I bought a Taskin kit (#1227) from you in 1976. I had virtually no
experience with handicrafts of any sort, so it took me about four years to complete the
work on the kit, but in the end I had a beautiful instrument which I have used extensively
throughout South Dakota and in a couple of other states. For at least ten years, my
harpsichord has been a very
popular feature at the piano week of the International Music Camp in the
Peace Gardens of North Dakota and Canada. Carting the instrument around has put a few
nicks in the paint, but it still looks very nice. There are no cracks in the soundboard.
After a few weeks of 80% humidity some of the bass strings will buzz on the 4' bridge, but
normally the soundboard is quite
stable. There have been occasions when I have traveled long distances with
the harpsichord and it has remained well enough in tune so as to require no more than a
quick touch up before performance. I believe most of the plectra are still originals; a
few have broken, but most of the replacements have been made to improve the voicing.
I made my own rose; the design displays a singing bird and the Spanish
caption ENTONEMOS UN CANTO (Let's sing a song).
Brookings, South Dakota
Mr. Wyse noted that while he had stated that he had virtually no
experience with handicrafts of any sort, he had made 8 small wooden articles on a lathe
with his father's supervision, assembled a simple plywood enclosure for a small speaker,
assembled a couple of Heathkits, and knitted three sweaters "after being told by a
faculty colleague that men can't learn to knit." He also noted that he had a
different kind of experience that probably helped him greatly. As a child he grew up in
Nicaragua in a school that his parents ran. As a child and adolescent he spent quite a lot
of time in the school carpenter shop, chatting with workmen and observing them as they
made beautiful furniture for classrooms and church. "I never received any training
from the men and I didn't make anything in their shop, but I did learn to respect the
ingenuity and great technical skill that the men brought to their tasks...."
Mr. Wyse started with a case assembled kit. As he says, "I had
nothing to do with the beautiful lines and precise measurements of the case.... I had a
neighbor who operated a body shop out of his garage. He sprayed the lacquer finish; I
sanded between the many coats...."