October 26, 2017

Last week,  I went on a tour of the Martin Guitar factory, Nazareth PA.  You can walk in and take a quick tour, or you can make reservations ahead and take the two hour tour. Take the two hour tour!  There was so much to see,  I could not take it all in.  It costs $20.00, but you get a gift bag at the end worth more than that.  I am going to have to show everything I saw in a couple of posts.  The first thing that struck me was the mass quantity of wood that they have stored.  They work with wood species that can not be purchased any more.  They have 9 years’ worth of wood stored in case anything happens to world markets.

NOVEMBER 23, 2017

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I recently visited my good friend Keun Ho Peter Park in Philadelphia. We teach summer workshops together in stringed instrument making. He is currently teaching a creative instrument class at The University of the Arts. I stopped by to teach a turning workshop and he showed me all the great instruments they are working on. Here he is playing the new electric guitar he made, he also shared the finer techniques of saw playing.

NOVEMBER 11, 2017

I left Saint Petersburg on Halloween and find myself at Colonial Williamsburg. I am camping in my van and woke up to 27 degrees this morning. My shampoo froze. I MISS SAINT PETE!

Colonial Williamsburg is wonderful! In two days I have seen many things being made – bricks, shoes, cabinet, harpsichord, cloths, barrels and more. I just want to jump in and make stuff with the reenactors. Yesterday I went to the Art Museum and saw these great folk instruments.

OCTOBER 31, 2017

We are excited about this year’s project.  It has been fun spending this month with my Sister.  I love hearing the progress she has made in her guitar and ukulele playing. We have been working on some songs together (not ready for video yet).  When this project started in 2014  Laura could not play a guitar and I did not know how to make an instrument. Now we are sharing our skills learned and dreaming about instruments not yet made. Here is a sample of the sound we got out of this years batch. They will make great gifts for holidays. Each one has an original drawing inside making them playable instruments and pieces of art.

 

OCTOBER 26, 2017

It has been a great week! This year’s strumfactory.com run has been an exercise in shear will. We have basically done the whole instrument run in a shed that measures 8’ by 12’. Working together, my Sister and I have developed jigs, fabricated temporary work surfaces and changed our schedules to work around the construction happening in her garage. It has been fun , frustrating and inspiring. I am in Saint Pete searching for a building that will be the strumfactory.com headquarters and I am thinking big , when really I should be thinking smart. This endeavor in small space working has been educational. I have also loved seeing Laura’s skill set expand exponentially. She can make the whole instrument independently and is ready to help me teach when the time avails itself. Today while I worked on quality control she very carefully flattened, and polished frets.