Monday, 13 August 2018


We met up with Bernadette Umunyana from Dokmai Rwanda today. They make really high-quality leather goods in Kigali. We're trying to keep things regionally sourced, so we're asking them for help with parts that would usually be made from imported material. Bear in mind that this is a test piano, so we're taking every opportunity to see what we can do locally. Bernadette first learnt to work with leather and silk whilst living in Laos, and her items are sold throughout Kigali, with a showroom at Lemigo Hotel.

In the meantime, we've noticed a slight problem with one of the hitch pins on the midsection. It's not quite fully formed and needs to go back to Chillington for welding so that it will securely hold the tension of the string. This would have been easier to do before the frame and pins went in, but our friend Mohammad assures us this can be done without setting fire to the rest of the piano. Part of this project is to pick up any issues with the frame so that we can modify the pattern and get it absolutely right in the future.

Top middle hitch pin not fully formed.

A while back, we dropped off the action rail for Chillington's appraisal, but it's likely to be a fiddly job for them as they're used to working with large-scale industrial equipment. Fiddly tends to equal expensive, so Marion went to collect the frame today and took it back to Dés's workshop. This is how we roll in Kigali, moving piano parts around town on a moto (public motorbike)...

Whilst waiting for Désiré, Marion noticed that the guy in the shop next door had a keyboard, so she popped in for a chat. His name's Honore and he has been teaching himself to play. His friend works next door as a carpenter and had heard about the piano venture. It was really nice to hang out with them. Hopefully he can help test the new piano once it's built.

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