Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reverse Piano Hinge Bookbinding

Spine of my first homemade RPH13cm x 18.5cm sketchbook

I have been struck over and over again by the generosity of printmakers. Artists I find are a generous breed in general, willing to share advice and tips but it is printmakers who have shown themselves to be super generous in giving a beginner a leg up and lots of advice and instruction, not to mention materials. Belinda del Pesco, bless her, is such a generous person. She shares her techniques with anyone lucky enough to find her blog and when I was stuck for mat board supplies here in Italy she surprised me with offcuts so I could make collographs. Then there is Sherrie York a.k.a. Brush and Baren who enabled me to make my first reduction linocut. Martin Stankewitz who provided me with fantastic insights into monotype printmaking and may eventually succeed in teaching me How to Draw a Tree. Of course there is always Rick Woodbury whose ongoing generosity includes a key to his print studio here in Tuscany!

Today I'm paying tribute to another Printmaking Angel - Wendy Shortland a.k.a Quirky Artist.

Wendy travelled into the city to meet me when I was last in Sydney and spent hours answering my questions about Solarplate Etching, Viscosity Printing and Bookbinding. Now she has given me directions to make a Reverse Piano Hinge Sketchbook. This was my first real attempt at bookbinding. I've made a couple of concertina fold books but nothing more ambitious. Now I am delighted to have been shown how to make a book that has a very pleasing Japanese-like spine, sits flat when open and has the benefit of being able to remove and replace pages.

Inside cover

Internal hinge with removable paper pin
These are in the middle of each of the 6 signatures

In my book there are 17 double pages where you don't see the hinge

This book was made from two sheets of Italian Grafia printmaking paper, a piece of coloured craft paper, a scrap of brown packing paper for the cover and two pieces of cover board, in addition to some PVC glue, with which I made a bit of a mess. The book is far from professional bookbinder perfect but I'll do better next time.

I'm not suggesting Wendy invented the reverse piano hinge method but I am saying a big thank you for refining the instructions and sharing them with this beginner.

Editors Note: For those of you interested in learning to make a version of this book, Wendy recommends Gwen Diehn's book Real Life Journals - Designing and Using Handmade Books, a copy of which I've just ordered for myself from Amazon.

Gwen also generously posted instructions for the EDM Yahoo Group. Everyday Matters is a great group well worth joining.


Shirley said...

Looks wonderful Robyn! I made one from Gwen Diehn's instructions (haven't used it yet), and bought a set of corset stays to use as my hinge. I definitely did something wrong, because my pages don't go on and off very easily - so my next one also needs some improvement.

"JeanneG" said...

Very nice. Does Wendy have the instructions on her blog?

Cathy Gatland said...

That's a beautiful sketchbook Robyn - I'll have to pick your brains on how those hinges work though...

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful job you've done Robyn. I'm so glad you could follow my instructions. It's a terrific structure, isn't it.
Thank you for your kind words. I enjoyed our morning together.

Perhaps I should send you my instructions for coptic binding next??

Robyn said...

Shirley - I'm most intrigued as to where the 'corset stays' fit in!

Jeanne & Cathy - See my editor's note.

Wendy - Coptic binding? I'm game! I suspect this bookbinding caper is another great digression for me from painting.

Joan said...

Looks like you did a great job on this. I'll have to look at the link. Funny, but I'm taking a bookmaking class later this week. I'll have to let you know how it goes. lol Hope I do as well as you did.

A Brush with Color said...

That book is beautiful. I have to make some of my own--I'm always so taken with them when I see these beauties.

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