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the art of ocarina making - how to make your own high quality ocar=

updated sat 16 jun 12


Robert Hickman on thu 14 jun 12


The Art Of Ocarina Making is a detailed technical analyses of the
manufacture of high quality concert pitch tuned ocarinas.

While there are countless resources detailing the physical process of
making ocarinas, none of these adequately describe how the instrument
works or why things are done. This frequently leads new makers into
confusing and frustrating traps, situations like no sound production,
weak or absent high notes and the infamous unpleasant high pitched
squeal. When I first learned to make ocarinas I spent the first few
months doing nothing but creating failures. In hindsight most of these
were compleatly avoidable.

To save you from the same frustration I compiled my experiences into a
book. It covers:

The basics:

* How ocarinas work
* Tools to use
* Getting started with clay work, what kind to buy

Making your first playing ocarina:

* Avoid common mistakes and quickly make your first playing ocarina

Manufacture methods:

* Working by hand
* Making and using aligned plaster molds
* Pros and cons clearly described for each techniques

The voicing:

* Functioning and creation of the windway, labium and sound hole
* How they inter-operate to create a strong sounding ocarina which
plays through its entire range

The technicalities of tuning ocarinas:

* Choosing your ocarinas chamber tonic and breath curve
* Common problems to avoid
* Methods for tuning 10, 11, 12 and 4 hole ocarinas
* Dealing with weak high notes in 12 hole ocarinas

Finishing, firing and glazing your ocarinas:

* An introduction to the firing process
* Obtaining a smooth professional finish
* Glazing your ocarinas

Advanced topics:

* Tuning ocarinas to concert pitch
* Improving the tuning of cross-fingered accidentals
* Avoiding problem arias in your ocarina designs

The ocarina debugger:

* An outline of all common ocarina problems and solutions
* How to fix your non playing, squeaking and pitch jumping ocarinas
* Improving your ocarinas high notes

Fingering charts:

* Charts for European, Asian and inline style 10 hole ocarinas
* Charts for Taiwanese and Japanese style 12 hole ocarinas
* Charts for 4, 5 and 6 hole English pendent ocarinas

The Art Of Ocarina Making is written in plain english illustrated with
hundreds of detailed photographs and diagrams.

It is available as an affordable E-book for =3DC2=3DA313.99:

And in paperback for =3DC2=3DA322.95:

Why make ocarinas? As there is little constraint on there physical
shape they offer a fantastic platform for functional art. They can be
customised to create your own unique designs from the simple to full
blown sculptural art. For an example of what is possible, take a look
at the muse and little wing from songbird ocarina. As very few are
taking advantage of this, there is a lot of room for development.

You may think that ocarina making requires a great deal of experience
with music, nothing could be further from the truth. With the right
technical grounding quality ocarinas can be made by anyone.

Well made transverse ocarinas are also easy to play and can be used
for most musical genres. They are a fantastic casual instrument and
anyone can learn to play them, even I did after thinking for years
that I was naturally bad at music. Just pick up and play to break up
your day.

* Reviews

The book has received some fantastic reviews from people in the
ocarina community, including:

* Richard Hamlett

Robert Hickman has forever changed the online ocarina community with
this book. We are a very small community and a good number of us
eventually try our hand at making an ocarina at some point. Going
forward, whenever anyone raises the question: "Hey, how does one go
about learning to make an ocarina?", and you can search the online
forums and see that this question gets asked frequently, the answer
will now be: "Well, first you need to get Hickman's book. What? You
don't have it yet? Go buy the book, because any questions you ask
before reading The Art of Ocarina Making are a waste of time." Read
full review =3DC2=3DBB.

* Lamae

I have made it through Chapter I :The Basics, and may I just say that
already, this is the most splendid guide to ocarina construction that
I have ever had the pleasure of reading! I love that not only are
there detailed instructions written in clear easy-to-follow English,
but there are pictures illustrating every step of the process!!! Thank
you so much for taking the time to write this! I look forward to
reading the rest!!!

* Tina Waite

WOW. I'm about 3/4ths the way through and have learned SO MUCH. Can
not wait for the weekend to start so I can start applying this to the
mold I've already made. Definitely, *definitely* worth buying!