February 2, 2009

The Cigar Box and its' Musical Re-Use

One thing i truely love is beautiful re-use. You know, common everyday materials re-used in a clever way to make functional goods with an eye for aesthetics to boot. I think one of the loveliest forms of re-use is the creation of musical instruments from common household goods.

Around the end of the Civil War folks in the South didn't have much, but the cigarbox had come into being and it was a widely available item which could easily be transformed into a stringed instrument. Nearly everyone could get their hands on a box, a broom handle and a few strings or wire. From these materials people would fashion an instrument as well as their know-how would allow. With this said, some of these instruments we're extremely well crafted and even beautifully decorated. Guitars were made as well as more complicated instruments such as violins, banjo's and, you guessed it, ukuleles.

I can't imagine anything else that i could build that would better encapsulate everything that i love more than a CigarBox Ukulele; Recycling, Re-Use, Design, Music, The Ukulele. So, i've made one and i'd like to invite you to see it. For those of you in and around Rotterdam, it will be unveiled at Galerie de Aanschouw this Friday Night at around 20:30. For the rest of you, you'll just have to wait for my next post. Until then, if you'd like to know and see more about Cigar Box Instruments you can visit Red Dog Guitars or The National Cigar Museum. Or maybe you have aspirations of building your own Cigar Box Ukulele. Click Here for some building plans dating from around 1910!

No comments: