Growlygracepress's Blog


hoose wife and canny bairn you break my heart.

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The leather had to be fought on the books again. The books are handsome but the length of time per book makes it unviable to use all this leather in the making of small books.

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I have a choice either I put the whole lot on ebay or I make several great big books.

I estimate that I can probably get at least 30 small books out of it. But I might be psychotic at the end of it. I could just about face doing one small book per day.
But it’s grim work although the result is pleasing.

The lesson is if you are looking to produce a series of books using an efficient work flow use components that are a standard. That you can go back to the merchants and buy them again or report any problems you are having with them.

Do look a gift calf in the mouth.



Leather don’t fail me now.
January 29, 2014, 11:18 am
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When I was at technical college I remember the first time we were covering a book in leather and we pasted out the spine and corners and the teacher said to go and have a cup of tea and the when we came back the leather will be ready to apply to the book.

I am soaking the leather in a bath of warm water. Just gave it a stir. Then I’ll paste it out. I will not paste the lettering on the book just the leather and I’ll leave it for a bit longer than a cup of tea.

These are the little prints I am going to place in the book.

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and this beauty may go in the back.

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I fought the leather and I won.

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This is the stack of black calf I bought last year and it’s my magic beans. We are through the looking glass here people and straight into jack and the bean stalk territory.

There is a lot at stake here and I assumed that it would be an easy enough prospect. Cover the six books and polish the lettering the next day. Except the leather was not that cooperative and I had to fight it on to the book and then I had to fight to keep it on he book. Twice. I have four more to go. A procedure that should have taken ten minutes was taking an hour and a half.

It’s also exhausting it’s like landing a fish. The leather has a mind of it’s own and is trying to get back to it’s own shape.

I suspect that what I have is old stock not the lovely fresh leather straight from the tannery, I have leather thats been on a shelf for several years and I am going to have to think of a method to make it compliant.

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But it’s worth it. Look how handsome these books are.

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It’s fortunate that the methods I use to make books can take this much force and punishment. If I was to use another method of binding the books would be trash.

Strong little books for the win.



putting on a full leather cover.

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I have six books to put a cover on, the book blocks have been covered in a jacket to protect them from paste.
The leather has to be pared around the turn overs with special attention to the corners.
I showed a book the other day to the man who had sold me a load of black calf and he handled the little book and immediately opened it and looked at the corners. I laughed and said I used to be ashamed of my corners so I got really good at them.

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This tool is used to pare the leather down.

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and the wonderful

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Meet hinny, shy bairn, bonny lass, hoose wife, canny bairn and hinny.
January 28, 2014, 9:54 am
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They are going to get their leathers on and have a good rest while their coats dry out and their proud titles and polished and made good.



kitten, puppy, lucky, foal, star and sky in their birthday suits.

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The boards are a bit on the thick side so when I make the next series that’s going to be the most important aspect but as this is very experimental I am not going to bin them and start again.

Look at their beautiful Geordie ribbons.

What I will be buying is batteries for this beauty.

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I was using it the other day and I was getting erratic readings from it and my boards were thick!

It’s like a moral compass.



Handsome James
January 26, 2014, 10:56 am
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This is another Crawhall block I think it’s from the chapbook called ‘Several sovereigns for a shilling’ I think it’s James 1st.