Growlygracepress's Blog


On becoming effective.
April 4, 2016, 8:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

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A million years ago when I was a lot more shallow and empty than I am now I wanted to become psychotherapist and I would go along to training events and be filled with absolute contempt for every one in the room and I had a fear that my anger would erupt so violently that the ‘group’ would not be able to contain it. Obviously that’s bull shit but none the less I faced up to the fact that I am very judgemental and I am a strong advocate for giving out directions. So I was not cut out for a life in client centred therapy and I would happily burn every copy of “On becoming a person” just to stop it getting in to peoples hands.

So I became a bookbinder.

I think the past couple of years have been about being an effective bookbinder. By this I mean developing techniques and production methods that will allow me to make books that represent all that I love (and I think I really mean ‘love’) in a hand made book.

So on the ‘journey’ I didn’t rate being commercially successful as a goal and I am happy about that.

At the end of last year I had a significant insight on how to progress my practice.

I had an actual epiphany and I would tell every one I would meet that I had made this colossal discovery on how to make a designed book that would be not only beautiful but cost effective so that the book as an object becomes so good it can’t be ignored and has to be bought. Profit!

I tooled up and was happily experimenting away and discovering new problems and solving them with new solutions. And I am loving the flow of success, of thinking, solving and creating.

And then I got the new allotment.

A new garden is a great big pile of problems that you have to solve and you have to deal with the solutions that the previous gardener made and in this garden he has been so effective and so skilled that you have no choice but to continue his methodology.

I have become a happy hostage.

People said ‘you will soon make your mark on it’ and for a couple of days I entertained the idea of putting up some tressals for climbing plants, planted baskets, painting the shed a fashionable colour and having a decking area with a lovely bench to sit in to have a cup of tea. I came to my senses and realised that all I had to do is continue to do exactly what he would do because he is going to do it right by the garden.

So no flowers, nothing hiding the miles of breeze blocks and concrete, the shed get a brown stain and he had no need for a bench because he has optimised the whole area for the production of vegetables. I will consider new structures made with scaffolding poles and an old metal gate for the growing of strawberries.

I have spent every day since the beginning of February working in the allotment and just doing a gentle restoration and fixing things. Just getting things ready for mid May when I will be planting things out. I have started a lot of seeds and today I will be re-potting a lot of leeks. The two beds in this garden are absolutely enormous and someone tipped me of to sow a lot more stuff to fill it. I plant whole trays of kale, broccoli and cauliflower.

When you have three green houses you can sew the whole packet of mixed chillies because you can have a whole greenhouse dedicated to peppers.

So I been making massive progress in the garden and I’ve put the bookbinding to one side.

Stuff has been piling up on my bench. New tools, new materials and new books.

A man was shouting at me in the street that it was his wife’s birthday in March and he wanted to me to make a book and I haven’t. It does not count because it was not proper commission. That is when a not insignificant sum of money comes my way.

I have been telling him I only want to make books with skeletons on them at the moment.

Today I am going to go to the lit and phil and the market and then I am going to clear the bench and start the skeleton book. I am going to make the book from the start rather than pull one of the shelf. After I have started the process I am going to go to the allotment and be effective.

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