Tickling the, ebonies?
Our family piano reached the end of it's time as an instrument when the piano tuner that came to our house stated that it was literally untunable. It had quite a journey though, at over 100 years old and made in Richmond, Indiana. It came into our possession from some friends after their children had stopped playing and they picked it up from a music school when it decided to close its doors.
We live in a small house and space is at a premium so, with no room for an untunable instrument, the piano had to go. If you have ever tried to get rid of a piano you know that it is as challenging physically as it is financially. I decided to deconstruct it myself. It was such a well made, sturdy instrument and I couldn't help but admire the workmanship. Deep on the inside of the piano I could still see pencil marks from measurements during the assembly process, directions written on the wood and even a couple pieces of cardboard and paper with printing on them used to fill the gap spaces. We lashed the harp-like centre of the piano to the fence outside our basement door. The kids like to make "music" with it and it is handy any time you want to make a dramatic entrance into our basement... and who wouldn't. I kept all of the ebony keys and gave most of the other parts of the piano away to artist friends and makers.
Now for the key pendants...
With these keys, I carved a flame motif, with Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire" in my head all the while. I also added some colour to the back side, mirroring the flame design. I have a couple of different piano key designs that I have done over the years, one of which I posted to my Instagram page on February 6, 2020. Here is to a long third life for these lovely pieces of wood.