Sunday, June 18, 2006

Matchstick Ukulele

I discovered this via the Ukulele Sanity March Yahoo Group:

From the website:

Jack Hall from England, U.K. proved that a ukulele didn't need to be made with
conventional tools or from the finest materials to play well, sound good and be
beautiful to look at.

This one-of-a- kind 1984 ukulele was made entirely from used wooden matchsticks...10,000 of them painstakingly glued together with 2 lbs of hide glue... The main distinguishing feature is the burnt matchstick design on the body, the body sides and the peg head. Jack sorted out and hand-picked from piles of matchsticks only those matchsticks with even-sided square burnt ends. He then ingeniously interlocked the blackened, burnt match-heads to form herring bone designs on the front and back of the body, and soldier columns on the body sides and peg head. The original 1984 white wood has aged nicely to rich golden colour.

To complete the project Jack made a case entirely from 200 cardboard matchBoxes.

The ukulele is in the book of Guinness World Records, 2003 Edition. Abbreviated text says, "Tony Hall (UK) owns 10 playable musical instruments made entirely from 106,000 used wooden matchsticks." It has also been played on BBC television. The professional musician who performed with the ukulele said, " The tone and sound is great and it is a pleasure to handle and play."
More photos and information about this instrument can be found here.


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.