I appreciate making an instrument with no hurry, taking all the time to be able to do a qualitative work.
The best feeling is to create for someone. In this way, energy and intention are the strongest.
• THE PREPARATION •
Before tuning, a certain amount of essential steps have to be settled on the whole shell.
Since 2011, I have tried many ways.
From overall handmade of the beginnings, where the "shaping" was an unknown step, to the precious help of the press and air hammers: pressing the dimples + notes, with quite sharp edges. Then few years later, pressing the dimples only, allowing less abrupt and more plastic borders.
Since late summer 2019, back to basics... Dimples and polishing are handmade again which leads to a new timbre that I like a lot.
• TUNING •
Don't think too much about "how" but focus on the expected result. Just let the hammer go without interfering with too much mental considerations.
This is very similar to a meditative state. Using the mental as a tool and not as a distraction.
Sometimes, don't hesitate to spend double the time to go further and further in refinement.
• FINISHES •
This step can be quite long. One to 2 months go by between the moment of the glueing and the moment I consider that the instrument is ready to leave, That's the required time to stabilize the tuning.
When inspiration comes, I add some engraved ornament. That's fun to do!.