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!
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..→
The website has been quiet of late, mainly because the workshop has been busy! Andy’s and Ian’s Concert models have been delivered, along with the completion a couple of project instruments, a Bass Cuatrolele or Q-Bass (whichever you want to call it!) and an 8 string tenor which can be seen on the left in this image. Despite both being 1st build pattern models as far as we are concerned, the results have been particularly pleasing, both in Continue reading Three Tenors→
A question I’ve been asked a number of times recently is whether I buy in or make the ‘rope’ binding that adorns some of the instruments that we build. Well, buying in would almost certainly violate the concept of building instruments with locally sourced timber. Therefore the answer is that we make our own. It appears, however, that the majority of Luthiers Continue reading Shop made.→
In the Craft Village, Crafters plan a monthly Pure Craft Fair, which will probably be held on the first Saturday of each month, commencing in September. Pure Craft means that there will be no stalls with bought-in tat from afar. The majority of Craft Fairs seem to be inundated with these type of stands, which have nothing at all to do with the word or concept of Craft!
On the bench in our Craft Workshop this week has been Andy’s Concert Uke, with Walnut body, Maple neck and cedar soundboard and he is saving a few shillings by collecting it unfinished, ready to apply the shiny stuff himself. Alongside is another concert neck, this time for Ian’s Concert, which is similar to Andy’s but with a flat headstock to take geared peg tuners. Ian has come up with his own design for a soundhole, which should be interesting to execute.
There is also the body for an experimental Q-Bass Ukulele, a project I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I might also try an eight string Tenor, perhaps in all European Maple, just for the fun of it. In the meantime, going to chase up some Yew that I’ve been having cut up for me.
Aquila, the Italian string company, have released their ‘Red Series’ strings, a new type of ‘Nylgut’ mixed with a copper compound to increase the density of the string. This makes the lower notes, like the ‘Low G’ on a Tenor attainable without using a wound string. This, in turn, avoids the scratching sound as your Continue reading Aquila Red Strings→
Again, it’s a while since I posted any progress reports, so to whet your appetite for next weekends Craft Fair, I thought I’d show a couple of instruments that are underway.
The Cuatro, which is No 3, along with the tenor Uke that might just remind you it is Olympic year, should both be strung up and finished by the weekend, while the Concert body and banjo bits are work in progress, both for customers.
The banjo is, in fact a prototype and will be shortly followed by an open-back banjo Uke.
The Craft Fair, which will be held over the weekend of 16th and 17th June attracts a good number of stands and, for the weekend only, it will cost you £1 to enter the village, through which you get to all the stalls. The money though, goes to a good cause, that of the Kent Air Ambulance, which runs purely on donations, so come along and support the event.
Don’t forget though, that the Village itself is open all year round and is free to visit, it’s just this weekend that a charge is levied.
Quex Instruments maker, purveyor of local timber artifacts