Pictured above in cocobolo and ‘bearclaw’ figured sitka, available ladder braced or ‘x’ braced for ‘celtic’ or more of a bluegrass tone respectively. The one in the picture is part of a matching pair built with my good friend Colin Kendall, without whom I probably wouldn’t be doing this.
The extraordinary yellow stripe up the back is a feature of how the tree grows. The yellow bit is the sapwood; The live part of the tree with active phloem and xylem systems. As the tree grows, these systems die off and darken becoming the hard, structural ‘heartwood’. The contrast can be very striking.
This is Colin’s pattern. My own pattern is based on a similar style of instrument made in Germany in the 1920’s (the original belonging to folk musician extraordinaire, Ollie King) - Ollie’s Mandolin is deeper through the ribs and a little larger in the bout which gives it a lovely alto voice.