The last year went by so fast it was a blur. We're two weeks into 2009, and I'm already in a panic that I won't have enough done for the Scottsdale Arts Festival in March. I'm also in a panic over the number of old, antique zithers needing restoration that have somehow stacked up in my office. My yearly repair/restoration quota is nearly reached. One more around April, and that will have to be it until 2010. The zithers I have standing on the sidelines are all very beautiful. Some are in decent shape and only need small crack repairs and a few strings replaced, and some need a lot of work. It is very satisfying to be able to bring these instruments back to life.
In The Studio
Three instruments will be getting a finish applied in the next week. My third banjo-dulcimer is the largest and has taken the longest to finish. Today I glued the last pieces on it, so I can put the first coat of tung oil on it tomorrow. The picture on the left is the hand-carved ram's head that will be the focus of the piece. The horns are carved from tagua nut.
I'll be taking a little time to finish up a couple of restoration projects while my three instruments are drying. A couple of the zithers I'm working on date back to around 1885-95. A couple others are from the 1920s, and one is from war-time Germany, 1938.
It appears we're in for another drought year here in Santa Cruz. We're two weeks into January, and no rain is in sight. In fact, the temperature rose to 71 degrees today, and is supposed to get up to 73 tomorrow. Spring weather in January??? What's wrong with this picture? Actually, the warm, dry weather is great for applying finishes to my instruments. When it rains, my finishes take forever to dry. On days like these, I can put a coat of tung oil on daily, instead of every two or three days.
I'll be taking pictures and cataloging the different types of zithers I'm going to be restoring soon, and posting them here, so stay tuned.
Onward through the fog!