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Sunday, May 22, 2011


Here is the new mould, with the shaping finished, next to the original.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bowlback mould

The mould is underway. Here are the first two bits (sycamore) in place - the rest builds up on either side and then gets carved to shape. I've just started the carving process and I'm remembering just how hard sycamore is! This step is going to take a while...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Cittern and bowlback mandolin

Well, it's been a month or so since I last posted a progress report - Easter has been mostly occupied with our new vegetable plot, but I have had a bit of time to push on with the cittern. The body is now complete and I'm ready to start fixing on the neck.

I'm also getting cracking on the bowlback mandolin project. I have 'dismantled' the one I bought on ebay (I think the cracked neck made it beyond repair anyway), and taken lots of photos and prepared some drawings. The detailed look at the old Neopolitan instrument was very informative - it was fun to imagine the 'production line' for these inexpensive litte instruments in the south of Italy at the turn of the last century. I have now started to prepare the mould for my own bowlback based on the technique used for lute making.