Not all about roses…

Again life has been rather busy and time has proven itself to be a scarce commodity. The weekend after we came back from our holiday another re-enactment event was planed. Close to home this time: Open Monuments Day in Wijk bij Duurstede.

Open Monuments day is a nation-wide event in the Netherlands. For one day (or the whole weekend) monumental buildings (museums, churches, castles, windmills, lighthouses, farms, factories and even private homes) open their doors and gates to let the public in. We were asked to attend the ‘medieval market’ that would be held around the big st. John the Baptist church in the middle of the town.

But that day rain and storm made living outdoors impossible. It was one of those early autumn weekends. So the whole event was moved inside the church. Little stands with the local baker, cheese merchant, bee keeper, rosary maker and luthier… Unfortunately the brewer cancelled at the last moment, but we did have a walking puppet-show!

A rose is a rose

Local events are literally a home match for us, and it’s a moment to catch up with old acquaintances. To get a little work done, I brought the top of the Schelle theorbo to carve further on the rose.

Contrary to what people expect, cutting roses like these doesn’t require a lot of patience. I am a very impatient person, and I hate to do stupid chores or sit idle and wait. But carving a lute rose is very relaxing. It’s almost like the rose grows under your hands. Like with all instrument making it isn’t difficult: just cut away everything that isn’t part of the lute and you will be left with a rose…

The tools of the trade: Scalpels and little home-made chisels (out of old jig-saw blades)

One thing that does stand out with this rose is its size: around 12 cm.

The rose of the original Schelle was cut separately in a different kind of wood (probably linden or poplar) and later put in the soundboard. I can imagine why Schelle did this: One of the reasons might be that the rest of the top is so large, it requires a fair amount of bench space and acrobatics to carve this rose. The choice for a piece of linden/poplar is that these woods have a more homogenous structure than spruce, which makes carving  the bends and details a lot easier.

The completed rose is covered in a thin layer of shellac, to protect it from moisture and dirt.

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