Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Of Treetars & Ukuletrees

Last weekend I picked up my husband's ukulele for the first time and attempted to play it. It was very easy to learn a couple of chords, and within minutes I wrote a silly little song about how easy ukuleles are to play...but I digress.

Inspired by its adorable shape, I decided that I wanted to try to make a ukulele pendant out of wire. As I always do when I want to play with new jewelry ideas, I pulled out my box of copper wire and got to work. What I came up with is the "ukuletree" [see previous blog post for a picture].

I had not planned to put a tree in this instrument...it just came to me as I was trying to figure out how to get the hole in the body gracefully and sturdily. Its as if the tree just grew where it was supposed to be. I reckon that tiny metal ukuleles are made from the "wood" of tiny metal trees. :)

Anyway, the headstock is a little wonky because I was not sure how to end all the wire (the downside of not planning out a new design first), but I was pretty pleased with how it turned out and dubbed it "Ukuletree". Of course, what should follow the ukuletree but the treetar!

Once I finished the copper treetar, I decided I was ready to make a sterling silver one. The final version has a cleaner headstock, and I turned the bail in toward the back of the pendant. The mother of pearl tuning pegs came out pretty straight, and the tree is fairly balanced. The body shape shifted slightly as I was working, but it lends to the overall organic nature of the piece so I am not too worried about it. If/when I choose to create a non-tree guitar, then I will hammer the body more so that it keeps its shape better.

Maybe next time I make a violin with a branchy bow? Maybe try my hand at one of the woodwind instruments (which would be tricky, but oh so literal)? Clarinetree? Hmmm...

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