Ventana Freya Cooperage Classic Banjolele
This banjolele is handmade by our own Master Craftsman, Martijn Stiphout, in Aptos, California. It's named after wood used in its construction and the first name, Freya, of Martijn's baby daughter.
The banjolele is a four-stringed instrument with a small, banjo-type body and a fretted ukulele neck. The earliest known banjoleles were built in 1917.
The instrument reached peak popularity in the 1920s and '30s. It combines the tuning and playing style of a ukelele with the construction and distinctive tone of a banjo. The sound is similar to a uke, only louder.
This one has a 15-inch scale length. It is tuned in fourths and intonated to the octave, high G.
The sound board is made of local, bay laurel offcuts from Thamer Designs cabinet shop. The fret board is a piece of zircote offcut from the Santa Cruz Guitar Company that looks like a landscape scene.
The back and sides are bay laurel floorboards created in 1853 for the cooperage (where barrels were made) at the old Cowell Lime Works which is located on what is now the campus of the University of California, Santa Cruz. There is what we believe to be African blackwood around the circumference of the top edge of the sides. This rich, dark wood is also from the Santa Cruz Guitar Company.
The hand rest and nut are ebony from the Santa Cruz Guitar Company. The bridge is made of ebony and curly maple offcuts. The strap button is hand-turned brass with an abalone inlay on the end. There is also a stripe of SCGC purfling on the bottom edge.
The Ventana logo and other pieces of information about the instrument are engraved on small discs inside the body. These are made of Spanish cedar and give off the scent of a cigar box.
The name Freya is inlaid with black tinted, epoxy bio resin as is the porthole around the sound hole. This is the same, Entropy SuperSap resin we use to glass our surfboards.
It is hand rubbed with organic oil and wax.
This instrument comes with a stand made of charred, whisky barrels from Venus Spirits that are used to make their award-winning Wayward Whiskey. Two brass prongs hold the instrument in place.
Strum out some surf tunes and island sounds at your next post-surf bonfire or beach party!
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