I finally decided that the piano needs to go bad enough to actually take it apart. Beginning was no easy feat since the top of it had been the repository of a large collection of fiber waiting to be woven. So many projects, so little time.
Once cleared off I took the screwdriver to the hinges on the top and realized that I didn’t need to unscrew anything – everything was so loose it just pulled apart. The top was removed in three sections. These beautiful pieces of wood I will find some way to repurpose.
All of the felts, leather, even wood have turned to dust in this piano. I didn’t realize how far gone the instrument was until it was opened up. There really was no restoration that could have happened here. It would have been a complete rebuild.
The harp is one of the most beautiful things about this piano. Hand painted in gold, reds and greens it shows the artistry of the time in which it was built. Once the strings were off you could actually see why it’s called the harp – it looks like one. The question remains, how many strong men is it going to take to remove it, it’s cast iron.
I’ve also decided to save the keyboard. It’s ebony and ivory which is illegal to sell no matter how old it is. I started to think about all of the hands that have pressed these keys and it began to take on a magic of its own so it stays for the time being with ideas floating around on how to repurpose it with the wood that’s been salvaged and other odd bits and pieces.
There is interest in the beautifully carved legs so the only piece to get rid of will be the case.
I thought that getting rid of this instrument would be a painful experience – in some ways it is – but in taking it apart and realizing what bad condition it really was in made the job easier. I also learned a lot about the actual mechanics and how long it takes to unscrew hundreds of screws.
Once it is out of the room there are things that need to be mended, painted, reworked. It has been in the same place since the late 70’s I think. Once that’s done, a rug will be put in place to make way for another loom that has been waiting patiently in the shed for its moment. That’s a story for another day.