Growlygracepress's Blog

Fear and loathing and bookbinding.
April 30, 2014, 8:06 am
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Last year I was spectacularly unsuccessful as a bookbinder. In the sense that I couldn’t get arrested as one.

I had practically no commissioned work at all probably because I kept saying no and on one occasion threw my toys out the pram so hard they practically ricochet.

At the moment I have a couple of nice commissions that please me. The little books I made with Geordie terms of endearments have sold in the shop. So I am going to make more. Lucky Newcastle.

I used to think that if I could hire someone to pretend to be me and take the little books in to shops and show them to buyers then it would be a piece of cake. Preferably the bookbinder impersonator would have cool tattoos and a skateboard and be a young man.

See this here goldielock book.


I now know how to make them by the bucket load, I know to the minute, to the exact page count to how long it takes to make ten of them.

And I have not compromised on the materials or the construction methods.

I might not be making money but that knowledge and insight is priceless.

Solving problems.
April 29, 2014, 8:13 am
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All I did in the last week or so was work really hard on the allotment. I made paths with bricks and paving and lawn. We put up a poly tunnel. We were constructing so much stuff that we could have lost sight of the planting of vegetables.

I liked the paving projects because it was such new learning experience. One of the things I do on the allotment is I walk around the whole site all the time and I see how people have solved problems and I work out how to do things. I see what I like and don’t like and I act accordingly.

When I was at technical college learning bookbinding I always believed my greatest strength was that I thought about bookbinding and tools a lot. It’s the same with the allotment plot. I think really deeply about how I want it to function.

Thinking about a glueing press.
April 28, 2014, 9:25 am
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My husband has returned to work after a break and I am going to go back to making books and thinking about how to overcome the issues I have about making multiples of books.


I need press that will allow me to ‘glue up’ (technical bookbinding phrase) the spines of books. Lots of them. Now I assumed that this is something that I can lash up from an old plough and I would go on an awfully big adventure on a bus to various trade stores and buy threaded bar, nuts, bolts, cut bits of wood and sheet steel and I could then magic up a press. The only magic going on here is my thinking.

I think I would be better off actually making a new press with two new pieces of wood. Like a small version of the beast.


So trip is back on! I’ll be needing an all day bus ticket because I am going to talk to men who are wearing brown overalls and have massive warehouses full of stuff.

Then again I could order it all of ebay!

Like a mouse in a maze.
April 8, 2014, 7:21 am
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I lost my internet connection and it was great. I was liberated from reading absolute rubbish, from endlessly reading twitter, the Daily Mail, flicking at Amazon and eBay.

I missed one blog and one pundit, I missed wikipedia, I read newspapers, I sat in a different seat.

I started to question all my habits and rituals.

Best thing of all was I hit my bench some mornings at 6.00 and that experience of working immediately on awaking was really powerful.