Growlygracepress's Blog

working with tools
July 29, 2016, 9:13 am
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It feels that all done for the past month is talk and think about bookbinding because I have done a workshop and had some teaching sessions. For me it has allowed me to think about my ideas and develop my understanding about the use of tools and the making of a book.

For what it’s worth I think my ‘thinking’ about books and tools is absolutely on the money. If I am saying ‘it’ I whole heartily believe it. The problem in teaching particular techniques is how I ‘do’ a method has evolved from how my teacher taught me, how I have researched it, what materials I am using and what ‘effect’ I want it to have.

I am probably the very worst person to teach bookbinding technique because I am so very far from home.

What I am liking about my current thoughts is that for me making a book is about creating a series of mechanisms that allow the book to function and maintains the security of the block. I use the appropriate materials and I am effective in using my tools to fashion a book.

When I have a book in my hand I am 100% in judgement and if it’s failing I will either fix it or bin it.

this is my bench and it’s not a pretty sight
July 18, 2016, 10:34 am
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My bookbinding is in trouble and I am going to fix it and make it better.

I don’t have a priest to turn to who can help and support me but I do have this blog and I can use it chart my intentions and progress. I need to make tiny steps, I need to commit to some time at the bench but mostly I need to make books.

I have not been bookbinding mainly because my commitment to the allotment which has been a massive undertaking. I have not posted any photographs of it because it’s not handsome at the moment.

Look at my bench it’s a mess. I’ve empty out my rucksack from coming back from teach some bookbinding, there is my half hearted attempt to make “the transmission of magical knowledge” and I can’t make it the lettering does not work and ‘transmission’ is to big a word for the cover.  Besides it was a poor attempt to kick start the bookbinding again and what was achieved was kicking me. I can’t make the book because I can’t afford the leather and I can’t justify making big books with daft titles because no one is going to buy them and no one is going to see them.

I can make small books and I can afford and I have the materials. The ‘thought experiment’ that has been going on since Christmas about how to make the small books well and effectively has concluded and I just need to buy some metal pressing sheets to close the deal. The fly in the ointment is this. Even if I get the books in to the craft shop I think that if the book sells for £25 I think I’ll see as much as £12.50 and that’s heart breaking. The little books deserve so much better than that and now I am crying. Like the man said : I can’t go on…..I’ll go on.

So what’s going to happen is I am going to clean the top of my bench, put the tools away, clear up every thing as much as I can and set up my tools for some bookbinding and write up a plan of action for the day. I am going to write it up as I go along. I am going to take the small steps to bring my bookbinding front and centre in my life.



This is what I believe in.
July 6, 2016, 4:55 pm
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I am a stationery bookbinder. It’s a kind of auto-immune deficiency of the self. I make books to commission. It’s going to cost over £150 so there you go. These books have honest structures and made from good and true materials. I make books to record the celebrations around a birth or a marriage, a book that honours a life or a death, books for love and for hate. Books for artists, poets, designers, printers, scientists and dads. Books that are bold, brave, strong, dynamic, sturdy and will never make the recipient go ‘oh that’s lovely’.

Get in touch at deirdre underscore bookbindings at yahoo dot com. Where of course underscore at and dot are replaced with symbols. But you knew that.


I am just parking this here until I can figure out how to get it back on the left hand side. I also corrected the spelling mistakes.