Mhararano The Mbira Academy

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10.04.12 Sebastian Pott’s Mbira Making Workshop

The workshop will take place from Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April or Tuesday 3 April 2012 starting at 10.00 each morning and finishing at 17.00 each evening.


Doug has very kindly offered the use of the 'Woodshed' where he used to live. There is plenty of space here, both inside and out, for you all to work, rest, eat and play over the 4/5 days. I am hoping and maybe you can confirm with Sebastian on this Doug, that there will be: one or two large work benches with two to four fixed vice and space for wood working.  Sebastian is hoping that there will be 5-10 of you taking part then you can work in shifts. He wil explain the process, show you how to forge and help you to complete and tune your instruments. His estimated mbira building time for a beginner is 5 full days.



Sebastian will be travelling over from Germany by car and will be able to bring the necessary steel for the keys, bars and bridge of the mbira. He has some sapeli hardwood but he would like you to use local wood (well dried) cherry, walnut or ash, if possible. The wood needs to be a thichness of 1 1/4" or 3cm and width of 8" or 20cm.  Sebastian will bring his own hammer, files, wood drill bits and possibly his vice if necessary.

You will each need sand paper, a chisel of about 1" width, a wood hammer, a wood saw, a hacksaw and blades, a wood plane and hearing protectors and goggles. If you think you might need some grip pliers to hold the rod whilst forging then please add these to you list of tools.

To share between you, you need an electric saw for dividing the board(s), an electic drill, a few hammers of 2-3 pounds weight or lighter if you are not so strong and anvils or something similar, the heavier the better but at least 20 kg with a hard(ened) surface like a piece of railway line.



The cost is the equivalent of £250 pounds per person with a minimum of 5 paticipants and payable at the start of the workshop, in Euros please. We are not asking for a deposit but if you cancel anytime after confirming your place on the workshop and before the start of the workshop then we ask you to send £100 to cover Sebastian's travel and time.



Please arrive prepared to supply your own breakfasts and lunches each day then Chartwell and I will prepare an evening meal which we can all share together at a shared cost of the food bill.

For those of you needing accomodation there are several possibilities which we can deal with on an individual basis or you can connect with each other and organise between yourselves. There are local facilities for: camping or bed and breakfast accomodation either privately in Totnes or in Student style accomodation at Dartington. Please contact me if you need to arrange some accomodation.

Posted by Megan on 10/042012 at 12:33pm