I have had a few enquiries over the last 6 months, but none went further than a few friendly emails. People probably didn’t want to spend the money, seeing that one-off artistic boxes or bowls are considerably dearer than the mass produced stuff you can buy on the high street. And it is true, I am not able, nor indeed willing, to compete with the cheap imports from Morocco or elsewhere.
However, I did get an intriguing note from the WMWT chairman, and this has now turned into my first proper commission. A company called Moseley Violins in Birmingham are in need of some pins for some antique instruments, mostly guitars from the 17th and 18th century. The originals are made from ivory, and that is no longer an option due to the import ban on this material.
We have for now agreed on making them from bone, which I will be sourcing from Highland Horn, and I have sent them a sample made from cherry, which was accepted. So now I have placed an order for some bone rods, and hopefully they will arrive soon. Not a big job, just 16 pins, and they are quite small (about 10mm diameter on the head, and 25mm long), but it all has to start somewhere. And in this case, it’s right here.