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#20 Chambered Music

With a jack knife, PR Drumm hollowed out a Black Walnut log to reveal an enchained egg-pendant with two doors to two inner chambers, all one piece.  Open the final chamber of this Drumm interactive whimsey sculpture to find a treble clef.  Voila!  Chambered Music.

Signed and dated PR Drumm, 1997, bottom
Black Walnut
16” x 6” diameter

Exhibited:
First Prize, Delaware Valley Woodcarvers (Abington, PA), 6/99
First Prize, Hudson Arts, 6/00
First Prize, Oradell Arts, 7/00

Juried Art Shows:
First Prize, Elke Scheman Sculpture Award
First Prize, Kent Connecticut Art Association, 8/98

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A true Whimsey that was accepted by juried art shows and won the Elka Scheman Sculpture Award at the Kent (CT) Art Association, this 16" high x 6" diameter Black Walnut log was fun to carve with a pocketknife and exhibit worldwide. Most sculptures scream "DON'T TOUCH!", but not this Drumm Interactive Whimsey. Oh, no, the viewer must pull open the chained front door of a hanging chamber, find yet another chamber with openwork door hinting at a final mystery. Opening this second door, aha! Chambered Music!
 
To appreciate this Whimsey, you need to know the artist PR Drumm has been deaf from birth like his three older brothers, doesn't hear his own voice nor even a a car horn, hears no nuances of melody, yet loves pipe organ music and drives with a 600-watt woofer beside him with a 350-watt amplifier under the seat, booming latest hits from The Queens, Salsa, Now, Reggae etc. His late wife Rosalee (blessed be her memory) admired a carving at a Mystic CT Art Show and asked her man to "carve something like that". After politely considering this request for a while, a Black Walnut log was picked out from nephew Pat's woodpile, debarked, a chain carved top front to bottom, a chained hanging pendant scooped with trusty pocketknife, and door #1 carved. Now the top-to-bottom chain was severed and attached to door #1 and the remaining links hung out of the way. Hanging pendant #2 was carved with openwork back and on its own hinge and its own openwork door. Now the final pendant with its own hinge and door was carved. Then the requested treble clef was carved to Rosalee's satisfaction. The result? Chambered Music by a deaf man, accepted in juried classical art shows and winning prizes, now exhibited worldwide on Drumm's virtual gallery, WhittledWhimseys.com. 
 
I suppose plans could be drawn for a craftsman to follow each detail of carving this hollowed-out log with triple pendants suspended by chain links and interlocked hinges with separate hinges for each door. This prototype, oneof-a-kind, was knifed out detail by detail with no pre-set plan except to wind up with Rosalee's requested treble clef, whatever that was.
 
One interesting problem encountered was when the chain links were carved that hold the core pendant, it dropped almost 2 inches and lay against the bottom of cavity #1. I didn't chop the bottom off, the easiest solution, as I already knew I wanted enclosed chambers. No, the top and extensions of the outer shell of the log were carved so that it dropped more than 2 inches yet remained 1-piece.
 
That made it clear chain links would not do for holding each of the two pendants with doors. They would drop too much. A 1-piece double hinge was knifed out to solve this problem and the two chambers fit snugly without once breaking the 1-piece ideal whittling. The door hinges were comparatively easier. Tools had to be devised that did the job. Man the Tool Maker can do that, with $1-Store set of jeweler's screwdrivers inserted into corks and diamond-filed into miniature chisels that pick out tiny chips from tiny enclosures despite hard wood and big hands.
 
2 coats of Tung Oil finish rubbed into the sculpture and much later lovingly waxed did the job. Rosalee was pleased, and loved seeing 'Chambered Music' exhibited. I was pleased.       

 

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