Growlygracepress's Blog


I am going to do a handout for my next workshop and it’s not going to kill me.
June 8, 2015, 7:53 am
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I am going to do a workshop on bookbinding next month it’s only a couple of hours and there is a real limit as what you can achieve. Best you can hope for is a playful session and trying out of tools, looking at books about making books and trying to create an idea of ‘permission’ that it’s O.k. to be awkward and clumsy.
At the heart of it what I want to share is the making a little book is fun and I thing of joy and the best thing I can do to help is to make little jigs and gauges for people to take home and I make little moulds of beeswax for threads and I divide up piles of materials like cloth, scrim, paper and boards so that people can continue to experiment and play after the course.
By focusing on traditional craft techniques and using the correct materials people will be able to build a model for the making of little books.
I make a great deal of contentious remarks because some things need saying and telling the truth is a radical act. I am more than a bit sceptical about the industry around artist books and I am heretical about the state of ‘craft’ in Britain today.
The thing is I have been promising to do a hand out for years and years and I always find a way of not delivering. I noticed that I actually got a folder and note book together for the express purpose of writing the hand out which was dooming the whole project right from the start, I have fanciful notions of walking over to Jesmond with the note books and having a cup of coffee somewhere and actually writing stuff for the hand out.
I am plagued by the whole function and form of the handmade book and in engaging with the ‘hand out’ I have to confront full on my manifest lack of skills in typography and even worse than type setting is I can’t use the soft wear. I have only recently become comfortable with the notion that’s it’s all right if I actually literally cut and paste the text. I think I can find a photocopy shop that might be able to do the output to my satisfaction. I think I know what the cover looks like. I have been having an never ending debate with my self about the size of the handout and I feel resolution is about to happen.
So I am going to express a commitment to writing and producing a hand out for my bookbinding workshop and I am going to write a little bit of it every day and I am going to have a pile of little hand made books to give out at the workshop.
There I have said it.
But before I do that I have to go down to the allotment and sort out the peas then I have to buy the bits I need to finish the greenhouse.
As a learning experience the building of the greenhouse is by far the steepest learning curve I have ever been on. It’s been the educational gift that keeps on giving. And I thought the shed building was good the greenhouse is like an M.A in advanced problem solving. In the first week of June I have a greenhouse which has not been glazed yet.
I am so relaxed about that I am practically horizontal.
So unlike the process of the ‘handout’

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