My Baritone Bowed Psaltery Easel
December 25, 2005
(Letter to my Yahoo Chat Group)
OK Bowed Psaltery Chat Group,
I've been dying to show you something but I'm a little nervous.
This exposes a bit of my stranger side yet for some reason, I feel
pretty safe telling yall about it.
You know Rick just made a baritone psaltery for me... and I play with
an Early Music Ensemble... so using the intended camera tripod during
performance to hold up the psalt was just not in keeping with the
Medieval nature of our group... So I had to come up with a more
I admit it took a couple of weeks to come up with the design... and
that was AFTER much research on the internet for an already built
easel. But it took going to Home Depot and browsing for a couple
hours to really fit the parts together in my head. Home Depot is like
a toy store to me!
The criteria was simple... had to fit the period and had to fit in the
So I knew it would be wood, 3 legs hinged together somehow, and would
fold up for travel.
What I didn't realize is that it would take on a "personality" of it's
I found some beautiful hand rails at Home Depot which were heavy and
strong enough to support my psalt and would remain stable when it took
a "bumping" if someone in my group tripped over the easel.
I went through several hinges before settling on some that were strong
enough to support the weight of the 5 foot long handrails and wouldn't
twist and mangle when folding the easel down.
And then I tried to adhere to the KISS rule for the rest of it...
Except... something happened when I went to the Pow Wow a week ago and
it changed everything about the easel. Turns out, my easel had a soul
of its own and there wasn't a thing I could do but accept it. You'll
find Buffalo hide, a Fox face in which I installed two green glass
eyes, some small Deer antlers, braided Elk hide, and scrolled wood
trim on the easel now.
Rick, I took the black bumper pads off the back of my baritone and
traded them out for some wooden "floral stars" instead... the black
bumpers were a little too new looking.
But in order to fit the criteria imposed by my Medieval group, I made
some velvet coverings, bejeweled them with pretty colorful trinkets,
and amuse myself with the knowledge that underneath the "costume" lies
a most unusual part of my heart.
Something else happened in the making too... I realized that from the
audience point of view, they can't see my beautiful new baritone
psaltery... so I built a secondary "station" (on the easel leg the
audience sees) where one of my other soprano psalts could sit in view.
Well, you must be curious by now of it's dual personalities... take a
look in the Photos and see for yourself.
All comments welcome... I've already heard the bewildered
head-scratchin "Ohhhhhhhh... that's........ really....something!"
Christmas Honey in Melbourne, FL
(Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge.)
The Medieval side of my new easel...
If you're interested in joining the Bowed Psaltery Chat Room,
click on the link below... they're a great bunch!