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Handmade Answers

December 2, 2022
Hello, Everyone!
We took last week off from the newsletter. The staff had Friday to spend with family, and we figured that y'all not getting something to read on a Friday morning wouldn't hurt any feelings.
There was a tremendous response to the "handmade" question. Thank you all for writing! I've forwarded the response emails to Toya, our newsletter editor, and she's compiled a selection of them (which were unanimous in their sentiment, even though the verbiage was unique for each one). Here's a sampling:

"Your dulcimers are definitely handmade.  I have an extensive wood shop, with many power tools, but feel that anything coming out of my shop is handmade." (Bill)

"...the way you do things: the personal touch, from selection of wood to assembling & finishing each individual instrument...There is no way I would ever suggest that Folkcraft makes anything but quality hand-crafted dulcimers." (Thomas)

"Using the machine to cut the fret slots is a big plus. My Folkcraft dulcimer is so spot-on in its tuning. ...the construction and finish of the body - the detail declares handmade." (Fay H)

"...the Maker movement believes: just because one person's handmade method uses a more modern technology does not make it less handmade than another person's method that centers on historical techniques." (HD)

"DEFINITELY HAND MADE!  Each instrument is a "hands-on" process and although you use tools, each and every instrument you make is "hands-on"!  Your skill and individual attention is put into each and every instrument." (Nancy B)

"Folkcraft dulcimers are definitely handmade with love and precision. Absolutely beautiful Instruments." (Barbara)

"It takes skilled-hands to use machine tools. It's the individual care during construction that makes it hand made. I consider your dulcimers handmade." (Charles) 

"When I received my beautiful dulcimer from Folkcraft® earlier this year I was taken aback at how beautifully it was made, I could tell it was handmade with love and with many years of experience." (Lynn)

"YES! Handmade can include hand and power tools. Technology is just making things more accurate and maybe a little easier." (Jon H)

"YES! The hand-fitting and finishing, as you say, are the parts where human hands are better than any machine. My Folkcraft instruments feels good in my hands because you all have made sure it feels good in your hands." (Matthew)

"Integrating a tool with handcrafted muscle power can definitely make for a better end product. Integrating power tools with the sensitivity and understanding of what goes into a musical instrument like a dulcimer is the most important thing." (Joseph)

I hope y'all have a great weekend - happy playing!

Richard Ash, builder of handmade dulcimers (even though I use power tools sometimes!)