Zen Master

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  1. I've still go several bags of the useless Kremer stuff - medicinal tea sounds good! I am looking forward to learning more and seeing how this batch in backyard does. It is an amazing plant - cool to think dinosaurs munched on it. It would be interesting to so see some of the really big subtropical varieties. I'll post an update in the fall. I must admit I am having mischievous thoughts of being sort of a horsetail Johnny Appleseed. Planting it around town at lakes and streams since it does not seem to do that on its own in Maryland. Uh Oh. I did plant it in the flower garden....
  2. Yes you are correct - I could only find a picture of field horsetail that showed all of the parts. A long time ago in my search for horsetail I ordered some from Kremer. They sent field horsetail. The leaves made a real mess on the wood. I imagine the strobilus start with really small plants?
  3. Thank you everyone for all of the ideas and information! The last batch I got in N. California when we were visiting. I have also heard stories that it is quite invasive on the west coast once it takes hold. From what I was reading some species of Equisetum are indicators of the mineral content of the soil in which they grow. That might explain does not seem to volunteer as much in Maryland. Apparently there are subtropical varieties which will grow 10 - 20 feet high in zone 8. I bet there is a hefty diameter on those stalks. I am still learning about this plant and hope my batch continues to do well. I also took some cuttings from the original plant. It grew roots quickly and I planted them - I would imagine it will take some for them to grow rhizomes. Still have yet to see the main plant produce strobilus – maybe this fall. P. S. Marylanders: There might be an exception to the Maryland horsetail famine. Just a few weeks ago I heard there was a huge stand of horsetail at the Monocacy Aqueduct near Dickerson, Maryland. I am going to check this out over the summer. Stay safe and healthy!
  4. Hi JIm, I got a cluster of it from this place in Kentucky for about $10 through the mail. They assured me it would do well here and so far so good. After its first winter it is spreading nicely. You can also take cuttings and they will root quickly in water. I did plant it near a downspout to keep it moist during the summer as it likes water.. http://briansbotanicals.net There are a few scattered stands around Maryland, but I don't think any of them are the robustum variety which grows bigger.
  5. I could not find much growing here in Maryland, so last summer I planted a patch of Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale - var. robustum) in our backyard near the drain spouts. This variety grows up to 6 feet tall. It wintered well and has robust new shoots - a nice size for woodworking. The first several new shoots were eaten by a naughty vole (since diseased...)
  6. Hello I am also exploring some yellow retouch pigments at the moment. It seems like Cadmium Yellow (PY37, 77199) stands out from the list in Weisshaar and seems to check out in Mayer, Doerner, and Wehlte. Kremer has a range of Cadmium Yellows. According to Doerner it should not come in contact with Lime. Tartrazine Lake (PY100, Yellow #5) is available HERE as a cosmetic pigment. Anyone know if this would have the same supplier as artist pigments? I may give them a call.
  7. That was my experience as well. I visited several times in the late 1990's when Bob Sheldon was the curator. Once he felt confident I was trustworthy, he pretty much left me alone to play and examine the collection. It may have helped that I am also a professional string player. When the new curator came, I noticed the same things mentioned. She seems to have done a better job of making sure the collection is maintained.
  8. Perhaps the rib taper is fine tuning the center of the air cavity... Any takers?
  9. He made several violins, went to war and did not come back. Perhaps he would have become known with the gift of time: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-40175696
  10. Feng Jiang Felix Krafft Ben Ruth The competition seemed very professional.
  11. Tool and Die makers deal with high tolerances that are hard to achieve in woodworking. Steel is much more stable that wood.
  12. Now or in 1500, Violin makers can tend to be outliers ahead of their time in the search for materials.
  13. Does anyone remember the data regarding how thick on average the visible layer of a bare, smooth surface of spruce and maple is? (ie how far down can you see into the wood cells without anything on it). With a thin thoughtful size of shellac for example (of which I am a fan) how exactly does that change the perception of depth?