Ebony and Ivory
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No this isn’t about that cheesy song from the 80’s. Sorry, I’m a great fan of Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, but you have to agree, it was cheesy.
No this post is about a weekend project. We dismantled an old piano this weekend. And when I say “we”, I mean my husband. He had a little assistance from our son. I just took pictures.
The piano had seen better days. We purchased it a little over a year ago with hopes that it would just take a little tuning and minor repairs but no such luck. A professional checked it out and said we had a dud. Darn. It was lovely. An old upright; walnut, with a carved front.
After much regret we decided we needed to part with our bad purchase and chalk it up to a lesson learned. So we told everyone about the free piano that could either be used for parts or as-is, because it did have a great genuine honky tonk saloon sound that you just can’t find anywhere. No takers. Or should I say suckers.
So we decided to dismantle it and maybe use the parts. It was interesting to watch the piano being dismembered. The innards were fascinating.
Oh look, a 10 year warranty. It says…
“This is to certify that this piano is manufactured by us of the best materials and by the most skilled workmen and is fully warranted for any defect in workmanship and materials not caused by exposure to extreme heat, cold or dampness.”
If that wouldn’t have sold me back then, that naked, cherub, guitar player would’ve spurred me on for sure.
I can only imagine the hours, skill and craftsmanship that went into making this former gem. Not-to-mention the hands that made it sing. But now, this is what remains.
This must’ve been one of the sticking keys.
Isn’t this a beautiful panel? This was what we both fell in love with.
I love to repurpose and think it’s the best form of recycling. Wonder what may come of this pile of remnants? Maybe the money we originally put into the piano won’t be a total bust.
So tell me, what do you see emerging from this mess?
And what is your favorite way to repurpose or what have you repurposed in a creative way?
My wheels are turning…
That panel IS beautiful! I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I’m sorry I don’t have any ideas for you, that kind of creativity just isn’t my gift. But I know you’ll come up with something fabulous….I’ll be watching the blog to see!
It could become a table top with a piece of glass cut to fit within the outside edge. Maybe a side table, coffee table or a higher table for serving or a safa table. The wood it gorgeous. You could frame the piece with the warranty and use it as art work. Definitely a keeper and a reminder of years gone by when people were proud of what they made.
So I totally see a bench, like in a front entry, out of that panel. Or even just on the wall as is. And the price and warranty would be a great art piece too…or made in to a little table. Maybe with glass on top. Oooh or even a stool! So much stuff. Love this!
Several years ago I bought a bookmark that was made from the ivory part of the keys of an old piano. The ivory had been removed from the underlying material and someone had hand painted a sailboat, carefully punched a small hole at the top of the piece and tied a thin ribbon at the top. It was attached to a card that that explained what it was, where it came from, and expressed the wish that it would continue to give pleasure to someone although it’s first purpose was over. Really pretty!
THAT is so cool Lana!
Thanks for sharing. I can do that for sure. And what a statement about us as well… sometimes we get to a point in life when we feel like our purpose is over or not clear, whether kids are grown, loss of job… whatever, when it’s really just changed.
Could you make a wind chime out of the parts and pieces? If so I know of a tree to hang it in. Hint, Hint.
Love ya, Mom
Put the keys in that big glass container on your island – that would be cool – and maybe get some old sheet music and roll up, too. If you don’t want to do that then put them in a box, wrap it, and put my name on it for Christmas. 🙂
Okay, your sight is lovely.
Now, that piano is a gem and you did the right thing taking it apart and saving the pieces. I think the decorative panel could he a headboard or a lovely table top or coat rack with big heavy hooks or just a pretty thing propped up in the corner collecting dust…which is what would happen for a few years in my house before I either got rid of it or finished the project.
Oooh… I didn’t think about a headboard. It would work perfectly for a full size bed. Great idea – thanks!
I love this post and I must have been channeling you because I recently posted about a dog called Ebony and I sang this song 🙂
I would totally use those parts for things. The cherub and the panel could go on the wall. Or depending on the size they could be side tables or trays with glass cut to top them.
Love the ideas of the keys in a glass container.
What lens did you use for these photos? They are fantastic!
These (and most on this blog) were shot with the 50mm 1.4 on my Nikon D50. A great lens for sure!
I kept the scroll worked panel of an 1800s upright grand to use as a headboard and the fancy legs and the lower panel for a footboard. I haven’t made that bed yet, but we’ve a new granddaughter and a great-grandchild on the way that it might make a nice full size bed frame for.