Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fool's has passed...

It's the beginning of the fourth month of the year, and I managed to get by the 1st without getting zinged by any April Fool's jokes. However, April still brings with it all the remodeling construction that's been going on around our house for the last month. Because of that, it's been hard to focus on many of my projects. However, I was able to finish three bowed psalteries last month as well as several "whistles" with hand-carved heads on the ends of them.

I've made a list this month of everything I want to work on and complete. It's probably a little too ambitious, but I have to plan out my creative direction as much as possible.

The first item on my list is to work on four more mini-hognose psalteries. That way I'll have six to take to Bellevue, Washington, in July and the San Francisco Fine Craft Show in August. The picture shows several frames I just assembled.

Mini-hognose psalteries are wonderful sounding small steel-strung lap or hand-held instruments that can play two full diatonic octaves, great for old ballads, folk music, or for just meditating to improvisational meanderings.The sound is bright but soothing.
Even though I completed several bowed psalteries, I still have to make the bows. I cut out seven bow blanks from cherry and salvaged purpleheart and zebrawood, and started shaping a couple of them today.

Another project I've listed is to continue working on one of my original pieces, the rebekulele. This is a 13th-14th century rebec-shaped instrument that's set up to play like a ukulele. It's coming along, but there's still a lot of carving to do on the tiki body.

As for folk art pieces, I'm in the process of shaping around 20 spoons and spurtles and getting them ready for carving.

All in all, I've got a lot of work to complete before I can get cracking on my larger, more complex projects. There is a lot more to come.

Stay tuned.

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