forest interlude   6 comments

Posted at 10:53 pm in friends,music

Sitka Spruce front of a copy of a 1935 Selmer Jazz Guitar, made by Larry Ayers

I’m back in Canada now. Sage, Sabrina and I arrived back here a week ago tonight. As always, it was a long journey. This year, we made a scenic detour through Utah which extended the trip by an extra ten days or so. As mentioned in a previous post, we visited wonderful places and spent many a night at a peaceful campsite. Often, we played music – on our fiddles, mandolins and guitars. In addition to his many other skills and talents, my friend Larry Ayers is also a luthier and made the fiddle, guitar and cittern which he played during our travels.

Osage Orange back of a copy of a 1935 Selmer Jazz Guitar, made by Larry Ayers

I would like to share a few photos which I took of his guitar and cittern. The guitar in the first and second photos is a copy of a 1935 Selmer Jazz Guitar. If you would like to read more about the making of Larry’s guitar, you can access a now non-existent webpage that has been archived in the Wayback Machine. Unfortunately, most of the photos are absent, but the text describing the guitar remains. As much as possible, Larry prefers to use native North American woods rather than what have often become rare tropical woods. For many years, Larry owned and operated his own sawmill in Knox County, Missouri. The woods used in this guitar were acquired either locally, or from other parts of the country, and then sawn in his own mill and assembled in his workshop. The front of the guitar is made of Sitka Spruce, the neck is of local Black Walnut, and the back and sides are of Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera).

front of a cittern, the body of which was inspired the design of a Selmer Jazz Guitar. Made by Larry Ayers

The third and fourth photos in this post are of a cittern – a ten-stringed instrument also called an octave mandolin – which Larry built in 2003. The front is of Sitka Spruce, the neck of Black Walnut, while the back is of a Pau ferro (a non-native wood). To read more about the construction of the cittern, visit thisarchived page which did preserve all of the original photos from Larry’s old website.

back of a cittern, the body of which was inspired by the design of a Selmer Jazz Guitar. Made by Larry Ayers

The final photo in this post is of Larry playing the cittern which he built. The picnic table in the background is a little more cluttered than normal as we were splitting up our supplies in readiness for going our separate ways. All in all, we had an excellent adventure accompanied by much good music!

Larry Ayers playing the cittern which is featured in the above photos.

Written by bev wigney on April 20th, 2012