My work season and commissions

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

No, I have not vanished, I’m still here. However health issues keep me from being functional from roughly November til March or April, dependent on the weather settling into dry season rather than rainy. (I live on Vancouver island, Canada and it is a coastal rain forest) I have fibromyalgia syndrome which is essentially a combination of chronic pain and chronic fatigue. This keeps me mostly out of the shop till the rains stop and the weather settles down.

My work season is thus March (on good years, this one really loves winter) til November.

Outside of this time I do occasionally get into the shop, though this is rare. I do have several orders and personal projects lined up including the mirlitons of which I mentioned in the last, long ago, post.  They are now ready for the final turning to shape having been bored in November.

I am in the future going to be modifying my site such that it will show what is currently available to purchase and will most likely no longer be taking on commissions. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but with my health I am better off working at what I want to, with input as per interest of people to guide me, rather than commissions as anything that increases stress also raises the pain levels and makes work even more difficult.
Still, feel free to ask me to add a type of instrument to my list if you want something, but I  will not take your money deposit for it as I can no longer guarantee I will be able to finish the job sadly.

I am sorry, but this is the way it has to be.



mirliton work

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

Moving on with the mirlitons.

The group I’m making are all in the rough turned and bored stages, after that they move pretty quickly though I will still have to make the caps to protect the membranes for them yet.

Next, moving on to parts for lyre tuning peg replacements for those who have broken theirs, then a new project, I’ve just been asked to make an early border pipe, bellows blown. That will be fun to do, I love working on pipes.


Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

I am finally well enough to be allowed back in my shop!
As a starter I cut and turned to round the blanks for a bunch of mirlitons (period kazoos) in soprano, alto, tenor and baritone ranges. Multiples of each. I’m not thinking too far ahead on what I will be doing after that as this is a year I’ve chosen to do fun stuff, not necesarily marketable stuff.

IE: box symphonies

a couple of large (7foot) tromba marinas

that kind of thing. Barring requests for an instrument that is.

I also have several lyres available. Mostly Skandinavian types. Kravik mostly. and st. severin. I’ll post pictures when I have the time.

Never doing a month’s trip again..

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

not trying to combine sales and family from both sides at least. dog tired!
On a good note though, utilizing some of the money from my trip, I’ve replaced most of the power tools in the shop. I’m hard on power tools and very happy I can rebuild my hand tools myself.
So, tommorow I install the new tools.
Next, back to work. First up, finishing off a lyre for a client in Quebec. then doing some work with the short horns I brought back. and with luck, building new and cool instruments from history. Can one actually use the word new in that context?

Work and sales

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

I have been working like a dog to catch up on a missed year’s work. A year I missed due to my health. I now have 10 lyres DONE. They are a mix of Sutton Hoo, Kravik and Halstad (gunnar) types.

I also made two Rebecs (soprano) and 6 Bumbasses and a gothic harp.

All will be at the SCA event ATwar (Avacal vs Tir righ) in Nakusp and the associated Nakusp medieaval days!

Anything that does not go there, will be available for sale direct through me here.

Confirmed sales date

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

I will have my instruments at Nakusp B.C. for ATwar aka Nakusp Medieval Days in mid july!
Really enjoyed being there last year and had a near sell out. Instruments, SCA fun and lots of trout lakes!
What more could I ask for?

Lyres underway

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

I’ve currently got 3 lyres underway, the new ones are a Kravik lyre from a 13thC survival and a Hylestad “gunnar” lyre from iconography, The former an 8 string the latter 11. Also of course the old standby Sutton Hoo. I will have a good selection of lyres available this year of 4 types as a couple of Trossengens are upcoming as well. Also some bowed and theoretical monochords and a rebec or two. In the woodwinds a few Mirlitons are planned and I’m thinking of having a go at some Cromhorns.
Should keep me busy for a bit.


Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

I’m working on some new instrument templates including an interesting project. A new lyre type from the former hylestad stave church in Sweden. Taken from a panel showing Gunnar playing the lyre with his toes in a snake pit. Quite the trick there!

12thC btw
It is designed for 9 to 11 strings, might take it to 12, but the tensions start getting a bit nuts for such a light instrument, at that point.

I will also be adding in a Kravyk lyre, 14thC. This one from the survival of a body, no soundboard or furniture was found with it. The Kravyk will be 7 or 8 strings.

As always I will be making Saxon and Trossingen lyres, gothic harps, mirlitons and more for this year.

Events I will be at to be announced later.

working again soon hopefully

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

I have sadly not been up to much for the past few months due to health issues. I’m in and out of hospital for of all things, kidney stones!

that said, I’m staying away from machines and sharp things until I can stay off of the pain killers for long enough to be safe.

Never fear, I will be back, building and studying again soon!

back home

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

ATwar was a great event and sales were even better! There are now quite a number of new lyres, gothic bray harps, fiddles and merlitons out in the world.
Next, do the siding on my shop I could not get to last year, now I can afford it! Then to work! Perhaps a few experiments before production work…