Growlygracepress's Blog


the craft shop is not the enemy
November 12, 2015, 1:51 pm
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This is the work so far on the brighter, better, eye catching and hopefully successful books for the craft shop. I had decided to take stop even attempting to do a little bit of retail stuff and I was going to go and bring the books back home. When I went to see them I thought that they looked a bit gloomy in the corner but my heart soared when I was told that the books make people giggle. I made the little ‘beuk’ very quickly as a proof on concept and yes the lettering is off but I like it enough to make a big pile of them.
People need to buy stuff and I should give them reason to buy a little book.

The biggest problem I face is the cutting out of the letters. Each book needs four sets of letters normally when I am doing this it’s for the one book. This time I was making five. Its seriously time consuming and really boring and I have to listen intently to the radio. I totally forgot that normally when faced with this amount of tedium I watch rubbish on the television and drink gin and tonic.

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The other thing I forgot is that cut out letters can be unforgiving and I need to find a kinder font. Speaking of which does the actual customer need it to be Clarendon do they actually care?

The other thing about this kind of work is the mess. It’s horrible.

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This is what I am reading at the moment
November 10, 2015, 3:17 pm
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Getting a bit excited by the Richard Gameson essay  ‘The image of the Medieval Library’

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The mother lode of Alexander Girard design.

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Always finding something new in Joseph Crawhall engravings.



standing at the bench and cutting out letters
November 10, 2015, 3:02 pm
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I am cutting out book titles for my Geordie books and every title is cut out about four times, dies are made for the correct spacing, letters are pasted to leather so the leather can be pared and the coloured leather can be dropped in and pressed. I have started to paste the letters on to a Tyvek backing paper as this means I can use them again.

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This is the growing pile of covers that have be pared cling film has a million uses in bookbinding.

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This is titles that needs cutting. My hope is that I’ll paste out the letters, put them on the boards and after a pressing and some water spraying the paper / tyvek will slide off. It’s a theory.

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The great thing about all that work I did about making a gazillion books at once is that I can just reach to a shelf and pull down a pile of them ready to go to work.



being so good they can’t ignore you in the craft shop
November 6, 2015, 8:23 am
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My books are in one craft shop and because it never occurs to me to find some where else for them. The goal was get some books that would appeal to the some one shopping in a craft shop and I did that. The down side was that I hated to see them in the shop and if the shop was filled with customers I would become very over the top saying they were the work of genius and the best things in the room.

I had reached a conclusion that I will remove the books and just not bother with the craft shop. But seeing the little group of unwanted books it occurred to me that the people who have decided not to buy them are actually right and what I need to do is make them something they want to buy.

The lovely member of staff told me that she has heard people giggling in the corner where the books are and that’s brilliant because I can work on that.
the other thing is the remaining books are black and dark I need colour and light.

Think it will involve titles.



Clarity and Vision are our true friends
September 10, 2015, 10:00 am
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When I am engaged in commissioned work I seldom notice the mess that builds up around me but in times of no work I surround my self with unfinished and barely begun projects and the ghosts of books that are still born and they stack up on each other and then I have to get stuck in and take them to the bin.
Sometimes I don’t even recognise them. I have destroyed far more than I have created.
I think that ‘Creativity’ and ‘Originality’ are the kin of Kipling’s Triumph and Disaster impostors. What I want is the discipline to finish the task.
I would also like to be able to experiment more. A mistake I constantly make is thinking I need to make a whole book fully covered in leather in order to ‘work’ on a technique where what I should be doing is creating a protocol where I can test my techniques and understand precisely why I believe why it has failed and what I need to do in order to ensure that I can see improvement.
I am clearing up my work area and doing quick autopsies on dead books and saying quick prayers for them.
Then I am going to write up what I am going to do with Clarity and Vision.



The very best decorated paper in the world.

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The paper used for the covers of these books are made and sold by Jeffery – Whitton Book Papers of Edinburgh Scotland This is their site linky

I know people have been searching for them because I get hits every week they search goggle for Jeffery paper and they get me! I am going to promote them like mad because I recognise how brilliant their work is and it needs to be better known.

The other reason people come to the site is this. It’s a Louet sewing gauge and its great as well.

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I had a great experience.
July 13, 2015, 7:46 am
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I had such a wonderful time the other day I was making the little books for my course and I was thrilled to be in the process of making books for a reason. I had realised that it was absolutely all right that the ‘hand out’ was going to be two sheets of A4 and that I had failed to fit the ‘hand out’ material in to the book. I am not and ever have been a typographer and I believe with ever fibre of my being that unless that page has been signed off by a designer who has serious chops it will be rubbish.

My little books are a work in progress. I wanted to give them to the people who came to my workshop to show them just how effective a simple technique like five hole pamphlet stitch can be. Also I tipped in the little colophon label.

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But mostly I was thrilled to be engaged with the process. This is practice beyond technique. The work flow was exciting and I was very pleased with the end result.