More P12, Canjo Pics

As per my last blog, here are a few more photos from the Project 12
opening week and also of my new 2 string slide instrument (a “canjo”
or “canjoe”).

The “neck” is about 26 inches from an old discarded mop handle, hand
sanded with 60 grit. Simple as that. Bridge-to-nut scale is 20 inches.

Black Bean can because I play blues on this one. It’s named the Black
Bean Special.

So many think they can do little or nothing with basic junk… and it
ain’t true! The fact is that building a 1 or 2 string guitar you can
learn to play in about an hour (if you’re truly un-gifted… otherwise
you’d likely learn to play this in about 20 minutes) with a slide
(mine is made of copper pipe… you can buy fake slides like this (and
the parts for the tuners) at Home Depot, Menards or Lowes building
supply places or any hardware store for about 70 cents per piece).

The fake tuners are (each) made of a 1/4 x 3 inch eye bolt, a flat 1/4
inch washer and a 1/4 inch wing nut. Simple. You might need a
screwdriver or needle-nose pliers through the eye to tune when really
tuning the string(s) up high and tight, because these tuners truly
bond into the wood no matter what you use for a neck.

I often use thumb or carpet tacks for “fret” position markers, but on
this one just put a black permanent magic marker dot in 4 spots and
the P12 students kindly created their art around those dots. Very
cool.

There is a bolt in the can with a little groove I cut in the neck for
the “bridge” and I did the same for the “nut” as well as put a couple
wood screws in to use as string guides. The strings are about .052 or
.054 (low E, wound) and a .013 unwound string, both electric but
acoustic would also work fine.

And yes, that’s a handle on the neck. A little “flair” idea I had πŸ™‚

You can hold it like a regular guitar, down in your lap or on a table
top. You can use any slide object, your fingers or a pic to pluck the
strings, or use a slide for the pitch (positions) and a pencil or
larger dowel or even lighter drum stick to bang the strings rather
than pluck/pick them.

Rhythmic, melodic fun. Creativity R Us! πŸ™‚

-Glenn

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Project 12 & GK Art & Creativity Teaching

“The Gathering”, Project 12’s opening week sessions (JPUSA’s 10 month
Bible/Discipleship intensive) was amazing. I must say the staff and
students in this year’s Project 12 are truly cool.

The Theme this year is “Friends of Jesus” and the classes all reflect
a deep study of the Person of Jesus.

We began the week with worship, I spoke on John 15 (the text dealt
with Jesus’ works on being His friend) and opened the message with
quotes from Proverbs on what biblical friendship with God and others
is and is not.

About 2/3rds through the week prior to my leaving for Iowa shows and a
church service, we had an excellent picnic out at Argyle Lake State
Park which is about forty minutes from Cornerstone Farm where we’ve
been learning allot about the Lord and one another.

I finished my fifth class with the students, then everyone just read,
hiked through the park trails, tossed a frisbee or football and had a
great cookout. The weather was sunny and cool, just really beautiful.

I was blessed to share on Art and Creativity and the students seemed
to really focus well.

My next blog post will contain pics of the “canjo” or “canjoe” which
is sometimes a 1-string guitar but can also be a 2-stringer which is
how I made mine.

At the end of the week I built it to illustrate using “found objects”
where one can be creative, artful on several levels (learning, as a
teaching tool, basic music instruction, song-writing, performance and
as a art piece as as well as ecological in keeping stuff out of
land-fills).

I asked the P12ers to get out their markers and paint up the neck with
whatever they’d like -they did FAR beyond anything I’d have though of!
Major “cool factor” in my opinion πŸ™‚

Now to re-wire the pickup (installed it too quickly, gotta re-wire)
and get practicing… I’ve already been inspired to write some stuff
from this little instrument.

My core points this week:

-Inspiration- what it is and some of the ways we receive it

-Imagination- details as above

-Imitation- how all of us get started and progress in finding our own
artistic (no matter the mode of art) “voice”

-Some of the issues why local churches do or do not understand artists

-Why God calls and gifts us beyond mere creative expression to serving
Him and others via our publicly shared offerings of art

-That art rightly understood is a sort of icon- that is, “window”
though which we can pray (both listen to and speak with God) as well
as reflect Him to others in our work

We also did some writing and other exercises with various art forms
(photography, etc.) by Spoon River, a few miles from our property.
They did a fair bit of writing, note and picture-taking, perhaps a
short video clip. I think one or two may have did some sketching and I
was able to share a fair bit of history about this tiny village (the
sign says Population 9), cool old car and railroad bridges there, and
a white massacre of native Americans that has been left out of the
history books.

It was a real joy to get encouraging feedback from students and staff
and I hope I stirred up some creativity among them that brings them
far beyond this week’s “getting feet wet” stuff. The larger and local
churches and mission fields at home and abroad need them and such
activity!

So- as usual my sweet Wendi blessed me on several levels, she and the
rest of the staff taught on many important subjects, shared a lot of
Bible and personal experience, our varied prayer, worship and play
times were good and the week was a real pleasure!

The weekend GKB shows were great, P12 staff and students are now all
home in Chicago embarking on the shared journey of study,
inter-action, community living and service to Jesus and others.

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

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Iowa GKB Weekend

GKB did shows west of the Mississippi River in Ames and Gowrie and a
Sun. service in Harcourt, Iowa this past weekend. Very kind (and great
coffee too!) friends asked us over to Ames, ditto a couple pastor
buddies who serve the people well in these small, quiet (except for
us) old farming communities. Each of them and the kind
audiences/church service congregants made it (as usual) a treat for
us. And the sweet corn was good too πŸ™‚

Some sweet grand daughters of the pastors asked if they could braid my
beard after the Sun. service- of course I said “Sure”! The one pic is
me with a little baby clip… they ran out of hair ties πŸ™‚

Good to be home… now to clean the place, do laundry and such… my
Wendi comes home from the Project 12 teaching week… gotta get things
in order!

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

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Project 12- “The Gathering” @ Cornerstone Farm

It’s opening week of a brand-new year for JPUSA’s Project 12
Bible/Discipleship school. We’re enjoying a bit of everything, rain,
sun, some clouds, wind and most of all Jesus and one another!

The theme for this year is Friends of Jesus and this is what we are
discussing at length in a load of different ways.

Curt, Jon, Wendi, Neil and myself are sharing, the students are
getting to know one another and the staff, and our staff is doing an
excellent job in all areas of practical as well as fun activities.

Thanks for your prayers. I’ll post more later in the week and
hopefully add more pics.

GKB is doing 2 shows and a service all in Iowa this weekend so I must
leave a few days prior to students and staff returning to Chicago.
(For info. on those shows please see http://www.grrrrecords.com in the
Shows section.)

But it’s really cool group and we’re digging into up to five classes
per day, break, worship and fun times as well.

Thanks for your prayers, and for stopping by! -Glenn

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“Cardboard Box” In-house Release Party

By now most of you know about the new cd I’ve done to benefit
Cornerstone Community Outreach, JPUSA’s longtime homeless shelter and
it’s many programs and specifically, for it’s many residents and
growing population in need who come to us for assistance.

The cd’s been out for a couple months but Grrr wanted to bring JPUSAs
together, with a very few guests and visitors to celebrate so threw a
very fun party with lots of dvd footage of the project being recorded
at our Tone Zone studio, etc., etc.. A lot of folks made incredible
food and deserts and the place was full. And full when we left πŸ™‚ Yum.

My amazing harpmeister (harmonica master) friend Joe Filisko and his
sweet wife Michelle came, Joe blowing on one of the songs he played on
the project, I did one solo and also asked him to do a tune- he pulled
out an old blues number about “nobody gets out of here alive”… and
what an amazing job he did on that!! Joe is at:
http://www.joefilisko.com if you’re not hip to him. Amazing stuff πŸ™‚

In time we’ll tour this project around some, we’ll post the details as
shows get confirmed. Check http://www.grrrrecords.com in the Shows
section for that and other confirmed dates.

What a wonderful night! Many thanks and kudos to the brilliant staff
at Grrr Records, Tone Zone, our sweet JPUSA family and of course
Cornerstone Community Outreach staff who are my heroes for the love
and service they bring to the poor every day!

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn