A photographic collection showing the earliest Clackamore prototypes. Dates of these instruments range from 1994 to 2017. 

clack history  first3.jpg

The first three

#1 is two sticks which when tapped together just right and held to the mouth, create a nice sound.

#2 is an attempt at a better sounding shape, the beginning of the spoon.

#3 explores the concept of "making the sticks hit just right every time". The evolution from #1 to #3 took only a few days. The refinement of this idea has taken years.

 

clack history dated and 14.jpg

development of connections

Early prototypes had the reed set into a groove and held with rubber bands (leftmost). The second from left has a sliding dovetail. Next a block was added with a hole for the reed to be inserted. Finally the shape of the instrument was altered so that a hole could be drilled directly into the instrument body. The other advantage of the new shape was in that it mirrored itself, allowing for two Clackamore blanks to be cut from one block of wood.

 

clack history early experiments.jpg

Experiments

The original prototype series included 50 "experiments", many showing no improvement over what was the 10th prototype. That spoon shape would be the basis for the first batch of production Clackamores.

  Ironwood Oddities  These are left over from the first batch of for sale (but still experimental) series. The Clackamore was incredibly well received when it was first offered at the "North American Jew's Harp Festival"

Ironwood Oddities These are left over from the first batch of for sale (but still experimental) series. The Clackamore was incredibly well received when it was first offered at the "North American Jew's Harp Festival"

  Double . While some success has been realized with double hammer Clackamores none has ever been offered for sale. This Walnut wood model has two spoon cuts and does make slightly different tones with the two hammers.

Double. While some success has been realized with double hammer Clackamores none has ever been offered for sale. This Walnut wood model has two spoon cuts and does make slightly different tones with the two hammers.

  Tripple , Tripple hammers on one spoon built from a pool cue. Thats when you have tried everything.

Tripple, Tripple hammers on one spoon built from a pool cue. Thats when you have tried everything.

Clackhistory jr.jpg

Clackamore jr.  In an effort to simplify the fabrication of the instrument this model included some major changes. The spoon is made by gluing a cap over a hole and the reed is no longer a dowel. Some of this design can be seen in the new adjustable Clackamore. 

 The new Clackamore with adjustable action. A whole new way to build a Clackamore. You can see the resemblance to the Clackamore Jr. especially in the reed style. The spoon is completely redesigned and the joining of the parts is entirely different from any before. Very fast and loud, these Clackamores really pop.

The new Clackamore with adjustable action. A whole new way to build a Clackamore. You can see the resemblance to the Clackamore Jr. especially in the reed style. The spoon is completely redesigned and the joining of the parts is entirely different from any before. Very fast and loud, these Clackamores really pop.