Ukulele making

ukulele makingMy Xmas present to myself was a one-week ukulele making class at a local community college.   I can now confirm that my expectation that this would be crazy fun was correct.   There were only seven of us on the course (average age mid forties, average gender 87% bloke).  The teacher was fantastic, and I spent a week playing with a mix of power tools and hand tools, carving, filing, drilling, sawing and all the rest.   By the end I had created a unique musical instrument that I can play, as well as I can play any ukulele.

My admiration for the hard working people who made the instruments I already own has increased exponentially.

And if you’re in Wellington, I recommend you sign up for the next one Dave is running, in July.

Here are some in-progress photos:

Mask workshop

I took six members of the Wellington Improv Troupe through some techniques for making theatrical character masks, passing on what I learned from Steve Jarand with a few extra twists.  It was hard work and a lot to cram into one day, but golly there were some interesting masks made, including by people who commented that they hadn’t done anything ‘arty’ since high school.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the masks work on stage.

Facilitating other people being creative – and deliberately not being a creator of anything myself – was a different sort of satisfying experience.

The masks were sculpted in clay over plaster face casts, then covered with Instamorph (a low temperature thermoplastic sold in pellets) which had been heated and rolled into flat sheets, and then dipped in hot water to soften and draped over the clay forms.  The masks were then trimmed, lightly sanded to create a rough surface, and finished with acrylic paint and accessories such as pingpong ball eyes and fake fur eyebrows.