Banjo #09 - sanding
At some point last year I accidentally stopped writing updates on here. I think I got it into my head that I could only post when I had a significant project fully finished. As I get a lot less time at the workbench than I'd like, and because a lot of that time until recently was spent on workshop upgrades (e.g. a trolley for my planer) and learning new techniques (e.g. steam-bending rims), I didn't feel I had much to say. The upshot of that though, is that it looks like there's not much going on - so I'm resolving to post regular in-progress updates, pretty much no matter how small the progress is.
So: yesterday was the first day of sanding on my most recent mountain banjo commission.
This is progress at about the halfway point - up to 240 grit sandpaper. Next week (my next opportunity to work on it) I'll do another couple of passes to take it up to 400 grit, before starting with a Tru Oil finish.
Last night I played a couple of sets at Folk in the Cellar in Kentish Town. Between banjo tunes I was talking a little about attempting to privilege the 'unfinished' quality of traditional music - thinking about the way in which traditional songs and tunes have no definitive version, no original or final statement. I was specifically thinking about this in the context of locating folk-idiomatic improvisation adjacent to traditional playing, and it was only when I got home that I realised that at the gig I'd been circling around the same tension between finishedness / closedness and unfinishedness / openness that I'd been mulling over at the workbench earlier in the day. Something to think further on...
Reading: C. J. Arthur - The Dialectics of Labour
Listening: Martina Lussi - Diffusion is a Force