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.

Templating

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…

Sales this summer

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

My list is short as yet, but I will be at ATwar, the Avacal/Tir Righ war on the August long weekend. Lots of instrument will be with me.
Cya there!

Wire drawing in the middle ages

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

.
Thank you very much to Judy Harcus for finding the following information for me that settles the issue of wire availability at the period of the chekker.
The book I mentioned is “Medieval Metalworking and Urban Life at St Andrewsgate, York” by Rhona Finlayson, published by York Archaeological Trust, York 2004.
I haven’t searched the whole book but found this quote on p 886 “York is known to have been a centre for the production of armour, resulting in a proliferation of specialist crafts which did not occur elsewhere (Swanson 1989, 68). Mail is made from both iron and copper wire, heated and drawn through plates punctured by holes. The drawing of iron wire was more strenuous than copper and there is evidence that women in York were active in this craft, both drawing wire and constructing mail.” … “In the century between 1350 and 1450 plate armour was increasingly used in preference to mail made from drawn wire.” … “The York Freemen’s Register records … 23 wiredrawers or wiresmyths between 1300 and 1490”.
In Appendix One: List of Metalworkers in the late 13th, 14th and 15th centuries from the York Freemen’s Register, the first page (956) lists:
1300 wirdragher – Rad.de Nottingham
1313 wiredragher – Rogerus le
1335 wyredragher – Joh. de Freklay
1345 wiredragher – Richardus del Ile

“A Dictionary of English Surnames” by Reaney & Wilson under “Wire” lists William le Wirdrawiere from 1320.

Chekker, some thoughts.

Posted by Aleyn     Category: Uncategorized

I have been thinking lately, it had to happen eventually you know! In my research, I can not find reliable evidence of wire pulling in copper, brass or iron prior to the 15th century. This throws into doubt my entire conclusion in my essay on the chekker that it was a proto-clavicord. You need metal wires to be loud enough to be heard when struck, gut just does not work for this!
Could I have missed the evidence of consistent wire pulling?
Was the chekker a proto-harpsicord?