Posted on 03/30/15 by in Fascinating Rhythms
By Jennifer Abelson
The Music Settlement’s Gala, FASCINATING RHYTHMS, will feature a number of auction items, from traditional to never-before-seen items, as well as experiential opportunities. Most of the auction items will be silent auction, but we will have a live auctioneer for our most exciting offerings.
We were particuarly excited when William Kogelschatz asked to rummage through our instrument-storage room, in order to create custom pieces from musical instruments. The amazing, custom pieces are inspired by musical instruments (clarinet and trumpet) and are absolutely one-of-a kind. We’re delighted to share the story of William Kogelschatz, the inspirational creator of these fantastic pieces.
The Music Settlement: Can you tell us a little bit more about when and why you decided to start creating custom pieces inspired by musical instruments?
William: Music has been a part of the Kogelschatz family since the beginning -- we are all musicians. I first created custom furniture inspired by musical instruments when my son Eric graduated from college and need new furniture for his apartment. He was a drummer and his first drum set was a 1960s jazz set, so I created a coffee table and end table. He also played clarinet, so I used the Selmer clarinet he played in high school marching band for the first instrument lamp I ever created. Then my son Paul asked if I could turn his trumpet into a lamp, and that began my fascination in turning music instruments into furniture. I've always enjoyed being a craftsman, whether that be woodworking, electrical work or metalwork. I like to make every piece unique and never want to make the same piece twice. Even if it's with the same instrument, something has to be different. This fits my style, because I like to make old things new again and they are all 100% recycled. All of my pieces have a story, whether that be the instrument itself or the musician that played it.
The Music Settlement: Can you tell us about a few of your favorite pieces?
William: One of my favorite pieces was a custom martini bar created from an acoustic guitar. The guitar was the musician's first guitar, so it was very important them. When the guitar was hung on the wall, it looked like any guitar, but when you looked closer, you could see that the guitar had suicide-like doors (hinged at their rear) and revealed one bottle of scotch and two rocks glasses. I really enjoyed working on that project--it looked pretty good when done. Another great piece was a clarinet lamp I created for someone, but this was a very unique vintage Buffet clarinet, probably one of the nicest instruments I ever worked. You hate to take an instrument of that quality out of play, but for that musician that no longer played the instrument, it meant more to have it in their home in use then in a closet collecting dust.
The Music Settlement: What is your inspiration for the pieces you are providing for The Music Settlement's Gala? Can you tell us a little bit more about them?
William: The Olds Ambassador Trombone is the second trombone lamp I ever made. Of course, I had to make the first trombone lamp for my first grandson. There are only so many instruments that can be used as a floor lamp, and I thought this would be great for The Music Settlement's Gala. The American Standard Clarinet is a very special piece for three reasons: It is an instrument that students from The Music Settlement practiced and performed on; it is a silver clarinet that is quite rare; and lastly, the clarinet was created by The H N White Co. in the maker of King Band Instruments, right in Cleveland, Ohio. The violin is also an instrument that students from The Music Settlement practiced and performed on. This instrument was in the worst condition of the three instruments—it was broken in half and needed to be restored before I could turn it into a lamp.
The Music Settlement: Why did you decide to donate these pieces to The Music Settlement?
William: I restored all three instruments specifically for The Music Settlement because supporting this institution for me means inspiring the next generation of musicians.
The Music Settlement: Is there anything else you'd like to share about music, The Music Settlement, or your work?
William: I hope that whoever donates to The Music Settlement and takes one of these three instruments home will enjoy the music furniture created by Grandpa Mitten's Workshop for years to come.
To learn more about The Music Settlement’s Gala on May 2 or to purchase tickets, please visit:http://www.thecmss.org/gala.
To create your own music instrument furnishing or for more about William Kogelschatz’s music furniture, please visit www.grandpamittensworkshop.