Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Medieval Ukulele

After nearly a year of planning, carving, re-planning, re-carving, sanding, sanding, and sanding more, I finally finished the "Rebekulele". It's a one-of-a-kind ukulele tuned and fretted type of instrument, but in the shape of a medieval rebec.

Most of the wood is salvaged and scrap pieces of maple and black walnut that came out of my storage bins. I laminated several pieces of maple for the body and neck and hollowed it out, like the rebecs of old. The head, with an open mouth for the strings to go through, is a tagua nut from Ecuador. (Also called vegetable ivory.) The figure and peg head area are carved to look like an ancient Polynesian tiki.

Now that this is finally completed, I can look ahead to finishing other projects that have been on the shelves for way too long, like my Chapter House organ (3 months so far), my original Chapter House Harp (around 4 years), and my long-worried-over Victoria and Albert Ottavina (octave spinet, 29 years and counting).

Of course, there are other "normal" projects going on in a continuing basis, like another Mountain dulcimer (nearing completion), and a ton of spoons, spurtles, and other folk art pieces that I have to finish by the time I start my late Summer art festivals and crafts shows.

Stay tuned.

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