October 28, 2022
I'm back in the shop this week, after an amazing Black Mountain Music Fest last week. Chuck Moseley sure knows how to put on a fantastic dulcimer festival. Lots of fun people, both amateur (as in "this-is-not-how-I-make-a-living status" - not skill level!) and professional (folks that make a living making music). I got to hang out with lots of you in both groups and it was awesome!
Thank you to Chuck for making it happen, and thank you those of y'all who took the time to visit with me and Aly.
Here's what the Folkcraft display looked like at Black Mountain:
It's a jumbled mess here - towards the end of the festival, with tools (for the repair work I did on site) scattered everywhere, and all kinds of instruments sold and no longer in the display. Usually I get a nice, clean photo before everything gets started, but it didn't happen this year.
Ignore the display. Look at the view outside the window. My repair bench was situated in just the right place that I was forced to enjoy the incredible views the entire time I was working. So sad!
When we got back to the shop last Friday (October 21) it was mostly unpack and get things back to an approximation of normal. Cheyenne and Pam kept things going in my absence, but my workbench was an awful mess. But there was a nice surprise waiting for me: a shipment of gorgeous East Indian rosewood - sent from a friend of mine in India. He hangs out at the lumber mill and picks up nice pieces for me. Totally great guy! Here's what he sent me this time:
Beautifully quartersawn, great color. Still soaking wet, but that's easy enough to fix. We'll be making instruments out of this rosewood in 2023.So, I've shown you trees (lumber, actually) from India, and trees from North Carolina. How about a few Indiana trees?
This is from a nature preserve on the north side of Woodburn, Indiana, where the Folkcraft shop is located. There's a really nice trail there which I often go walking on after working all day in the shop. The forest is "unmanaged." Which means there are lots of blown-down trees after a storm, and the trees stay on the forest floor, and decompose over time. I see dead trees from 10 years ago and think, "good, dry wood, probably some spalting, I wonder if I could buy some...". It would be neat to source some wood that way, but that's now how this place works, so I don't even ask. There's lots of shagbark hickory, plenty of white oak, black walnut, sugar maple, and a few pines. Definitely dulcimer material there, for sure! (I haven't seen any rosewood growing there, though.)
That's all for this week - photos of trees, basically, from three different places. I like trees. A lot.
Thanks for reading - Happy Playing!
Richard Ash, Luthier and Tree-Admirer.