Now I also make jewelry

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Soundhole binding

It took me two years to figure a way to do this (the tortoise way, I suppose). There are five layers of different veneers lining the soundhole: mahogany, anigre, makore, figured makore and cherry.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Size comparison

The Terz between a baritone uke and a standard size classical.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Terz guitar (classical)

While all the ukes that came out this summer were started last autumn, I began working on this last April.
The classical terz guitar originated in the nineteenth century and Giuliani composed some pieces for it. It is smaller than an ordinary guitar: this one has a vibrating string length of 57 centimeters.
The name is a deformation of the French "tierce", since it is tuned three intervals higher (GCFA#DG): what you would get by placing a capo in the third position. By raising the third string one interval lower, you get a lute or vihuela tuning, which was what interested most since you can then play the whole vast repertoire of lute or vihuela directly from the tablatures for those instruments.
This is not a reproduction of earlier guitars but a "modern" version: in particular I've used a fan bracing pattern rather than the traditional "ladder" and the neck is as wide at the nut as a regular guitar. I've also used the same type of bridge as the one I've used for my ukes this year.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Autumn baritone

"C'est pas vilain les fleurs d'automne..." (not so shabby, those autumn flowers): I could not help but think of those words in George Brassens' song Saturne as I was putting the finishing touch to this last baritone amidst the late-flowering creatures in Jacqueline's garden.
Basically the same shape as the second baritone (August 7th). The body is about 1/4 inch shallower and the string length 19" instead of 20". I've used some of that sumptuous carmine chokte kok for the neck with bloodwood veneer on the front and back of the headstock and the sides of the neck as well. The heel has curly maple in-between the chokte kok layers.
I'm also very pleased with its sound, different again from all the others: I just keep playing all five of them and have yet to pick a favorite one... Tough!

Saturday, 4 September 2010


J'aime ta couleur café...

Yes, I was in love with the previous baritone, but then this creature came along with its unusually dark cedar soundboard: caramel, chocolate, café au lait, pain d'épices, honey and spice... irresistible. Wonderful sound, deep and clear and crisp and it purrs against my chest just as much as the other one. Entre les deux, mon coeur balance...

These baritones are just getting better and better, each with its own singular voice. However, I'm so taken with their sound that I may never return to smaller sizes -- concert and tenor -- for playing tunes in low 4th tuning.

Walnut back and sides with cherry bandings and bloodwood fretboard. Joined plates of very thin western red cedar for the top. Ivory, bocote, tulipwood here and there.