Tally Ho!

Tally Ho!

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The little garden of new practices I planted here at Rosewood has begun to bear fruit. The mechanics of how I organize my business are oiled, move along smoothly, and with purpose. It feels great. I’m looking forward to this next year of business and what else comes.

Thanks, all! I appreciate the business, patience, and patronage.

Fly Upwards and Sing a Song

Fly Upwards and Sing a Song

I recently completed a project for the local Waldorf School.

Kevin Meyers asked me about creating a Kinderharp for the classroom. I agreed. For those who may not know about Kinderharps:

The Kinderharp is a small lyre strung with 7 strings which are tuned to a pentatonic scale. There is no resonance chamber, so the instrument is a delicate, quiet singer, but sweet and dotted by sparkle and shimmer.

My knowledge of how, exactly, the instrument is used in the classroom is limited, but from what I gather it is a tradition charged with mythic power and heavenly intentions.

I used some very special wood from my collection for this beauty. Mesquite and Osage Orange cut from a good friend’s land in the Great State of Texas make up the body and saddle of the harp. I chose some spare Ebony to act at the anchor point of the strings. After cutting, carving, and sanding I spent about a week French Polishing the instrument. Finally, I installed the tuning pins, strings and brought it up to pitch: D E G A B D E – lowest to highest.

What a sweet song. The most surprising part was found in holding the harp up to my chest and plucking the strings. The vibrations in the body moved me straight to the heart.

Thank you to all involved. What a gift to be asked to bring this into the world.


  

Back in Business.

Back in Business.

I’ve got the shop refreshed in a good way. My new workbench is about 60{df58abec07cad186b154d9be9fb012068e4d7612a4d4b553ec56b9397c23596f} complete. It’s enough to open the shop today and resume work. Will put the finishing touches on things this weekend. 



Steel tongue, wood belly, dulcet voice.

Steel tongue, wood belly, dulcet voice.

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This holiday I decided to build a small, musical instrument for my small, musical niece.  After a little time thinking, I decided that a thumb piano would be the perfect choice.  Since I build/re-build mostly stringed instruments, I designed this much like a guitar  would be constructed.

Pen and paper are always the first tools I take to when the idea leaves my imagination.

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A form for the freshly-bent wood to nestle into for an overnight dry out.

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One of my favorite tools is the bending iron.  The aroma of different woods as they are heated by the steam, the sizzle of water against the heated metal, the moment you can feel the release within the wood as it begins to give over to the curves you’ve dreamed up – it’s all quite lovely.

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I cut an endblock out of a scrap of Redwood I had piled up at my shop.  Here it is being glued to the bent sides:

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Trimmed.

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I bent some Spruce linings for this project.

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Lined and back installed.

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Body parts.

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Add ebony bearing points, two screw holes and the result is a face.

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Oiled.

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I purchased several feet of spring steel out of which I cut seven tines to be the tongues for this lamellophone.  I rounded the ends and smoothed them over to be comfortable for little thumbs.

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The end, the beginning.

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I used Padauk, Rosewood, Ebony, Osage Orange, Spruce, and Redwood.  I glued it together with Hide Glue.  Spring steel and brass screws make up the metal portions. Tung oil to finish. 

 

Delight.