Art Journal: Piano Hinge Travel Journal

For my next trip abroad, I wanted to make another travel journal. I have previously handmade a small hardback pocket journal and a fold-out accordion journal. This time I decided to make a handmade journal using a piano hinge. This, for the unfamiliar, uses tabs and cylindrical objects (in this case bamboo skewers) to attach the pages at the spine. The benefit for a travel journal is that every other spread is the depth of the bamboo skewer, which means there is plenty of room for additional items of collage and other ephemera, and pockets to store memorabilia. It’s also possible to easily disassemble the book at the hinge to work on individual pages, or remove and add pages as required.

Constructed from canvas textured acrylic paper, I knocked back the white using an off-white chalky finish acrylic paint. I added a darker shade at the base of each page, using the same paint to stencil the building outlines. Overprinting with various travel oriented stamps using archival ink completed the decoration. It seems that the convention for piano hinge books is that the spine is visible, and the skewers extend from the bottom and the top. I wanted a more traditional book appearance as well as a protective cover, so I constructed cover pages before covering them with lokta paper which resembles old leather. A few coats of soft-touch varnish added to that illusion as well as protecting the paper. Adding this type of cover does restrict the addition of further pages. As I intend to use this on the flight as well, I thought it wise to trim the skewers… Some care needs to be taken to keep the pages vertically aligned, but in practice friction seems to keep the posts in place.

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Altered Art: Book Folding

Regular readers of my blog will know that when I try something new, I tend to go straight for it, often not practicing first, and sometimes not really having any clue as to how the finished project will turn out. Well, I was recently asked by one of my Studio regulars if I had tried book folding… I haven’t, despite it being all the rage at the moment.
I thought it couldn’t be that hard, so decided to fold the Studio logo (StudiologoSmall) into a spare hardback (The Tommmyknockers, if you’re wondering). I watched a quick video on YouTube, and got on with it. Two hours later I discovered that to avoid the art piece apparently advertising a Jackie Collins book title, I’m going to have to stick in a few more pages…


What I have learnt doing this: firstly, it takes time. A lot of time. Secondly, italics and swooshes need more pages. Thirdly, too many letters makes for poor resolution and difficult to read final result. And finally, I think this may be addictive, and I’m going to work on the method more so that I can be even more ambitious with the art form. Time to hit the charity shops methinks…

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