A few days ago I saw Tina Liza Jones playing her custom designed Cittern and it was a sight to behold. The 10-string instrument has metal strings, is played with a plectrum, and is sheer beauty from any angle.
The modern Cittern is also called an Irish Bouzouki and is similar to an overgrown Mandolin. There are many different variations including flat or curved backs and eight, ten or twelve strings. Tina's Cittern is just one of many variations and this design was created by her husband Eric Root.
Citterns have been around a long long time. Vermeer included a number of these beautiful 10-string instruments in his paintings. The image below is a detail from The Love Letter.
So, today, I was wandering by the Art Gallery under the Winter Sun and I happened upon this timeless scene like something right out of history, a musician getting an instrument measured for a carrying case.
Tina Liza Jones was getting one of Betty VornBrock's custom Gig Bags for her Cittern and it is a fitting choice. The Cittern deserves a carrying case that complements the the beauty of the instrument.
Betty's quilted instrument cases are works of art. You can see some of the detail in Tina's guitar bag, made by Betty several years ago.
Betty Vornbrock creates instrument cases and Gig bags under the Autumn Wind name and can be reached by email at autwind-at-embarqmail-dot-com.
Betty is also a musician herself. She is an accomplished fiddler in several different traditional styles and created the "Reed Island Rounders" with her husband Billy Cornette.