Most people take that final vacation of the Summer over Labor Day weekend. My “holiday” was an intense 10 to 12 hours a day from Friday through Monday setting up and showing my crafts to many of those vacationers and locals. The weather was great (perhaps a little too warm on Sunday), and the aisles were packed as were many of the artists’ booths.
My booth was in a single row of booths in the side and back of the main area. It was, unfortunately, facing the sun a lot, so we got an umbrella to help shade the instruments. The upside was that it was far away from both the music venues, which made it easier to demonstrate. If I get juried in next year, I’ll request a booth facing away from the sun.
I’ve been home a few days, and I’m still exhausted. However, there’s no time to sit back and relax, the Open Studios Art Tour is only three weeks away, and I’ve got to get a few more pieces done for it. Plus, I’ll have to clean up my studio and yard the week before Open Studios.
On the Workbench
Today I really got back to making sawdust again. After selling so many dulcimers last year, then only completing one more for the shows I just did, then selling another in Sausalito, my stock is, once again, depleted. I have to get cranking on my next one, the “White Lady.” The head carving is nearly done so I figured I’d better steam bend the sides and clamp them up to dry.
Steam bending is a process that took me years to master, and years more to learn to be patient. When I first started bending wood, I would boil it in a long pan on a pair of hot plates, then clamp the wet and pliable wood in a form until it dried. Now, I use a hot iron (top photo) to bend dampened wood. I still clamp it in a form (bottom photo) for a few days until the wood is totally dry. It take patience. Try to bend to fast and the wood can snap.
I’ve also been working on my Chapter House Portative Organ. Just before I left for Sausalito, I made all the 1” pins that the keys will press. These pins open the airways so each pipe will play. The next step is to do some carving on the fronts of the keys then install them.
I’ve also been carving the gothic-style decorations on the sides. I still have a lot of smoothing and sanding to do.
The pipes are working well, but not tuned yet. I also want to carve faces at the top of the front rank of pipes.
Today I also cut out 9 more spoon and spurtle blanks. My spoon stock is also low, and I need a few more for Open Studios. So enough writing, I need to head back to the studio and work, work, work!
Onward through the fog.
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