Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Instrument, New (old) wood, Fire

Another Mountain dulcimer is nearing completion. I haven't named this one yet, but it will probably be named after a traditional folk song, like I did with Lily of the West and Anethea. It's a beautiful birdseye maple piece with salvaged purpleheart binding and a walnut fingerboard. Again, the shape is based on the J. Edward Thomas dulcimer housed in the Smithsonian Museum.

Last weekend, while attending an art exhibit reception at the Santa Cruz Art League (the 78th Annual Statewide Exhibit called "Poems Without Words: Contemporary Landscape Painters of California" running through June 29), the board president and his wife mentioned they had a broken gate-leg table they wanted to give me. I picked it up a couple of days ago and began resawing it yesterday. The wood is a gorgeous flamed white oak. There is enough for three or four large instruments and several smaller ones. I've already decided to use some for another epinette des Vosges and another dulcimer.

Serious time: California is dry already. It's barely June, and we already had one devestating fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and today another one has taken off in the community of Bonny Doon, just a half hour from where we live. It's now 9 pm and the last report puts the fire at over 300 acres and 1500 people have been evacuated. It is heavily forested, but also heavily populated. Many of our artist friends live in that area. There has been reports of structural damage, but it can't be confirmed if it's been homes or outbuildings. Our fingers are crossed that no one loses their homes and that the fog comes in to moisten the ground.

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