~The 86 Fathom Harmonic Menagerie~

Otis A. Tomas ~ Stringed Instruments






All instrument builders have their failures. No matter how experienced the craftsperson, there are always the unexpected problems, the accidents, the instruments that just don't sound right for whatever mysterious reason. They can't be used in good conscience, nor can they be tossed out like yesterday's compost. Soon enough, the failed instruments and parts begin to gather dust somewhere. What's a luthier to do?


After 20 some years of building musical instruments, the back corners of my workshop loft had accumulated quite a collection of various odd instrument parts--projects that had never come to fruition, the violin that I dropped the plane on, the harp that came back with a broken neck, ribs that cracked over the bending iron, a guitar top that developed an unexpected crack and had to be replaced, a viola neck that I had played on for a couple years before being replaced by a 5-string, rosettes that just didn't fit the rest of the overall scheme, pegs split in the lathe, etc., etc.--all projects and instruments that I knew intimately and had spent many long hours with.


Deprived of their rightful place in the musical community, these old friends have now come back from the shadows and depths to take their place again in the light and air, and to proclaim their bizarre transformation into the "86 Fathom Harmonic Menagerie", pictured below......









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