Aug 29 2006
I can admit that I’ve always been a fan of ocarinas and, more specifically, sweet potatos. They have a sweet warm mellow tone, feel wonderful in the hand, and are easily portable. I’ve been preparing for a large scale recording that will use, primarily, acoustic instruments and have been aquiring instruments that have unique or interesting tonalities.
A while back I purchased an old Gretsch plastic sweet potato and, although it has a wonderful nostalgia to it, it doesn’t sound or play very well. While poking around on Ebay, I discovered a fellow by the name of Charlie Hind who hand builds wooden ocarinas and sweet potatos. His work, which can be seen on his web site, is really beautiful. He works, mostly, in walnut, a wood that I’m really fond of. In exploring his site, I noticed that he’d created a few instruments in mahogany, and I remembered that I had a rather large piece left over from my guitar project. I emailed him and asked if he’d be willing to work with my wood, and he said yes.
Charlie has been more than kind. He’s been photographing the process of creating the instrument for me, and has allowed me to post his pix here.
I’ll also include some of his comments.