I'm not even sure how to start this entry. I want to be positive and happy, but it is shaping up to be difficult as I am still feeling a little bit sad. And I don't think that will change much until I am done with this guitar. It is odd though, as it still doesn't feel to me like Doc won't be visiting the shop anymore. Since he would typically pop in every few weeks or so, it still seems like he could shuffle in with his friend Charles any day now.
The guitar I have been working on, upon Doc's request, has been progressing surprisingly well over the past week. When I went to measure the neck and fit the dovetail joint snugly into the body of the guitar, it was a perfect fit straight from the table saw. If you have never fit a neck before, you probably won't understand the significance of that neck fitting so well on the first try, but such a feat is rare. Typically I spend all day fitting, rasping, and sanding in order to get the correct angle and shape on the dovetail to fit to the body correctly. I like to think that maybe Doc is helping me out, encouraging me to finish.
Taking a break from finishing the guitar today, my dad and I had a lovely Father's Day. I decided today was Father's Day because for the past 18 years I have spent actual Father's Day watching my dad spend it with a ton of other people, as it falls on the day following his festival. This year will be no exception as plans have been made for several gatherings at our house that day. It is too tiring to be hurt, so I decided that I would take advantage of some time together and that would be our day. It shaped up to be quite lovely. We went to visit with my uncle Max for the afternoon and ended up playing a few tunes together while we were there. Well, more accurately, I plucked out the notes to You Are My Sunshine and my dad graciously backed me up, and then I struggled to keep accurate time while mashing the correct chords on my mandolin for his breaks. Arkansas Traveler and Turkey in the Straw went similarly. It was really fun though, as typically if I want to attempt to play music it is in the shop with a bunch of folks milling about increasing my stress level, and decreasing my confidence exponentially.
No one visited the shop after we returned from visiting my uncle, so I got to spend a few quiet moments in there tonight as well. The evening has been primarily filled with sanding and spraying my guitar, with a quick break for tacos. I am so excited to see this one finished, and to hear its first sounds emerge from the soundhole. Of course, the excitement is glazed with a little bit of sadness, but I think Doc would be proud of this guitar, and whether I really believe it or not, it is comforting to think he is encouraging me along the way. I also probably wouldn't have made a guitar for myself, so maybe I should look at the loss of a really great fellow as a gift of a really great guitar.
- I began this blog in order to share my experiences learning instrument building from my dad, but along with those stories I look forward to sharing my memories of growing up with two busy, musically inclined parents as well as my current experiences stepping out on my own as a female luthier promoting environmental sustainability in her instruments while working to alter gender stereotypes in a male dominated field. If you'd like to use quotes from this blog for interviews or in your own work, please contact me first! (email is firstname.lastname@example.org)