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Learning about organ craft at Vulpen

They say organs existed before Christ! Today at Gebr. Vulpen I learnt a bit about the crafting process and I can tell you, it is a lot of handwork.

Large blocks of led and tin alloy get molten to create plates that are eventually polished in a huge machine and rolled up as cones.

I love staring at this.

It must be stirred up.

And at the right temperature.

To later be poured out...

and expanded

on a long platform.

The fluffy fabric below becomes "the lungs of the organ", explains Adjan, who kindly showed me around.

The fabric is stretched and applied to wood as shown:

It takes many hands to create an organ, but once finished, it will last for a long time.

Ebony wood is used for the black keys.

This is how the ebony wood looks on the organ after being cut and polished. At first, I was surprised to hear the keys were wooden, although it totally makes sense because organs have been there for way longer than plastic has. The first plastic was known around 1907 and there is evidence in England that organs exist since the 10th Century already.

I got to photograph many strange little components which function only experts can tell. If you are curious, visit Vulpen. I wish they gave open tours, it feels magical in there, but they are simply too busy creating and restoring these amazing sound machines.

Adjan showing one of the pipes

I hope you enjoyed the story and the images!

Thank you for reading!


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