Growlygracepress's Blog

It’s always about the money.
August 18, 2017, 8:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


I just read a big old blog posting about the business of craft and making. The author  was promoting it and asking for views and I read it and my bullshit detector went off when I seen the lines ‘it’s not about the money’ because “It’s always about the money” 

The business model was the selling of courses about making. Beautiful, lovely, feel good about yourself and you get to express yourself and the proof is you made a lovely thing.

You could be a contender. I make therefore I am.

People who have been a bit curious about mosaics and coming up to retirement do a course and make some stuff and you know thats great but the business is not self actualisation it about the selling of the workshops and if possibly the continued selling of further workshops and mentoring.

I’ve talked to people who ‘did calligraphy last year and will do stained glass this year’ for some reasons I come across a lot of doctors, nurses and health professionals who are getting stuck in craft. I don’t think that they are looking at a way to make money from the things they make but these items do become a currency.

When I used to do bookbinding workshops I knew that for some people it literally was ‘see one, do one, teach one’ because they are art teachers and they are going to go in to class room and recreate it. That’s great because the transmission of knowledge goes on.

I bang on and on about the materials used in bookbinding because it’s important. We sew our books with undyed linen thread that was been waxed from a block of beeswax and that is the correct way and using double knitting wool is wrong and ugly. Absolutely.

I am back to thinking about doing the mythical handout about bookbinding. It’s not been in my thinking because I have not been doing workshops and that I have missed thinking about teaching basic bookbinding skills.

some new work
August 11, 2017, 7:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


I am trying to unite bookbinding and gardening and this book is my first attempt. What I am trying to do is make a book that people want to buy either for their self or as a gift.

I have to consider it a most magnificent and utter failure. Look at it’s glorious faults.


The letters are ‘out’  but it’s a bit good. Love the strawberry all the books I am making this summer and autumn are going to have a strawberry on them.


Again a little bit ‘out’ but that is seriously nice.

But the book still fails because all the little faults add up. Mostly I got the size wrong.

I was reading a cookery book called “The anatomy of pasta” which is a stunning bit of design and I liked the heft of it and decided to make a book of the same dimensions.

I decided to paint the endpapers which were absolutely head over heels stunning.

Then I had this idea to make a book called Garden Diary, thats wrong I decided to make a book called “cultivation’ then I ditched that title for “garden diary” decided for old times sake to do the lettering on the spine because I like it as a bit of design and I hadn’t done anything like it for a while.

The faults and problems then cascaded. I had the wrong book and certainly the wrong endpapers. Some of the leather on lays are the wrong colour and don’t work well against the black. The design was applied ‘live’ as in I had vaguely thought stick some birds at the top.

I had worked with this leather before and it was very difficult in that it behaves like a dog when it’s pasted up and you have to fight it on to the book and fight it hard to stay on. I think it’s very old stock and I should have ‘keyed’ the back.

So I fighting a book, doing a technique that I haven’t done in years and I realise that I need more light on the as it’s dark. But I don’t go and get more lights.

So I get a bit of drift on the lettering.

But now I’ve got a book which is stuffed with promise and I can see what it wants to be.

So I am going to listen to the book as it tells me how to make it.