Growlygracepress's Blog

experiments for endpapers
February 12, 2015, 1:26 pm
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When I was ranting at the poor architectural students in December I was struck with ferocity of my belief about honouring our ideas with the handmade. This for me is tied up with making a handmade book that outlines my ideas about making books and the act of making books.

The handmade book is all about the endpapers. So I have been looking into methods of decorating the endpapers that makes me happy.

These experiments make me grin like the proverbial alsatian.



What I think about when I think about bookbinding.
September 8, 2014, 8:57 am
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I have been away form my bench for two whole weeks, the first week was because my husband was off work and we did stuff or he did stuff and I kept out of his way. Then last week I did a lot of running around and garden stuff. I also had no desk top computer and I could not generate the type for a book title.


So this week I need to commit to some ‘sustained try’

I will go to my bench and clear away all the unfinished books that are loitering without intent and put them on the shelf.

I will make a new book to familiarise myself with paste, glue, linen and leather. Two weeks is a long time.

A couple of weeks back I pitched an idea for an exhibition and it obviously was rejected as it was that brilliant and I was guilty of practicing art with out a licence. But it was as great and powerful idea as I have ever had so I think I might be making that book this week.

I will mainly be thinking about writing the fabled ‘hand out’ for a bookbinding workshop because I have two of them coming up in the next couple of months.

I will be thinking of trying to find an outlet for my little books where they can be comfortable with the other items.

I could try it on with the university to see if they would like me to do a weeks course but I think the answer is no. Refusal can cause offence.


I was in a conversation with someone who thinks that my lack of commissioned work is because I pissed the clients off and he’s wrong.

I don’t see commissioned work because I kept saying no and I am going to keep saying it. The big wake up call I got last year was a deep and penetrating understanding about my value as a maker and how I was deluding myself.

I am only going to make the books I want to.


putting on a full leather cover.


I have six books to put a cover on, the book blocks have been covered in a jacket to protect them from paste.
The leather has to be pared around the turn overs with special attention to the corners.
I showed a book the other day to the man who had sold me a load of black calf and he handled the little book and immediately opened it and looked at the corners. I laughed and said I used to be ashamed of my corners so I got really good at them.


This tool is used to pare the leather down.




and the wonderful


proud self promotion
January 16, 2014, 5:57 pm
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Never could get my head around why it’s consider shameless to self promote – if I don’t do it nobody else will do it for me.

But I reject the rubbish that people feel they have to use. I was at a meeting a couple of weeks back and the coffee table was groaning under the weight really ugly and nasty business promotion. Think the worst advert for a take away that comes through the letter box. It was horrible.

I’ve got a printing press and loads of blocks of Thomas Bewick and Joseph Crawhall so thats what I am going to use to sell my bookbinding. Obviously I’ve got blurb about me and the books with the contact details.

It’s a good way of using up the books I had to kill because no one wanted them. Bastards.