Growlygracepress's Blog

These are the books I am excited by this week.
March 6, 2015, 10:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,


It’s a good solid series of books. I am in love with one of them so much I may have to go out the house with it and have a cup of coffee in a cafe. Me and the book would be on a date.

So get your coat ‘English bookbinding styles 1450 – 1800’ you have scored.
For the very life of me I don’t know why I have not read this book before. I was kinda vaguely aware of it but never made the time to get to know it. It’s beautiful and unfortunately now very expensive so I will never own it. I shall keep it out the library a very long time and I shall introduce it to it’s proper soul mate.


I am unashamedly utterly captivated by Emily Dickinson and I am now going to build a collection of books for my shrine. I have started with ‘The Gardens of Emily Dickinson’ because I seen it at a great price and I have a vague intention to do some ‘stuff’ with flowers.

I have just bought ‘Bound’ am searching for a entry level bookbinding book that I can wave about at a workshop, tip out a bag of books I have made from the book and suggest that the students go and buy the book, these here tools and that there materials and teach them selves how to bind books. I don’t care for exposed spine sewing and I hate that whole recycled, reworked vintage shit but it floats a lot of boats for some people. The instructions on sewing alone is worth buying for. Clear and precise most excellent.

I have “Under the influence John Deakin, photography and the lure of Soho” this is one of the most beautifully photography produced book I have seen in my life there is such honour on show here that it makes me want to cry.


If you bind it they will come.
May 7, 2014, 8:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,


I am going to make a book that I think needs making. It’s for an artist I have worked with previously and I think they need ‘this’ book.

I really like working with artists they are the best and the worst clients in the world. Perhaps the very worse ever is actually another bookbinder.

All you artists out there that I have worked with in the past time is a great healer and you should get in touch.

Playing with the Jeffrey’s paper.
February 18, 2014, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,


I have pulled out five little books that I am going to cover with black calf and have sides of the stunningly great decorated paper from J & J Jeffery of Edinburgh.









It’s going to be great.

valentine hinny
January 26, 2014, 10:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,


I am going to place these bad boys at the lit and phil in Newcastle. I was told last time I was in that I am ‘struck off’ as my membership has run out and I’ve been too broke to renew it.

I am going to become a fine art consultant.


Admittedly I have toyed with the idea for some time it’s was only yesterday that the idea formed fully realised in my head and I know I could do it.

In my travels yesterday I talked with the business consultant where I pitched “old Ma Thompson’s bookbinding academy” thats my bookbinding propaganda and promotion division. Basically it’s my three workshops on teaching bookbinding to the very keen. I can do ‘bookbinding for book artists’ and ‘foundation skills for bookbinding’ and ‘the care and feeding of sketch books’ perfectly formed little workshops where every body gets tons of materials to practice with. It’s a winner.

Then I went to the craft shop and showed them my latest bookbinding attempts and talked them through the promotional materials I have been cooking up and in the course of the conversation I asked what were the trends they were seeing. That was really useful, obviously I am not telling you because you will beat me to it but I know what I am going to be binding next week.

Then I got to thinking what I should do is get in to the trend forecasting business for art students. I would be aiming it at first year students because they become way to cynical when they come back for second year.

I would go around the final year shows, talk to teachers, read the art industry press and read the blogs. I would distil all that down to make up a list of ideas that art teachers like and I would flog that list on a private subscription basis. I would also include book lists, exhibition guides and I would make myself available for cake and chat.

The genius of this idea is that I also am going to offer a package to middle aged women art teachers because they like to make their work look like the work of young girls. A sweeping and damming generalisation if ever there was one. Ageist, sexist and patronising I am a one stop shop of hate. Guilty of everything I say.

I am going to go my bench on my tippy toes and not scare away any slumbering half asleep books that are in need of a cover design. What ever I stick on a cover today is going to be strong meat.

I wanted a second hand art book yesterday but it was £6 which I don’t have but this morning I found a damp and soggy £5 I shall use my bookbinding chops to bring it back to life and go and buy the book.

This is great book art as well.
January 10, 2014, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,


Its great because it’s a collection of letter pressed hand from all over the world thats been brought together and perfect bound with hot glue and has a good wrapper.




So simple and so effective.

“your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie ….”
January 7, 2014, 10:52 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,


I am now seriously thinking of pitching a course on the making and drawing and reproduction of the Tale of Peter Rabbit. It’s aimed at first year fine art or illustration.

It’s got a lot of good elements going for it bookbinding wise. It’s small, it has that nice print on the cover, the page layout is great, it’s got lovely prelims.

If it was pitched as a course in Newcastle there is The Centre of the Children’s Book in the Ouseburn. Who will have book historians a go go. Every one and their dog was pitching children’s book illustration courses a few years ago.

Hell I even had a couple illustration students turn up at one of my bookbinding courses.