Sinker Logs to Turkey Calls

In art a non objective is generally made by abstract forms and is not meant to be a realistic interpretation, but allows the viewer the chance to achieve their own opinion of content.  At a show at the View in Old Forge last fall the objective had been to meet new customers and sell our products.

Unfortunately, after several wet weekends the weather was sunny and warm which kept would-be patrons of the fair at the beach and on the water.  This made my non-objective at the show meeting other artists and spending time enjoying art from all over the United States that was on display at the View.

We try to sponge inspiration even from other forms of art and make it relatable or relevant to our own craft.  Sometimes this is not so much a tangible thing as it is a mood or concept.  Although we may have connected with those ideas to some degree what was most relevant, at least to me was our neighbor Eric Bright of Bass Rock Guitars.

From speaking to luthiers in the past in respect to my turkey calls, I have gathered that bodies and backs of stringed instruments are made of hardwood and tops are made of soft wood.  Often times backs can be made from Tiger Maple and tops will be made of Sitka Spruce.

Sinker Spruce to Turkey Calls

While speaking with Eric he explained his guitar tops were made from sinker spruce logs he and his daughter collected from the bottom of Schroon Lake.  He said that more than 100 years ago when logs were floated down stream to saw mills about 4 or 5% of logs had a density that made them sink, hence the term ‘sinker logs’.  By being submerged this way they were preserved from normal degradation that happens on land.

Since 2011 I have made turkey calls with an array of mostly local woods so I could not help but wonder how 100 year old sinker spruce would sound.  So far I have only had the chance to put some on my scratch box calls and am looking forward to May 1st to see if the turkeys like the sound as much as I do.  Hopefully I will have some photos to prove my success.

I hope everyone can get out and enjoy the spring woods even if you are not chasing birds.  After our long cold winters it’s such a great time to enjoy the rebirth of trees and soak up the fresh air of the first spring rains and be a part of the Adirondack circle of life.  Even if you are not hunting, please get outside with your kids, grandchildren, parents and grandparents and make a memory of time spent afield or on the water.  Good luck and be safe.