This tree was one of my grandfather's favourites- it started out as the winner of the annual club Style of the Year competition in 1997. It was later exhibited at an international exhibition in Pretoria in 2003. Since I inherited it last year, I've been nervous to do too much work on it. I shortened some of the very obviously out of proportion branches, and lifted it out of the pot to rake out the roots and introduce a little fresh soil underneath. I also attempted an approach graft to try and get some lower growth as the tree had gotten very leggy over the years. Here it is today:
In preparation for a demo I'm doing at my club in September, I spent a bit of time mocking up some virtual options. In all cases I've rotated the main stem over closer to the horizontal and looked at either a long shallow bowl or a freeform slab. Finding a pot this size in a style I want will be anotehr story, but it's a few years away from a final pot- I want to get it into a deeper training pot next season so that it can grow with a bit if vigour.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
I was given a Yamaha Guitalele for Christmas in 2014 (because my wife is awesome like that), and I've been using it as a fun guitar for use at home and on camp. I'm looking at playing it at church, but to do that I need a pickup. Having looked around, I rejected the locally available generic piezo pickup options, and ordered a Fishman Isys system on eBay, because Fishman provide a completely system with great installation instructions including templates for all the cutouts, and a pre-wired pickup.
Next was the battery box, with a more complex cutout. At the same time, I marked the pop for the screw holes, which I then drilled plot holes for. Meranti is brittle and tends to split of you attempt,to drive a screw without a pilot hole.
Next up is the under-saddle piezo transducer, which is installed after drilling a 2.5mm hole off to one side of the bridge, then passing it up from inside the body.
The saddle then needs to be lowered by 1.6mm- I marked off the height on both ends of the saddle, then sanded the base down until it reached the right height. All that remains is to assemble and string up.
All in all, it went smoothly, and the Guitalele sounds great acoustically and plugged in. Unfortunately,there is an occasional buzz, which might be my poor skills in setting the saddle. The Fishman set is design for a full-sized guitar, so there is a lot of loose cable rattling around inside the body, which might be also contributing to the buzz. I will probably shorten and re-solder these cables.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
After a long break, I picked up the parts of my fretless project bass and moved towards completion this weekend. First step was to mount all the hardware on the neck, and test it out on my existing Squier James Johnston bass while I was busy.After that, I mounted the neck and bridge onto a piece of scrap timber, ready to experiment with pickup placement. Leo Fender used a rig like this to place the Precision, Jazz and Stingray pickups, finding the right spot by trial and error. I will use his positions as a starting point, using this useful graphic as a starting point:
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Saturday, December 26, 2015
The Owl House is a museum in Nieu Bethesda, an isolated town in the Karoo. This house was converted into an artwork by Helen Martins, working with a number of assistants, notably Koos Malgas. A long trip down a dusty road is worthwhile for the sight of this extraordinary house and garden. Some of my IR photographs from the trip are here.
|The camel train looking towards the East|
|A traveller pointing to the East|
|Cat at entrance to the Camel Yard|
|A figure, said to represent Miss Helen, looking East|
|Multiple exposure collage of all IR photographs I took at the Owl House|