The house and shop are moving along. Today the garage was insulated and the new slab was poured last week. We are excited to get in and get going. This is a picture of one of the new tenor guitars I have been making. The neck is from the birch tree I planted when I was in 6th grade. The face and body are made from Quilted Maple and mahogany that my friend Mason gave me this winter.
This guitar has a neck made from a tree I planted in 6th grade. It was harvested when I was 44. I have air dried the wood and made myself a tool cabinet and some carvings. I am using the rest of the boards to make some funky guitars. This one has an essay decorating it which tells the story of the Arbor Day in 6th grade when I received the tree. It goes on to tell about my personal history with the tree. It is the first traditional guitar I made and the essay tells what I learned while creating it. I have created a symbolic alphabet that mimics our alphabet and written on the top , bottom and sides.
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.
I had a great winter teaching and making at The Center For Furniture Craftsmanship. I am now traveling and have time to share some of the projects I worked on. My first project in December was a Ukulele commission for my friend Bruce. He wanted a Uke that would inspire him as an artist. I wrote an essay about my life as an artist and transcribed it into Wing Ding Font. I wrote inside and outside on a body that is our Strumfactory.com style. Here are some pictures. Click here to read Bruce’s essay about the uke.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We have had a great day bike riding and cooking. The stringing of instruments started last night and the first Strumpet sounds great. It is a left handed instrument (made for my friend Tom) so hard for me to play. After an early dinner we will get back to it. Before stringing , all the frets have to get flattened and domed so there will be no buzz. Here are some pictures of that process.
I have been working on a new project with my Sister called strumfactory.com . The project phase 1 is me teaching my sister how to make instruments which we will sell. Phase 2 is to travel and teach others how to make instruments. I have already started this with Peter Park at Peters Valley Craft School. My sister came to my house for 1 week in June to learn how to mill cut and steam bend parts. Now I am at her house in Saint Petersburg Florida where we are shaping, sanding, and finishing. Of course our work is sprinkled with walks and bike rides. Here are some pictures.