Growlygracepress's Blog


The name of the book.
August 30, 2012, 2:42 pm
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I had to immediately start a new book today because last night in the course of a conversation my husband he threw out a comment that I was so knocked out by I spluttered gin and tonic all over myself. So I had to set aside the series of ten books I am making and pull the materials together for “the book”.

Now the husband does not care to much for my titles and I have to agree at times it is a bit stupid and self indulgent but every so often it’s righteously good. Last year I ran the idea of “fuck art lets dance” and he responded immediately “fuck art lets draw” 

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So when the husband gets it right, it’s right. 

This is the painted end papers which I’ll pair with some black ingres. 

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When I was colouring the edges of the “ten” series I managed to get multiple colours on I still want to screen print but it’s a start.

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As soon as I get some money I am going to buy a lot of colours and papers.

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What bookbinders can learn form the design of trade publishing? EVERYTHING!
August 28, 2012, 9:33 am
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Is it me or is it absolutely obvious that the best looking books are coming form the big publishing houses. As a bookbinder working in tradition materials and methods I think I would be better to take inspiration ( thats code for rip off) form the New York Review of Books than the lastest copy of “The New Bookbinder” It’s in the realm of the bloody obvious really.

Take this book here. 

ImageIt’s a retelling about an incident in the second world war of just astonishing bravery. All the cool boys like it and the art work is festooned with what Martin, Bret and Mario think about it. Fan boys put me off but then again I am a bit more secure in my ability to buy a book I am interested in. 

I always liked the title, loved the photo of Heydrich on the cover but I was not prepared for the fore edge of the book.

ImageAnd if we undress the book a little.

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How good is that! 

ImageIt’s designed by James Jones and that is all I know. If I find more of his designs I’ll post them.

This book pushes buttons that I didn’t know I had. That spine and fore edge symmetry thing.

I seen a book the other day that had just the fore edge coloured and I immediately implemented it on a book I am making that is trying to incorporate the “stay open” mechanism used in the O’Reilly computer books. It’s sitting on the corner of the bench awaiting it’s cover.

Books should open freely and flat. I think by building up the spine with pva, creating a mechanism that allows the boards to be attached and when the book is opens the boards push out the block. The cover has a a couple of mm play in the spine cover to accommodate it. 

But mostly I will be thinking of screen printing. That and getting my big lying press fixed and my guillotine blade ground.

 

 

 



Making the same mistake again and again apparently.
August 20, 2012, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have just about stopped making books for the sake of dumb making, making a book for no reason, which is essentially an orphan it will not be sold, it has no buyer. I will not release the value of the materials that I used in making it. I have worked out the “feeling” labelled “at a lose end” results in poor work in that it is the experiment run again and same result is obtained. 

I think to make progress I need to be as specific as possible as to what I want to achieve. Draw up tightly defined results that can be measured. The reviews of the work are made to see if it is on target. 

What I want to explore is making a series of books, a group of books that would use a particular decorative paper or are based around a palet of colours or are designed around a motif or scheme.

Been here loads of times before so it’s worth while to review why I have failed to make the progress I want and how I reinforce the negative. How do I set myself up for failure and what reward to I give myself for achieving it. Consequently how do I know if I am successful and should I trust my judgement.

I am going back to two books I made for an artist that I won’t finish and I won’t give them to the artist. I have got every thing “right” in these books. All the proportions are correct and balanced, leather would spoil them. 

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But when I have set about to recreate these books I introduce changes in the construction, I use different materials and when it’s apparent that I am not going to be successful I abandone the project.

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I am going make a series of books based on the look and feel of the original two books and they will be coved in marbled paper and black calf the coloured edges will be more “contemporary” I think “contemporary” is code for will sell in shops and that has to be a good thing. Right. 



this is not your grandma’s marbled papers
August 15, 2012, 2:07 pm
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When I make books I want hand crafted decorative paper on or in it. I have known about this woman’s marbled paper for a little time, as I want to do a series of books for retail I wanted something that would be “new” to the UK market. So I have this paper for a cover.

I should add that this is the second attempt to photograph it because the photographs are lying. It does not capture the etherial dream like quality this paper has.

It appears to me that most if not all of the papers available are representations of 18th and 19th century stuff and thats great I absolutely love the old “stone” patterns but I think the market could take a bit of experimentation. 

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asymmetric endpapers
August 15, 2012, 1:21 pm
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I have never cared for the practice of matching endpapers it’s just boring the end papers should serve as the beginning and the end and should be different. The book as you come to it’s end has become a different object and the end papers should offer more than functional brackets.

If I was a more resourceful binder I would commission endpapers that had information like a farmers almanac, “hello Mr Tuffe! I would like to have some endpapers made”    

I would have endpapers made form naval charts, surveys of mountains, x rays, scans and plans. I am only put off doing it as I don’t want the books I make to be tainted with “recycling” or “up cycling” what ever that is.

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Not exactly David Ogilvy on advertising.
August 12, 2012, 12:16 pm
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When I looked around at what I could use to promote my bookbinding one of the things I thought about was the dog. I named the outfit “Growly Grace Press” because I like press names and it’s a high score on the twee count. I thing the umbrella term “press” is more useful as a vehicle than “bindery” (I swear I nearly pissed my self laughing when I first seen a “bindery’ in a modern university library but’s thats just me) “Bindery” makes me think of monks, nuns, Laura Ashley smocks and all that is quaint, scared and profound.  

So I have a “Press” and when I decided to get on board the shameless self promotion I decided to kill a flock of birds with the proverbial stones. I wanted to put right my relationship with the printing press, it’s a love hate thing actually it more like I won’t plan and set review and for some reason won’t stop repeating mistakes why print a thing twice when I need 20 of them with the mistake, I don’t keep a clean work area and I get ink everywhere and I own the fact that I am not and never will be a great printer it’s something that gives great pleasure. A bit like of cake baking but you don’t get fat. 

So the plan is to find shops that will sell a series of hand made books. Last year I was making groups or series of books that were based around a size or a decorated paper and I would like to continue that. The concept of “series” is quite powerful and as a suggest a beginning and a middle and an end. There most be over 50 operational sequences in account book binding and when you are making ten at once it’s starts to get interesting. 

So thats what I want for me. 

So I am going to promote the books with the blunt pencils I have at hand, the printing press with my collections of Bewicks and Crawhalls and photographs of the books and photographs of the dog because every likes dogs and I have printed on top of the photographs of Grace because it amuses me. 

So I am going to send this bundle out and hopefully go in to the book production business. 

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To the candid reader
August 10, 2012, 10:18 am
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This is a first outing for these Joseph Crawhall blocks. Looking handsome in black and pink.

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