Growlygracepress's Blog


Every workshop I’ve done with students. This always comes up.
September 22, 2013, 9:42 am
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In the big long bookbinding workshops it takes the students a couple of days to get up to speed but then they do and they start to really explore bookbinding and invariably they want to make books out of different papers.
I was never that struck on it I think because on reflection the students picked such bad papers. But if you actually take the time and select a good collection of papers you can create ‘interesting’ books. I am being a touch disingenuous with that ‘interesting’ there the students were making books and thats always great.

Andrea wanted a book bound that would be very personal to her this would be very different to the books made for her exhibition. She collected up and made folded sections of drawing papers, cyanotypes, scans, made specific work for the book gave them to me and I bound it up and put a cover on it.

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In this photo here you can make out the different papers.

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I really wish I took photographs of the contents because it was really special.

So Tracey had books made up of her drawings she’s a friend of Andrea and Andrea had a book made up of different papers and art work so that brings us to Erica.
Erica said “I want an ‘Andrea Book” and Erica has said that I can show you the photos. Before I do that Tracey needed the books to be chained and this is how we did it.

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And the goldielock book was made for Tracey because I noticed that she two of her books tied up together with thongs and I wanted to make her ‘umbilical’ books.

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When I get it right.
February 16, 2012, 11:18 am
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I have always been happy that a book I have made for a commission has been to the best of my abilities and that I have committed myself and the materials to make what the client instructs. If it I had a sense of failure I would not take the payment. All my best work is in clients hands.

What I have is a bit slush pile of finished and incomplete books, experiments that were never finished. I whittle them down and bin them every so often. So this process has yielded books that I am naturally selecting because they please me in some way.

The book with the Lindisfarne lettering on it works beautifully and I have held on to it because it I asked for and took advice about how to do the “on-lay” and I followed the advise to the letter! The leather is pared to almost the point of transparency so it looks like paint stroke.

The natural line of the edge of the leather works and the marble paper works.

I should do more of this.

The two little books with no covers were initially made for an artist, I had previously made her books that had big long leather ties on them as a security device at an exhibition and I noticed one day that she had bound the books together with the ties. I decided to make her what I called “umbilical books” that these little books could be connected like twins.

But I liked them so much I kept them and I like them because with out there leather they look great, functional and industrial.

I should do more of this.

I did actually. The book with the flower on is partly a response to seeing the arty farty books at the Designer Bookbinders exhibition, it’s me having a bash at graphics rather than type and it’s all rightish but I couldn’t eat a whole one.

Whats good about it is that the binding method, for a “ledger” that book is neat, sweet and petite.

I make big fearsome books they could be used as weapons.

I need to do more like this.

And Soetsu Yanagi (go look him up) is going to give me a map.