Students pick woodworking projects


July 03, 2002|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BEFORE GRADUATING last month from North Carroll High School, seniors Ryan Nalepa and Will Lattea made electric guitars as their final woodworking projects.

Ryan and Will play rock guitar, and played in a group assembled for the school talent show this spring. Then, 10 weeks before getting their diplomas, an idea was born.

"We wanted to make guitars," Ryan said.

They would make the wooden body, neck and head. The electronic pickup and strings would be professionally installed at Coffey Music in Westminster. How to design the body - the part which rests on the player's hip and has channels carved out for the electronics - was a major decision.

"Ryan wanted to design something goofy, but not too goofy," Will said. "We threw a bunch of ideas out, and he liked the idea of a puzzle piece."

They came up with exaggerated lobes and thumb-shaped cutouts that look like the interlocking parts of a jigsaw puzzle. Ryan chose red mahogany intersected by light-colored bands of tiger maple and Anegre, an African wood.

Will liked the vintage Fender Jaguar and Mustang designs, and his guitar is a combination of the two. He used Brazilian cherry, tiger maple and walnut.

"The denser wood gives more sound," Will said. "My wood is really dense so it will have a grungy rock 'n' roll sound."

The strings stretch along the fingerboard on the neck of the guitar. Frets on the fingerboard are a series of metal ridges that change the pitch of the note when the player presses the strings against them.

"The hardest thing is to put the frets in the fret board," Will said. "They have to be precise. A fraction of a millimeter will mess it up."

Will and Ryan took their guitars to Atlantic Woodworks in Hampstead for help on the frets.

"They had the ruler to measure and cut frets and let us use their woodshop," Will said.

Ryan's band, Regression, has been invited to Nashville to record a compact disc this summer. He's played jazz guitar since fourth grade, and also took up the trumpet. His ability on the trumpet earned him a full scholarship in jazz and commercial performance at Towson University.

Will would like to design yachts, and has been accepted as a dual major of aerospace and ocean engineering at Virginia Tech.

Before they leave for college, their guitars will be ready.

Author will visit library

Teen-agers can meet author Laurie Halse Anderson at 2 p.m. July 18 at North Carroll Library, 2255 Hanover Pike, Greenmount.

Patty Martin, library associate, invited Anderson to North Carroll in cooperation with the Hanover Public Library's author visit program and a Library Science Technology Act grant.

Anderson's first two novels were each named "Best Book for Young Adults" by the American Library Association. Speak was her first novel.

Her second, Fever 1793, based on the true story of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, "is a gripping story about living morally under the shadow of rampant death," said a review by The New York Times. She also has written picture books and Wild at Heart, a series about teens caring for animals.

Colorful descriptions and rapid action make Fever 1793 a good summer read. "It's a very popular book," Martin said.

Julianne Peeling, 13. daughter of library branch manager Lisa Hughes, rated the book "an 8.5 out of 10," Hughes said.

Information: 410-386-4480.

Children's art

Artwork by elementary school pupils is on display at the Hampstead Town Hall until the middle of next month.

Jan VanBibber's pupils at Spring Garden Elementary in Hampstead expressed themselves in various media.

Egyptian sarcophagi were drawn by fifth-graders Andrew Graff and Sean Bare. Josh Aspril has a pastel of a frog.

Animal-style masks of symbolic colors are on exhibit by fifth-graders Russell Gehret and Anthony Malico. Kayla Maloney, also a fifth-grader, included her own legend about a purple tiger.

Fourth-grade artwork includes drawings by Katie Kelly and Brinlee DuBois and seed mosaics by Jessica Ruby and Shannon Mays. Heraldic shields of foil relief are shown by fourth-graders Shavani Patel, Kristen Myers and Erik Sedlander.

Simulated bark paintings illuminate the room. Animals are depicted on bark by third-graders Jill Porter, Holly Buckle, Megan Valentine, Cara Jones, Andrew Kogber, Nathan Smith, and Jake Weaver. Other works are by third-graders Kayla Oxendine and Brian Wagner.

Second-grade paintings in tempera are by Alex Eikenberg and Carrie Winter.

The Town Hall is at 1034 S. Carroll St.

Information: 410-239-7408.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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