Growlygracepress's Blog

Clarity and Vision are our true friends
September 10, 2015, 10:00 am
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When I am engaged in commissioned work I seldom notice the mess that builds up around me but in times of no work I surround my self with unfinished and barely begun projects and the ghosts of books that are still born and they stack up on each other and then I have to get stuck in and take them to the bin.
Sometimes I don’t even recognise them. I have destroyed far more than I have created.
I think that ‘Creativity’ and ‘Originality’ are the kin of Kipling’s Triumph and Disaster impostors. What I want is the discipline to finish the task.
I would also like to be able to experiment more. A mistake I constantly make is thinking I need to make a whole book fully covered in leather in order to ‘work’ on a technique where what I should be doing is creating a protocol where I can test my techniques and understand precisely why I believe why it has failed and what I need to do in order to ensure that I can see improvement.
I am clearing up my work area and doing quick autopsies on dead books and saying quick prayers for them.
Then I am going to write up what I am going to do with Clarity and Vision.

this is what I am reading at the moment
September 1, 2015, 12:30 pm
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This is a mix of books from the lit and phil but mostly from local charity shops.


I am programmed to buy anything published by Studio Vista. This book has the most detailed section on print methods that I have ever seen including an entry on printing with cardboard cut out jig saw shapes (think about it) inked up shapes then reassembled allows for a multi coloured print impression taken at once.


This came this morning. I came across this book and was intrigued and when I noticed that it was produced by Lund Humphrey so that decided it for me. I am going to get stuck in to it tonight with a couple of gin and tonics. What could be better.


I love Fiona Maccarthy’s writing style. I think the shadow that William Morris casts on all things craft has not been good thing.


This is Nigel Slatter’s book Tender it’s seasonal vegetable growing and cooking and the biggest thing you can take away from it is that every thing tastes better with cheese sauce on top and /or add fried bacon. The ‘book design’ is getting in the way and I need more and better photographs.


Found in a charity shop on Shields Road for 50p. It is amazing. Means that I have to go back again and again because if the that was donated I would like to see what else accompanied it!

the crossover between allotments and bookbinding bench
September 1, 2015, 11:03 am
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I am refining and refining my model of being successful with the allotment. My measure for judging it is going to be to produce enough vegetables for a salad for lunch and for our evening dinner. This to be throughout the year. Don’t really know how possible this is going to be.
The one thing we got absolutely right was that we cleared the whole plot and then created long narrow beds of one point two meters width separated by paths. I see lots of plots where the holders just become over whelmed by the tasks and their garden ‘goes over’ and it becomes overgrown with weeds and they won’t get it back. You have to clear the plot and keep the soil clean. I weed the beds and the paths several times a week. I pull off all the yellowing leaves. I feed the plants with different feeds. I’ll evict whole rows of beans if they are tough and horrid. I won’t bother to grow radichio because even though the packet said that it’s bitter I somehow thought it would be a nice tasting bitter. I was wrong.
My latest thinking is to continue to plant single rows of vegetables all over the place Like I have a row of chard then a row of beetroot then a row peas because it’s gives different levels and it’s pleasing on the eye.Some one just commented that it looks like Mr McGregor’s garden which pleased me greatly.
I am going to make a point of eating cauliflower and broccoli the size of my fist because I lost a lot of them because they went to seed and if I sticking rows in I could get enough through summer and autumn.
I am growing what I want to cook.

My allotment is successful fundamentally because of the insights I developed while making books at my bench and I need to reinvent and invigorate that process. Maybe I’ll make books with vegetables on them.