Growlygracepress's Blog

working with tools
March 7, 2016, 9:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,


Sometimes it takes effort to practice with a new tool. I have a tendency to treat a new tool like a toy and have a quick play with it and put it aside and I rediscover it and wonder why I haven’t done any thing with it. Sometime I know the tool with expose some ropey technique and I have not put in nearly enough practice and I am exposed as a rubbish bookbinder! All I have to do is love the task a bit more.

Towards the end of last year after thinking really hard, reading a great deal and then spending some money I invested in a new piece of equipment and I considered myself well and truly sorted. I was elated I was going around actually telling people that I had made a massive breakthrough in an approach to bookbinding and I was really excited by the results.  As I was working through a series of experiments and exercises other problems would present and a solution found by buying another piece of equipment and that requires more time to get it’s use integrated in to my practice.

This means that I have equipment, tools, a new model of working and I am trying to generate ideas and models at the same time I need to actually finish a sequence of books and plan the next one.

Around all this bookbinding excitement I got a new allotment.

On one hand I have an emerging new bookbinding paradigm on the other hand I have been given the best allotment in the world. I am obviously exaggerating and ‘paradigm’ is way to fancy a word to use when all I have done if found a way to cut out leather with a die and have bought a new paring machine.

I would post photographs of the allotment but they will not do it justice. Allotments are sad things at this time of the year, they are still asleep and are just a whole big heap of maintenance tasks. I can see about 500 little tasks that won’t make any difference at all.

I just look in a direction and see the next task and I go to Wilkinson’s and buy part of the solution. I made it more simpler by asking how they solved a problem and I just go and buy that.

Rusty dexion strips in the greenhouse staging that’s easy go buy a can of Hammerite and paint it. You need to grow hundreds and hundreds of plants that’s easy go and buy packs of plastic cups 100 for £1. Yes that is capillary matting being used as insulation behind the bubble wrap on a greenhouse wall.

An allotment is a great big area of demonstrating techniques and ability and practice.

The garden has to be fully planted and the beds have to be clean and free of weeds.

The paths must be free of clutter. The buildings must be fully maintained.

One of the things I inherited is a collection of old gardening tools and when I go down to the allotment the first thing I do is I take a tool, sand down the wooden handle and treat it with linseed oil. They tools have been selected by someone who had a keen eye for unusual tools that do a specific task. I win. The tools live to fight another day.

I have three wheel barrows. One is fine, one needs it’s tyre inflating the other needs a replacement tyre. I know where the pump is and I have been given the tyre replacement.

So far I have counted ten watering cans but that could change.

Before I go down for a session of metal painting I think I am going to make a book with skeletons on the cover.

I smell of Jayes Fluid and paraffin.



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