On October 8th, 2014, Stephanie Wolff and I were invited to the University of Vermont to give a talk about the Geographies: New England Book Work exhibit and to share our techniques and approaches to our own work. The event was coordinated with the recent meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont at their annual meeting to view special collections material. Prudence Doherty, Public Services Librarian, was our host and very generously brought out many items from the Library’s collection which also related to the theme of New England.
Upon our arrival the exhibit space was nicely occupied by students, hopefully some of them had taken the time to consider some of the items in the cases!
Here is a 180 of the three cases displaying the work. It’s not often that exhibitors get to see what the shows look like as a whole and this one was especially well displayed, thanks to Stephanie Wolff and Linda Lembke.
The first part of the program Stephanie and I talked about the show and highlighted the various techniques and expressions of creativity that were reflected in the bindings.
Prudence, opened up the cases so we were able to really show the books in more detail, taking turns to point out the special features of many of the bindings. The show displays a wonderful array of fine bindings as opposed to artist’s books so we had an exploratory dialogue on the nuances between those two factions of binding approaches.
After our time at the exhibit we retreated downstairs to Special Collections where Stephanie and I talked about our work. I come from a more traditional approach where I will always select a text and create a binding that reflects the contents. Stephanie on the other hand will take great pains and process to create the whole entity of her work. She brought to share all of her “story boards” that illustrated her voyage from concept to finished product. As a look into an artist’s creativity this was a wonderful opportunity to really see how these wonderful bindings come to be.
After our talk we stayed a bit to look at the wonderful items that had been placed on the table and had a pleasant visit with many of the members. I thank Prudence and the Book Arts Guild of Vermont for this opportunity to come together.
For more information about the exhibition, check out the Guild of Book Worker’s New England Chapter website.
The exhibit will be at the Bailey/Howe Library at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT through December 12, 2014.
Written by Deborah Howe