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View Full Version : New painted ukulele - Matanuska in native American style



thehappyukulele
12-29-2011, 04:42 AM
This is new tenor ukulele finished in layered milk paint. It is called Matanuska after the Matanuska region in Alaska and the image is a moonface and raven. A tribute to the art and people of that region.

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gokidd
12-29-2011, 05:46 AM
Stunning, Dave!
I love the asymmetry and portions of bare wood on the back's design.
The graphic on the sides really pops with dimension, too.

Vic D
12-29-2011, 08:16 AM
Sweet! Lovin' the artwork. Nice looking top too, it all kinda fits together nicely.

tonewood
12-29-2011, 09:27 AM
Really cool. Allways did love that Northwest Coast Tribal art. Nice job.

thehappyukulele
12-29-2011, 09:44 AM
I was originally going to paint the moonface offwhite but the bare grain showing through looked good so I left it. I thought the red on black might be too subtle on the sides but once I sanded it, it really came out.


Stunning, Dave!
I love the asymmetry and portions of bare wood on the back's design.
The graphic on the sides really pops with dimension, too.

thehappyukulele
12-29-2011, 09:45 AM
Thanks Tonewood. Milk paint really works well for this kind of tribal art. The simple bold areas of color are perfect.


Really cool. Allways did love that Northwest Coast Tribal art. Nice job.

thehappyukulele
12-29-2011, 09:49 AM
Thanks Vic. You know I tried painting the soundboard on a couple of these but it really affected the sound a lot (although my bracing was much different then as well). But to tell you the truth I like that the instruments look quite normal from the front and then you are surprised by the bold images on the back and sides.

Sweet! Lovin' the artwork. Nice looking top too, it all kinda fits together nicely.

ukeeku
12-29-2011, 10:06 AM
I really like that. Really good job. Love the off center design and the rustic look. You should be super proud of it.

ksquine
12-29-2011, 12:51 PM
Wow....love that artwork. I like how the paint looks old and worn. Do you have to apply a protective coat over the milk paint?

thehappyukulele
12-30-2011, 02:21 AM
Thanks Ukeeku. My customer for this one is a real native American art fan and he is ecstatic. Milk paint is great for creating a worn aged look. And because the last thing I do is sand the paint, it's a very forgiving style. I'm going to hate to see this one leave the shop.



I really like that. Really good job. Love the off center design and the rustic look. You should be super proud of it.

thehappyukulele
12-30-2011, 02:27 AM
Hey thanks Ksquine. You actually don't have to clear coat it because it's pretty tough stuff but in this case I did because there were areas of exposed wood. Milk paint is extremely flat when it dries. It almost looks dusty, it's so flat. But if you sand it lightly and buff it with a soft cloth, it gets a nice soft shine which gets better with age. If you don't clear coat it though, it can show moisture stains, especially in the light colors.


Wow....love that artwork. I like how the paint looks old and worn. Do you have to apply a protective coat over the milk paint?

funaddict
12-31-2011, 05:29 AM
I like the backside of the headstock where it meets the neck. Could you post a close up? (I also like the artwork, having spent 20 years in Seattle)
Thanks,
Alan

thehappyukulele
12-31-2011, 08:01 AM
Hey Alan,

I wasn't quite sure what detail you were looking for so I shot several images.

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I like the backside of the headstock where it meets the neck. Could you post a close up? (I also like the artwork, having spent 20 years in Seattle)
Thanks,
Alan

thehappyukulele
02-19-2012, 07:55 PM
Here's our newest painted ukulele. A tribute to Piet Mondrian. It is a Keystone concert ukulele with a redwood soundboard, two side ports and a custom milk painted back.

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Ed Gilkison
02-21-2012, 04:47 AM
Beaut work Dave! Great web site too. Love the looks of your free form ukes you are doing!!! -WOW!!
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thehappyukulele
02-21-2012, 05:06 AM
Hey thanks Ed. I really love doing this style because there is just no limit to what you can do. Time consuming and hard on the hands but they sure feel great to hold and play. One problem with the archtop soprano: standard strings don't create enough down-force on the floating bridge so it's not very loud acoustically. It really only works amplified. I've tried some heavier strings and that helped a lot. i may even go a bit heavier still. The neck is maple so it is more than strong enough and the heel plate now has a steel rod in it to attach the strings.