Monday, January 18, 2010

Cajon—A Family Project

My Dad has gotten into building instruments recently. He's built a ukulele, octave mandolin, multiple cajóns, and next is probably moving onto Native American flutes.

Most of these instruments take him months to build. He works an engineering job full time and plays in a couple different bands, so uses his free time to build. Besides all that he likes to take the time to build his instruments correctly.

The cajóns went a little faster. My Dad built a few at once so him & my mom, Scott & I, and Paul & Katy (my brother and his girlfriend) could all have one per couple. So obviously, I turned mine into an art project (I can't take the credit on this, it was my Dad's suggestion to paint it).

Above are photos of our finished cajón. Well, almost finished anyway, I still need to add some sort of rubber feet to the bottom so the drum isn't just sitting on the ground.

I wanted to keep the painting simple but fun, using geometric shapes and a fine woodgrain effect achieved by running a regular hair comb vertically through the wet brown paint.

My Dad and I collaborated on a simple, whimsical cat icon that will go on all, or most, of his instruments from here on out. On string instruments it will probably appear on the headstock, and on anything else it will appear...well...wherever we decide it should go! (Thats the fun part about this icon—since its for a fun, family project we don't have the same restraints I deal with every day designing logos for my graphic design freelance business!). On my cajón I painted the cat on the back of the drum, right beneath the sound hole. The cat will usually have our last name, Katz, inside or below in capital letters.

I finished off the drum with 2 coats of glossy varnish, to give it a finished look and to help protect the surface.

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