I've been doing some research on TON for a few days on how to make an (tuned) ocarina. As I said on my introduction post, I've got a six hole pendant (it doesn't really play) that a friend gave me a few years ago. That Oc is so bad that just recently my interest on ocarinas was rekindled by an archaeologist friend of mine whoose area of expertise is ceramics. The forum posts and some YouTube videos were really helpful but some questions remain.
- Acording to the Making an Ocarina in a Predetermined Key we can calculate the necessary volume of the cavity for a given voicing window diameter. For that reason I'm planning on making a round voicing window with a diameter of 0.97 cm (0.38 inches) based on this video by Chris Heuer on a C3 10 hole ocarina. Has anyone tried this method for a sweet potato shaped ocarina? If so, were the results good?
- In my mind, for the above mentioned method to work I would need a really precise way to make the chamber in order to ensure the volume would be right. So Chris comes for the rescue again. I'm planning on using the drape form technique that he shows on this video. This post by Bas on Little Geese shows the technique in a little more detail. My resoning for using this method instead of a 2 part plaster mold is that I could calculate the volume of the cone and add half of the volume of the ball to it and figura out quite precisely the volume of the chamber. What is the opinion of other makers on this method? A 10 mm thick slab would be good enough? What proportion the ball should be in relation to the lengh of the cone?
- The clay I got from my friend is a Terracotta without grog that she says shrinks about 10% when fired between 650C-1020C. I'm planning on making the ocarina about 11% (maybe a little more) bigger (in volume) than the value given by the formula from the first question so that when the ocarina is fired it would still be a little flat and I could tune it up by filing the holes. Is this aproach resonable? How do you tune the fundamental note of the instrument after it is fired? Do you guys tune all the holes going up in the scale or is there some special trick for tunning?
- Everyone says that the voicing has to be propotional to to the body. Has anyone figured out a way to calculate or measure this proportion?
- Are there standard dimentions for making an airway stick? If yes, what are they?
- I'm planning on using a 10 hole italian fingering system. Is there a way to keep the left hand pinky hole from getting to lage? Should I split the right hand pinky hole? If so, how is it done?
- For finishing I'm planning on burnishing the ocarina and then giving it one or two coats of shelack after it is fired. Are there any tricks on how to do it?
Thanks in advance,
P.s: I have a little bit of experience with clay and poterry due to archaeology and I don't really mind that it will be really hard to get a playable instrument. I want to experience the process of making the instrument and I'm not shying away from the failures and frustrations of it. So, there is no need to say that I should start doing something else like apendant or something. BTW I am able to make clay whistles and I was able to make a one note vessel flute on a workshop that my above mentioned friend gave.