Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Spark of Creation

Wanna make a lute?

Step 1: Cut a large piece of cardboard into the shape of the front piece. The body of a lute, apparently, is 90cm x 60cm. I took it down to 80cm.

Step 2: Straighten several hangers and attach them across the back to form the bowl-shape.

Step 3: Using lots of Gorilla Tape (an awesome adhesive), attached a piece of wood for the neck.

Step 4: Run one last hanger from the neck to the base of the lute.

Step 5: Again, lots of Gorilla Tape.

Step 6: Allow the students who have been helping you by holding the hangers in place to put their marks on it. In this case, the students apparently decided it was a Fender Viola. This was done mostly to tease me, since I had protested many a time that it was NOT a VIOLA!

Step 7 (ish): Have the shop teacher slice off about 8 inches of the neck and reattach it with screws and wood glue at a right angle, bending away from the front of the lute.

Step 8: Using Gorilla Tape, attach a second cut-out of the front piece to cover all of the bumpiness of the hanger ends and Gorilla Tape.

Step 9: Cut posterboard into long strips, and run them along each hanger. Attach using Gorilla Tape.

Step 10: Fill in the gaps with more strips of poster board (it took me about 2 1/2 boards to do).
BONUS: At this phase, stop and have class do a quick reenactment of Kafka's "Metamorphosis".

Step 11: Cover the entire back with duct tape.

Step 12: Cut wood-grain-printed contact paper into strips and run them vertically along the lute's back. (You may want to add glue - I didn't find the contact paper's adhesive too strong. It's certainly no Gorilla Tape.)

Step 13: Again using strips of contact paper, cover the face of the lute as well.

Step 14: Give one of your good art students a picture of a sound hole with a particular style you like. We used this one. Have that student copy the sound hole onto the face of the lute, then fill in the "hole" with a black Sharpie.

Step 15: Hot-glue trim around the perimeter of the lute to hide the edges of the contact paper.

Step 16: Screw in eight eye bolts.

Step 17: Wrap gold cording around each bolt and hot glue in place along the neck as needed.

Step 18: Hot-glue a fancy flourish on the end of the neck.

Step 19: Hot-glue a Popsicle stick below the sound-hole(s). Glue the gold cords to the stick, then glue a second stick over it all to complete the bridge.

Step 20: Give it to your Minstrels with many, many threats to ward against carelessness. Brace yourself to hear the comment "Wow, that's a big lute!" a lot. If need be, point out pictures like this as proof of your accuracy:

My favorite comment during the process, though, was the students who said, "This is so cool to watch! It's like the Discovery Channel!" It's good to know they're fans of How It's Made, too.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:56 AM

    it will be better if you show as a video