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Peace Train
10-18-2017, 01:39 PM
THE STORY:

I was recently told the story of a teacher who gave his students gifts at the end of his lessons. One year, no matter how advanced or inexperienced the student, each received a thorn with the teacher saying, "This is your most important gift to date."

The students panicked, and over the ensuing months contemplated what the teacher meant by such a 'gift.'

Upon returning the following year, the teacher presented each student with a flower. When questioned about the thorn, the teacher explained its purpose was to clear the self from all the feelings which would keep the students from experiencing the utter beauty of the flower.



THE BACKSTORY:

With most musical instruments, I found the search to be a personal one, even more so when commissioning a custom. I did my due diligence and knew what made my heart sing, but a year on the waiting list when I began questioning whether to go through with it (along with dilemmas of life in general) it was because I'd been holding a longtime thorn of my own. I just kept listening to the small voice urging me on, and I'm really glad I did! The creative process of getting this uke off the ground has been such a liberating and rewarding experience.



THE SPARK:

I sent drawings to Eric with the goal of keeping things simple and elegant to match the aesthetics of his ukes. He confirmed the inlay design I was already leaning toward, and guided me through the rest of the selection process. Even though we're both perfectionists when it comes to design, I can't say enough about Eric's patience and understanding. He's genuine and fun to work with.

Next time, I'm holding out for marble from the Taj Mahal...or maybe something more exotic.

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THE SONG:

This uke could've been birthed from virtually any tonewood...as long as it's Koa. What can I say, the all-Koa sound really speaks to me.

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Peace Train
10-18-2017, 01:40 PM
THE REVELATION:

I quickly came to realize how blessed I was to witness the creation of such a beautiful instrument. These photos arrived the same day I was told the story of the thorn and flower. That's when it dawned on me: The uke Eric's building is my flower.

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THE ROSETTE:

I wanted something a little different to set off the rosette, but I also wanted to stay with an offset sound hole knowing there's not much room to work with. After discussing the possibilities of what would and wouldn't work, a decision was made.

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Will post more pics as I get them

Alytw
10-18-2017, 02:34 PM
Thats some nice koa. I was lucky enough to try one of his baritones owned by a local UU member...I could have spent hours with it.

Adam

hollisdwyer
10-18-2017, 04:46 PM
What a great allegorical story and what a beautifully crafted instrument. It is such a gift to be fortunate enough to be involved in the development process of your own instrument.

M3Ukulele
10-18-2017, 05:01 PM
Very nice. Can't wait to see the finish product and hear your creation. I've seen some pretty nice ukulele from this builder. Never played one but hope to one day. I will be watching for more congratulations

igorthebarbarian
10-18-2017, 07:09 PM
Awesome! Looks really nice

Osprey
10-19-2017, 05:04 AM
Looking really special. The rosette will really look striking in that koa.

Peace Train
10-19-2017, 09:39 AM
What a great allegorical story and what a beautifully crafted instrument. It is such a gift to be fortunate enough to be involved in the development process of your own instrument.

Thank you hollisdwyer, sometimes a story like that helps put things in perspective. What a rewarding experience it's been!

Peace Train
10-19-2017, 09:41 AM
Very nice. Can't wait to see the finish product and hear your creation. I've seen some pretty nice ukulele from this builder. Never played one but hope to one day. I will be watching for more congratulations

Thanks M3Ukulele, I'm looking forward to it too!

Peace Train
10-19-2017, 09:44 AM
Thats some nice koa. I was lucky enough to try one of his baritones owned by a local UU member...I could have spent hours with it.

Adam

Thank you Adam, it really is some amazing Koa! I'm looking forward to spending many years ahead with it.

Peace Train
10-19-2017, 09:53 AM
Awesome! Looks really nice

Thanks Tom, you may be seeing this one in person.

Peace Train
10-19-2017, 09:56 AM
Looking really special. The rosette will really look striking in that koa.

Thanks Osprey, I think you're right about the rosette, Eric said the same thing!

Patchenu
10-19-2017, 11:34 AM
Awesome. I can't wait to see/hear this one completed. I love the sound of Eric's instruments. I am also on his list for a build and I can't wait to go through the process.

AmyDee
10-19-2017, 12:00 PM
My married last name is Devine. I've been lusting for a DeVine uke since I first discovered them. I can't wait to see your instrument once it's complete.

Pueo
10-19-2017, 02:35 PM
Congratulations on the build! I have met Eric and sampled a few of his works, they are sublime.
Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

mm stan
10-20-2017, 12:53 AM
Congratulations on the amazing build, Eric is just as amazing

coolcow
10-21-2017, 04:43 AM
Awesome build, is that Mother of Curl Koa?

Chopped Liver
10-21-2017, 05:17 AM
So pretty! Love the rosette! Can't wait to see the finished product.

Peace Train
10-21-2017, 12:43 PM
Thanks everyone, I'm usually pretty good at being patient, but the excitement's getting hard to contain!



Awesome. I can't wait to see/hear this one completed. I love the sound of Eric's instruments. I am also on his list for a build and I can't wait to go through the process.
Ah yes, the sound! Add in playabiity, creativity, and attention to detail. That's what put me over the edge.

Let us know when it happens. It's a fun process, you're in for a treat.



My married last name is Devine. I've been lusting for a DeVine uke since I first discovered them. I can't wait to see your instrument once it's complete.
The DeVine family is certainly growing one way or another. Plus, an ukulele with your name on it? How can you resist! ;)



Congratulations on the build! I have met Eric and sampled a few of his works, they are sublime.
Looking forward to seeing the finished product!
Thanks Pueo, you put me over the edge. Now I'm even more excited for the finished build! :)

. . .

Peace Train
10-21-2017, 12:50 PM
Congratulations on the amazing build, Eric is just as amazing
Thanks Stan! I knew it was a good fit when he and I first spoke way back when. Great energy and a chill vibe.



Awesome build, is that Mother of Curl Koa?
Thanks coolcow, I think I asked the same thing. It's not, but I fell in love with this set from the start!



So pretty! Love the rosette! Can't wait to see the finished product.
Thank you Chopped Liver, I can't either. Love your Einstein quote by the way, I'm putting it on my wall! :)

mm stan
10-21-2017, 09:43 PM
He's an amazing cool guy too... imo
Makes outstanding ukes too, you must be loaded rich

Peace Train
10-28-2017, 10:32 AM
THE INLAY:

The Hibiscus is the state flower of the islands and has always spoken to me. I played with the design to make sure there was a prominent feature on frets 10 - 12 - 15 - 17. I wanted white. Eric thought Koa. He pulled it off with flying colors.

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"Nothing says Hawaii like a Hawaiian shirt...er, Hibiscus flower."

:rolleyes:

Nickie
10-28-2017, 01:41 PM
Wow, Peace Train, this is gonna be one special uke. From a special luthier. For a special uker.

hollisdwyer
10-30-2017, 02:02 AM
What a gift to be involved, even in a small way, in the creation of a beautiful musical instrument. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Peace Train
10-30-2017, 04:48 PM
I agree about Eric, Stan. I'm truly fortunate to have such a nice instrument being made.

Nickie and hollisdwyer, thank you both for such kind words. It's overwhelming to see the magic unfold. So grateful to be a part of it, to know it's headed my way.

More pics coming up . . .

Peace Train
10-30-2017, 05:14 PM
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hollisdwyer
10-31-2017, 01:48 AM
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That inlay design works particularly well with the Koa body.

Osprey
10-31-2017, 04:37 AM
Peace Train, that inlay is just perfect. Elegant and understated, class all the way.

Ga'ukulele
10-31-2017, 07:13 PM
Stunning !
Diggin' the koa inlay, congrats!

Peace Train
11-01-2017, 10:25 PM
Thanks hollisdwyer, Osprey, and Ga'ukilele, I appreciate the kind words and am extremely pleased with how everything is turning out.

Peace Train
11-24-2017, 10:31 AM
THE PROGRESS:

Working with another from a distance is often a lesson in communication, understanding, and letting go. Before last week's UGH show, Eric shared his thoughts on the 'critical thinking' that can take away from the healing powers of music, and the overall enjoyment of being able to lose yourself in playing, which is the goal in the first place. Always the insightful conversation and a collaboration process for sure. Getting ready for the lacquer!

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DownUpDave
11-24-2017, 12:11 PM
This really is shaping up to be a wonderful ukulele. I had the pleasure of playing a baritone that Eric built for a friend. It was a stunning instrument in everyway, shape and form with a sound to match. You are really in for a treat when you get this in your hands

SoloRule
11-24-2017, 01:16 PM
Congratulations
I too had the privilege of “ touching” such a great instrument at the same party as downupdave and Adam
This will be a uke for life.
It’s a beauty

mm stan
11-24-2017, 06:05 PM
Congratulations on the devine, Eric showed Mr Jens two new ukes at the show.. blew me away

dkcrown
11-25-2017, 02:11 AM
Looking great, Cary. It's going to be a stunner.

Patchenu
11-25-2017, 08:01 AM
Do you know if this is the same Koa that Eric used for that Green Bamboo inlay ukulele he finished about 6 weeks ago? It does look similar in the coloring.

Peace Train
11-25-2017, 11:29 AM
This really is shaping up to be a wonderful ukulele. I had the pleasure of playing a baritone that Eric built for a friend. It was a stunning instrument in everyway, shape and form with a sound to match. You are really in for a treat when you get this in your hands

Thanks Dave, I've been enjoying the build process, but really looking forward to getting some hands-on time.

Peace Train
11-25-2017, 11:31 AM
Congratulations
I too had the privilege of “ touching” such a great instrument at the same party as downupdave and Adam
This will be a uke for life.
It’s a beauty

Thanks Brenda, you "touched" it a party? I need to start hanging out with you guys up in Canada, I like how you roll!

Peace Train
11-25-2017, 11:32 AM
Congratulations on the devine, Eric showed Mr Jens two new ukes at the show.. blew me away

Thanks Stan, did he bring The Tree and redwood/brw? His work is stunning!

Peace Train
11-25-2017, 11:41 AM
Looking great, Cary. It's going to be a stunner.

Thanks Dana, I love what a good luthier can do. It's fun watching it take shape.

Peace Train
11-25-2017, 11:45 AM
Do you know if this is the same Koa that Eric used for that Green Bamboo inlay ukulele he finished about 6 weeks ago? It does look similar in the coloring.

Eric didn't say, but the color striations look a little different to my eye. Did the green bamboo make an appearance at UGH this year?

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henrydu
11-26-2017, 01:28 PM
Congrats Gary, It is a beautiful story and build. Hope you get this beauty soon.

Peace Train
11-26-2017, 06:44 PM
Congrats Gary, It is a beautiful story and build. Hope you get this beauty soon.

Thanks Henry, much appreciated. I hope so too, I’m looking forward to it!

mm stan
11-26-2017, 07:44 PM
Thanks Stan, did he bring The Tree and redwood/brw? His work is stunning!

Yup I have that combo too from him