Posted 4 years ago
In an interview with Collectors Weekly ukulele collector Andy Roth said, “It struck me, though, that no one was playing ukulele. That sort of sparked my interest.” His comments certainly ‘struck’ the right note with me and ‘sparked’ thoughts of a matchless ukulele made by my late father.
Jack Hall created this Soprano Ukulele. It is entirely made with throw away burnt tip wooden matchsticks...10,000 of them went into the construction that were painstakingly joined together individually.
Matchsticks for the curved portions were pre-soaked in water and bent, and the glued-together sections were weighted into shape with the aid of flat-irons, fire bricks and pans of water. The carving was fashioned with a knife, a file and a straight-edge razor; finishing touches accomplished with graded sandpaper, before the clear varnish seal was applied.
The main distinguishing feature is the burnt matchstick ornamentation. Blackened, burnt match-heads were ingeniously interlocked to form herring bone and diamond designs on the front and back of the body, with soldier columns on the body sides and peg head front. The original white wood has aged nicely to a rich golden brown.
Construction was completed in four hundred hours...working five hours per day.
Jack completed the project with a case entirely made with 200 matchBoxes.
There are 10 (book of Guinness World Records) playable instruments in The Jack Hall Matchstick Musical Instrument Collection including; 1936 violin and bow, 1936 bowl-back mandolin, 1937 acoustic guitar, 1938 flat-back mandolin, and a 1939 tenor banjo. Not forgetting the 1984 ukulele, the last instrument Jack made at the age of 79 years.
My thanks to Ben for the invitation to post my father’s “Matchstickology” as he coined his work.
I hope all the people who visit enjoy.