Growlygracepress's Blog

Giving it all away.
May 27, 2016, 9:00 am
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So I had this bag of ‘hinny books’ and I crossed the road and went in to the apparently prestigious art gallery in I am straight in to the shop and they were selling ‘stuff’. I had every intention of asking to see the buyer and showing the nine remaining ‘hinny’ books and I felt bad because I was getting reading with the excuse that the next batch would be better and I had ironed out the flaws with the positioning of the letters.


There are just little books but they really punching above their weight and I am biased but they were the best things in the room even in the plastic bag and I realise that neither me or the little books belong here and I left. I decided that who ever I meet on the walk home can have a book for nothing and in a rare event I did not bump in to any one I knew.

I then decided to give them to women who I like. Just put the little book in their hands. Here have this. Think I have two left.

“hinny” is just an arbitrary word they could be called anything it was a proof of concept.


Selling hinnies by the pound.
May 27, 2016, 7:57 am
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A couple of week back I sold a ‘hinny’ book it was from the original group of ten.


It was the one that was perfect I am not saying the other nine are differently loved by I do consider them to be ‘bashed hinnies’ It was the perfect one that I took to British Library and introduced it to the little St Cuthbert’s Gospel.  I have done mad shit in my time but that audacious act tops every thing. Comparing and contracting a piece of work you have done with a masterpiece is really illuminating.

And I was not humbled. I was not daunted. I was not embarrassed by my efforts. I was not found wanting.

I gained powerful insight in to what the bookbinder who made the book was achieving with his effortless grace. Last year I seen the gospel at Durham and I was the first person in the gallery in the morning and I got a chair and sat down and filled my note book with drawings and impressions of it and tried really hard to write my impressions of it. Getting the little book to talk to me. I bought a post card of it and it’s on the bench at all times.


Using dies to cut out leather.
May 27, 2016, 7:30 am
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This is a very interesting photo. It’s the original ‘hinny’ book and beside it is ‘proof of concept’ and a die I have made that allows me to place the onlay leather on the cover.

The black letters on the grey leather have been cut out with a commercial die from a enormous, gigantic mind boggling amount of stuff aimed at women who make greeting cards and scrap books. Gazillion Dollar industry. I have been poking around the craft mines for years looking for tools and I have to say that die cutting is my prize plum.

The dies will cut out parred leather.

I should be in line for a Nobel prize in bookbinding for that little statement. Clearly it’s not proof of Hawking radiation but seriously if you are turned on by putting leather on a book cover (and who isn’t?) you might want to check it out.

While we are on the subject of Stephen Hawking I realised that I have been engaging in ‘thought experiment’ and have been quite addicted to thinking things through and I now understand that the thinking must be backed up with actual experiments and that the results have been fully reported and understood in terms of success and failure.

I’ve been thinking way to much and at times I have been such a long way from home. The only thing that counts is practical and repeatable work at my bench.


On becoming effective and working with purpose.


So since the start of February I have been working on my new allotment and it’s an enormous challenge. The bookbinding has been on hold and it’s my intention to clear the deck and make a new beginning. My work area has become so overgrown with unfinished work, finished work, experiments and new materials that in order to save the village I am going to have to destroy it. I am going to have to move every item out of the room and assess it and put it in either the correct storage or put it in the bin.

Every piece of paper, board, tool, leather, pens, writings, books, furniture, and bound book are going to have to make it case for living.

Then I am going to implement all that I have learnt in the past couple of months in creating the allotment. Primarily it’s in the area of being effective when doing a task and using the the correct tool appropriately. There is also some stuff about how I experience ‘time’ when I am being effective.

Another thing I want to implement when I begin binding again is accessing an experts opinion about how to accomplish a task. Yesterday I was planting leeks when an old man said ‘Deirdre what are you planting? and when I said leeks he said ‘do you have a dibbler?’ and I waved it in the air and he said ‘No you need a  great big one and go down six inches and then place the leek in to the hole and the planting distance is 12 inches apart” So I found the great big dibbler pulled out all the leeks and replanted them the way he suggested.

The books that I am going to make in the future : Small batches of small, colourful books, random coloured end papers, Geordie terms of endearment (just discovered the husband absolutely hates the the term hinny on a book but he’s wrong) and books that nest in the hand. These little books don’t cost a lot to make but I need to be able to pare the leather right down to allow it just to ‘float’ on the board. Which means no need to ‘back pare’ the cover to receive the ‘on lay’. So I have bought new tool which is essentially a reversed engineered sharfix tool  I just need to put the time in to learn to use it.

I may need to access a teacher who can help me get better at pareing leather and I am cool about that.