Piano Hinge Books and Summer Business

It’s been a great summer for the weather, warm and sunny.  We are waiting for what will remain of Hurricane Irene.  With any weather event there’s always the worry of damage to our property.  It’s been so expensive and time consuming to keep up on the gallery and studio buildings, let alone our house and my Mother’s house.  We’re making a plan to re-do the roofs of the business, this time in metal.  I can’t believe we’re coming up on 16 years that the new gallery has been there.  We have been in business a total of 28 years, we had 12 years in the little gallery, that is now an office.

Gallery business is so different.  People are spending less and there are less tourists around.  Thank goodness we have 28 years of business with us, because we have so many great customers who regularly shop here for themselves or for gifts.

Sue and I had but one customer today, she was visiting with a long time customer of ours and she made our day.  We have seen over the years that the final week of August really gets quiet as people return home and to school.  We don’t expect much this weekend because of the coming weather.

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I’ve been prepping my hard cover piano hinge books.  I’m making 40 of them, so I need a lot of binders boards and stained skewer sticks.



I decorate my own paper using my paste paint recipe.  It’s very simple.

Boil 10 parts water to one part corn starch, to a pudding consistency.  Add 2 to 3 parts acrylic paint and 2 parts modge podge glue.  That’s it, and it’s very durable.

I will get four covers from this sheet, enough for two books




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I use a template to cut my paper, glue the board in place, then glue and fold the edges.
For the piano hinge, since I’m using a hard cover I have to have a hollow spine, so I only glue the tip and fold the unglued part over.

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Eventually this hollow spine will be sectioned by a series of cuts that will allow it to be woven into the body of the book






Here’s what 60 book covers for 30 books looks like.

Tomorrow will be a good day to finish the remaining 10 books.  Next week I’m hoping to meet up with my apprentices and get the pages cut to and ready to be woven.