Quex Instruments are made from locally sourced timbers, a good amount of which are grown in the grounds of Quex Park itself. The Mahogany tree is not one that grows in the UK, but ‘sourced’ is a word, and concept, that has a wide meaning. So when some baulks of solid mahogany were stripped out from one of the galleries that is being re-furbished in the Powell-Cotton Museum and became available, it would have been Continue reading Mahogany
I do believe I have mentioned my reactions to stormy winds before in these pages,but allow me to re-iterate. High winds have a tendency to knock down trees that are perhaps past their sell-by date as decorative items. And in this day and age, landowners very often have them cleared away either for aesthetic reasons or for those of Health and Safety.
Now, when I see a fallen tree, my first thought is about the type of tree. Some timbers are not very good for making musical instruments but others are very suitable. Numerous species have arrived in the yard outside the unit over the last few weeks, the by-product of our next door neighbours being (rather busy at the moment) Tree Surgeons. So, you can imagine my delight the other day when their wagon came into the yard and tipped the remains of a large Wild Cherry (Prunus Avium). Included was the entire trunk in two logs around four feet long and a good 16 inches in diameter. Negotiations with Bruk, their boss, didn’t take long and I acquired one of the two logs.
So it occurred to me that following this particular log all the way through the processes used to turn it into a musical instrument might just be a nice subject for this blog.
Firstly it is cut into manageable pieces, but lengthwise, down the grain. This is basically four quarters Continue reading Stormy Times
2013 has been a bit of a funny year for me. And I don’t mean funny haha, more of a year of vicious twists that, 12 months ago, were totally unimaginable.
At the start of the year all sorts of plans were in place, virtually none of which have come to fruition. Even early in the year things were starting to go wrong and by the end of February the main reason became very apparent. Most of the rest of the year has been spent coping with the fallout from a diagnosis of Cancer. Not very many instruments have been built, and of those that have, some have subsequently been scrapped!
However, now that I’m feeling so much better than the Continue reading A Funny Year
I have to say an enormous Thank You to everybody that has called, messaged and dropped into the new workshop with good wishes now that I have the ‘all clear’ from my recent course of Chemotherapy. The
response has been most heartwarming and both myself and Shirley, my wife, really appreciated all the good will.
The response to our new instrument, the Bass-Baritone Ukulele, has also been Continue reading Many Thanks
Good news! Last week I got the all clear from the hospital after a dire summer of chemotherapy. It will take a little while to get back into the full swing, but I am feeling so much better than I did a few short weeks ago.
So, in celebration, we have moved into a new workshop. The units in the Craft Village at Quex Park are great, but somewhat restrictive in both size and facilities. The new workshop, which is still on the Quex Estate, albeit just outside the Park proper, is around 4 times the size of the old unit and has Continue reading New Workshop
When I last posted, some while ago now, I was joking about the number of different hospital appointments I was having to attend. The outcome of those appointments is the main reason for a lack of communication in the meanwhile. Where I had been putting back-ache down to bending over the bench too much, it turned out that a rather large tumour had grown between my kidneys and was getting larger. Combined with a growth over my left eye that was steadily closing the said optic, it hardly surprising that I was beginning to get a few things wrong!
As I write, I’m two-thirds of the way through the prescribed course of Chemotherapy and looking forward to things for the first time in a while. I’m probably looking at the end of August or beginning of September before I Continue reading Summer Update
One or two of the instruments we have available for the Festive Season can be heard in these clips.
Unfortunately, it is me playing them, rather than someone who really can, but they give you a reasonable idea of the sounds they make. Recorded straight onto the camera with no gimmickry prior to being crunched by youtube!
More details on each on the For Sale page
Yew top Tenor
8 String Tenor
My name is Wally, and I’m Walnut. That’s the wood I’m talking about, not the seed I was grown from. I was born back in 1785, or maybe 1783. It depends on when you count a tree being born, when the seed is planted in a growing pot, or when the young sapling is planted out in it’s permanent location. I was put in quite a nice place, in front of a big house along with a few of my brothers and some other relatives. I remember that when we were young we were quite well looked after by a man in baggy trousers and a big flat cap. It took a few years, but it wasn’t long Continue reading My Name is Wally..