Back in 2012, Tim Vincent-Smith inherited a pair of unserviceable upright pianos. He took these to bits, and using "nose to tail carpentry," used their every morsel to build a staircase and mezzanine in box-shaped room. The deconstruction process was an education into the craft, skill, complexity and ingenuity of piano manufacture, and the end result was a gorgeous piece that enriched the life of Vincent-Smith's client, a cellist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
For one thing it is remarkable to discover, through the process of reverse construction, how much craft and skill goes into making even the most humble piano. The solid maple frame is fleshed out with boards of poplar or birch under a dark swirling skin of walnut or mahogany veneer. Hard, curved beach limbs form the pinblock to space the strings over the thin, flat straight-grained soundboard of Sitka spruce. Metatarsals of hornbeam connect felted hammers through an intricate arrangement of joints and pivots to long fingers of basswood coated with wafer thin slices of white bone ivory and in the gaps between these teeth, black ebony wood.
Separated from the useless bulk of the junked piano and cleaned of centuries of dust the different woods begin to speak of the trees that bore them. Some parts are labelled with a name and date in the deft script of a maker. A fragment of card from a box of screws packing a joint or an old foreign coin under the keys is a seed from which flowery imagined histories grow. A faded paper pasted inside the lid notes that this piano was last tuned on March 11th 1904. Spacers in arrays of green, red and purple felt set the colours of the wood singing. The cast iron harp, the backbone of a piano, despite its delicate curves and spaces is surprisingly heavy and black.
Piano Staircase [Tim Vincent-Smith/Kilometer Zero]
The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE was the company’s latest answer to Apple’s dominating entry into the market. But it died fast, pulled off the shelves within a week due to an unspecified problem with the display. Ron Amadeo writes that they “are not in a position to communicate the specifics of the issue […]
I’ve been using Stanley’s classic flask for years (I literally packed one, full of nice bourbon, in my suitcase this morning for the Melbourne/Sydney/Berlin trip I’m leaving on tonight), and I have no complaints: it’s beautiful, easy to close, and rugged.
Mattel’s Hello Barbie has a microphone and a wifi interface, and it transmits the phrases it hears to a central server in order to parse them and formulate a response. Mattel claims that the data isn’t being retained or harvested for marketing purposes, and assures parents that they can make Barbie stopping eavesdropping on them […]
Today and tomorrow only we are offering an additional 15% off the entire Boing Boing store (some exclusions may apply). Simply use coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY at checkout! Below are a few of our favorites from the store: First Generation Lytro 16GB Camera: The First Consumer Camera to Capture the Entire Light FieldAdobe Training Videos: Lifetime Subscription: 6,000+ Adobe […]
Today only in the Boing Boing Store we are offering an extra 15% off of the below VPN deals just use coupon code: VPN15 at checkout. proXPN VPN: Premium Lifetime Subscription Surf the web with ultimate peace of mind – both at home and on the road – over proXPN’s fully-encrypted, lightning-fast servers. Your lifetime premium subscription […]
These knitted gloves are here to save the day (and your hands) with an ultra-comfy, double-layer that will allow you to stay warm and use your phone. Now you can take photos on the fly, text, Tinder, and more without letting freezing temperatures get in your way. Plus they work with all touchscreens, so no […]