86 Fathom Harmonic Menagerie~
Otis A. Tomas ~ Stringed Instruments
All instrument builders have their failures. No matter how experienced
the craftsperson, there are always the unexpected problems, the accidents,
the instruments that just don't sound right for whatever mysterious
reason. They can't be used in good conscience, nor can they be tossed
out like yesterday's compost. Soon enough, the failed instruments
and parts begin to gather dust somewhere. What's a luthier to do?
After 20 some years of building musical instruments, the back corners
of my workshop loft had accumulated quite a collection of various
odd instrument parts--projects that had never come to fruition, the
violin that I dropped the plane on, the harp that came back with a
broken neck, ribs that cracked over the bending iron, a guitar top
that developed an unexpected crack and had to be replaced, a viola
neck that I had played on for a couple years before being replaced
by a 5-string, rosettes that just didn't fit the rest of the overall
scheme, pegs split in the lathe, etc., etc.--all projects and instruments
that I knew intimately and had spent many long hours with.
Deprived of their rightful place in the musical community, these
old friends have now come back from the shadows and depths to take
their place again in the light and air, and to proclaim their bizarre
transformation into the "86 Fathom Harmonic Menagerie", pictured below......