Growlygracepress's Blog

working and playing with tools
June 17, 2016, 8:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


I am teaching a workshop tomorrow. People have paid good money to hear me explain and demonstrate traditional craft bookbinding. I take this very seriously.

Because we only have two hours I will be banging on about very basic stuff and I will ensure that every one will be able to master basic pamphlet sewing. We will be sewing books with three hole and then five hole sewing. Emphasis is placed on creating a mechanism that will allow the book to open freely. This is essentially music manuscript binding. I like it because it’s very simple and very effective.

We only have a short time so I will be love bombing them with materials. I’ve spent the rather generous budget on lovely stuff for them. I was going to buy some really good paper but I was shocked at the prices. £6 plus for a sheet of 300 gms good watercolour paper is just too much for beginners.

The very best I can do in the time is identify the books they can use to advance their ideas about bookbinding and we will be ‘playing’ with my tools. We don’t do enough ‘playing with tools’ I made a little book last year for writing down the seeds I wanted to buy.


It is a silly little thing. But it gives me lots of pleasure.


So I have made books for the workshop. So every one has a model of a hand made book. It’s called ‘a manifesto of bookbinding’ what I want to encourage is for people to feel confidence in identifying what they like and dislike in the hand made book.

It’s easy for me to say that as I’ve got really strong opinions and I can put them out forcibly and I am going to back them up with a collection of other peoples bookbinding efforts and some of them are woeful and some of them are heart soaringly beautiful.

I know that this kind of value judgement makes some people very uncomfortable but when it comes right down to it. We judge books. The most obvious thing we pick up a book and examine it.  And that’s just fine.



2 Comments so far
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This is a great plan for a workshop – I’m looking forward to taking part tomorrow

Comment by Lydia Wysocki

I wish I was there …

Comment by helen1950

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