Tuesday, December 3, 2013

a little holiday cheer

imagine my surprise when confronted with a rather large, unusually shaped box this afternoon at the post office, arriving from an interweb quilting friend down in kentucky. surprise transformed quickly into delight once i opened the box and found this beautiful old mountain dulcimer nestled inside.a plethora of golden packing peanuts! she obviously knows my passion for these amazing instruments. i am enriched and filled with gratitude by such a kind and generous gift from this incredible lady...

you can see how it was made in the traditional manner, using fence staples as fret wires...and where old frets had fallen out and been replaced. i can only imagine what this beauty sounds like given that the fretting is virtually all over the place. ha!

hand carved friction tuning pegs planted in a sculpted headstock. no grand grace and charm in the construction here. this is a down home, lovingly crafted instrument that invites you to speculate as to its history. possibilities spin out into eternity, spiced with romance and joyful gathering around the hearth!

the conundrum now is whether to restore this glorious wounded bird and help her to sing again by repairing a crack on the back soundboard, refinishing her, and adding a new fret board complete with properly intoned frets, or to leave her aging grace and charm in place and allow her silence to speak volumes in our dreams? i think i'll let her rest and settle in to her new home for a while and see what she whispers in the quiet hours of the night...



  1. Oh, lovely!!!
    What if you strung her and played a wee riff just to see what the current fret tone sounds like? Her unique voice may have a pleasing quality...

  2. simply lovely just to look at :)

  3. i love this joe... it looks lijke it could tell a story or two.