monoprinting. Her techniques include the silkscreen process, collagraph and solar plate etching.

Next stop is #155, Nancy Stone. Nancy is one of the founders of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont [insert Elissa’s sweet gaze of admiration here]. 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.

#180 Meta Strick. Meta really 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. Meta has lots of fans, so don’t be surprised if you get to her studio and it’s mobbed. Perhaps pick up some coffee and a snack before you head on over?

The last stop is #194 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. Check out this blog post to see some of his work from a recent exhibit at the Vermont Supreme Court.

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!

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Montpelier/Calais Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend 2010Vermont’s 22nd Open Studio Weekend is just around the corner (May 24 & 25)! If you’re planning on visiting my studio (you know you are…), you can visit other great artists within a 20-ish minute drive of here.

There are 7 studios participating in the Montpelier/Calais area. Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of sculpture, handmade tiles, painting, photography, hand hooked rugs, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the green 2014 Vermont Studio Tour Guide. 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!

Star and Tunnel Books Workshop

This past Saturday I taught a Star and Tunnel Book workshop at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT. I had 5 very industrious women in my class and they managed to finish both books ahead of schedule.

Bookbinding workshop students hard at work

I love setting up for workshops. I get to make place settings, kinda like Thanksgiving, except we’re making books instead of eating turkey.

Bookbinding workshop setup

 I have more classes coming up this summer, so stay tuned to find out more!

Student working on tunnel book

Workshop at Springfield H.S. Arts Academy

I spent the last two days teaching bookbinding at the Springfield High School Arts Academy in Springfield, Vermont. Over the course of those days, I taught a total of 123 students in eight classes.

This was my fourth year teaching at this school and I had a great time. As I’ve mentioned before (here and here), the Springfield Arts Academy is based on the premise that integrating the arts into all subjects helps to reinforce concepts that students are learning. The classes I visited included German, American Studies, and Supernatural Literature (who wouldn’t want to take that class?).

Springfield High School Arts Academy students hard at work

I love the fact that the arts are integrated into so many different subject areas. The timing of my residency was perfect – it came on the heels of a training I recently took through the Vermont Arts Council and Saint Michaels College (among other organizations). We learned about integrated arts learning through readings and observation of classes at the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington, Vermont.

If you’d like to learn more about arts integration, visit the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge website – it’s a wonderful resource.

I taught three different book structures – the flag book, woven flexagon, and star book. Each class had a different structure, so I was constantly on my toes with the directions.

As in years past, I had 100% participation in all of the classes and the students worked really hard. It still amazes me how engaged students get in the process of creating. All of the students were friendly and welcoming to me.

I am amused by the inevitable snickers that come from my talking about the bone folder. Heh, heh…bone. They are teenagers, after all.

Student working on flag book

Sadly, I didn’t have an assistant this year. This meant that I had a run around a lot more and my feet were on fire by the end of the day (totally worth it). Luckily, I had students to escort me from class to class. There are so many elevators in weird places in that school and I never know where I’m going.

All of the classes were working on the theme of icons and it was approached in different ways. Some classes were focused on cultural icons, while others worked with those in popular culture. The work will culminate in the school’s Annual Arts Festival, where all the books will be on display.

I received another Vermont Arts Council grant!

Last week I found out that I was awarded a grant from the Vermont Arts Council to attend the Paper and Book Intensive – the grant covers a chunk of the tuition. Since it’s official, I can now proudly make the following statement:

This project is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – it never hurts to ask. If you want something, go for it. I certainly didn’t think I’d get a third grant from the Arts Council, but I did. I’m so glad I completed that application!

I’ll be attending the following classes at PBI:

Design­ing Toroidal Books: Fol­low the Fold and Stray No More! with Ken Leslie

A torus is any shape with a hole in it—a bagel, for instance. Toroidal books have the advantage of being viewed in two ways—folded as page-by-page accordion book variants that return to their starting point, and fully opened, fully seen artworks. Fully opened they’re more like a painting, drawing or print and can be exhibited as such.

We’ll explore a variety of circular and rectilinear toroidal structures. Then each participant will design and produce an artist book that merges form with content. And because these structures start with just a single flat surface, the leap from one-of-a-kind book to printed multiple is an easy one.

Three Case Styles for Three Bookbindings with Priscilla Spitler

Twenty years after the first PBI edition of Three Bookbindings by Gary Frost, Priscilla Spitler returns to oversee the edition binding of a newly revised text bound in a case binding, the most efficient structure for edition work. Students will learn fast yet refined techniques of case binding bound in three styles: quarter, half and full cloth. Beginning with prototype bindings, they will then participate in the production of the actual edition from sewing to casing in, through the use of jigs, set-ups and teamwork, operation by operation.

Impress Me: An Artist’s Approach to Embossing Leather for Books with Bonnie Stahlecker

This workshop will focus on using leather as an expressionistic material for bookbinding by way of embossment. Leather has long since been employed as a covering material for books and its adaptability makes it ideal for this purpose. To take advantage of the tactile nature of the embossment, the instructor designed this elegant book structure, using examples from history like limp leather covers and secondary tackets. Although historical techniques are used, we are not making historical models; rather an emphasis will be placed on artistic and contemporary designs.

This is going to be a great year at PBI!

My massive thanks go to the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for helping me get to Michigan. You’re awesome!

NEA logo

VT Arts Council Logo

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