Growlygracepress's Blog

the christmas tree decorations of doom


I have not forgotten my threat to make Christmas tree decorations although I admit to a heavy heart I’ll move them along this afternoon.

printing on leather
July 24, 2014, 8:12 am
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This is pared goatskin and I have printed little elements on it. To be used like this.


handsome books


This is from last week.

What I liked most about this batch of book is that they taught me so much. Tons and tons of stuff.

It’s really easy to put leather on a tiny book. Bish Bash Bosh covers on. I am not sure if I like tiny books but we are about to find out if they will sell in a shop. The other thing about the tiny books is that they really, really need a delicate touch to the extent I have to cut my finger nails because I has leaving little crescent marks on the paper.

Bigger type is best. Big and bold clarendon in capitals makes the cover easier to work.

This level of concentration and effort is tiring and I should only do covers first ting in the morning.

and the artist said to me…….
July 14, 2014, 7:48 am
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“I still want to make a book with you” except what he actually wants is for me to carry out his specific instructions and to make the book he thinks he wants.
and I said “and you pay me money” except what I mean is I will carry out your instructions to the letter even though I think it sucks because you are giving me money.

Do you want me to make you a book?


I have to ‘prove’ that I am actually ‘trading’ as a bookbinder or there will be consequences. Nothing awful I am not going to be killed or anything but I really need to wave some paper around.

This really is shameful self promotion but if you ever thought about having me make you a book it might be to your advantage to get in touch with me now.

That is all.

This is my bench at the moment.
February 25, 2014, 10:40 am
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This what I am currently working on. When I say ‘working on’ what I specifically mean is this is a collection of work that hopefully go on sale in a craft shop / gallery.
This is sheer speculation.

I am speculating that the buyer in the craft shop would want either a full leather covered journal with a thong to wrap around it. I am speculating that they would like a little book covered in leather and a paper side of Jeffery paper or fantastic marble.

Every one wants a book that has ‘fuck yeah’ on it. Thats a no brainer.

Incidentally if you know of a shop that would like a ready supply of books with every variation of ‘fuck’ on them be sure and let me know.

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.

Mrs Cannybody and friends.
January 2, 2014, 4:27 pm
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Still prototyping away this time it’s Mrs Cannybody and a couple of friends.
This bout of making has just about render as much feedback as I can get.
I now know the changes I need to make and I am waiting for the block makers to reopen so I can get the colophon and various Geordie labels and then I can fire up the adana.
And there is a touch so Geordie that I can barely contain myself.

Going back to the roots.
November 9, 2013, 4:15 pm
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The first reproduction of the Lindisfarne Gospels dates from the 18th Century it was included in a book “Origin and Development of Writing” by Thomas Astel 1784.

It’s in the stunning “The Lindisfarne Gospels : society spirituality and the scribe” by Michelle Brown and yes I did giggle like a school girl when I went to a lecture by her and got her to sign my copy. I am seriously cool.

Anyway I’ve always been drawn to it as a page. I’ve had a go at a binding.


Which failed in so many ways but that was such a long time ago and I have decided to crack out the photocopies again.


I am hit and mainly miss with Lindisfarne lettering it can just lie on the book like a big lump.

Or it can actually sing.


What I am going to do is single letters on a tiny book.