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The Fun Corner — Mini-Series with Colin Foulke

Colin turns extra metal into cool board games and a "handpan" clock that chimes in Celtic... That's the fun corner of Colin's shop!


Classically trained on the cello, Colin slowly grew weary of jumping through the hoops of institutionalized western music... but then he discovered the handpan and embarked on a journey that would dramatically change his everyday life.


In part 2, Colin walks us through his discovery and development of hydroforming, a revolutionary process to shape handpan shells. He also re-visits the roots or the art form and reconnects with his first instrument, the cello.



Mini-Series Transcript:


Sylvain: What are those cryptic games?


Colin: I enjoy playing games and I try to host a monthly game night here at the shop. Um, I have both of these board games in their original form, which are smaller and tabletop games. Um, I had some extra metal and I decided that it would be really fun if we had a built in version and also like a bigger standing version. Um, so this is a game called Chickapig that was invented by Dave Matthews of Dave Matthews Band and his guitar maker. Um, it looks face value. It's kind of a silly farm thing game, but when you actually play it, it's a really brilliant game. It's kind of a cross between like a Chinese checkers and another game called ____. Um, it's mainly kind of managing farm related chaos. Um, and yeah, all the pieces are magnetic. Um, yeah. So each Chickapig, is like half chicken, half pig. Um, yeah, it's, it's a really fun game. Um, and so that has become an installation. And then more recently is this game, um, which you can't really buy this game. It's one of the older games in the world. It's called the Royal game of Ur. It dates to 4,000 years ago and it's been popular for about 3000 years. And it was eventually kind of overtaken or replaced by Backgammon um, they had found tons of tablets that were in this shape and design, but they, and they figured it was board games, but they didn't know the rules until one day someone was deciphering a tablet from an astronomer from the day and he just happened to be, he said "Oh, and by the way, there's people playing this game all over the city. And here's how they're playing". In fact that he detailed a couple of different ways they were playing it. Um, and so I thought that was interesting. And so, um, they did have an online, the British museum had an online version you can play. And so I played a couple and realized "Oh, this is a great name". Um, it's not quite as complex as Backgammon. It's a race game. So your, your pieces, you enter here and white enters here and then you race down and you, you have to cast off. Um, the center row is kind of a battleground. You can knock players off and it's, it's just whoever gets their players all the way through first. Um, it's, there's been some interesting lessons. The secret to winning the game or is you actually have to lose first. It's better to be behind, and have to catch up. It's this unusual advantage from losing. So you actually kind of want it to have some players that you need to bring up behind your opponent cause then you can, it ends up being an being losing puts you in control. And so, uh, tactically it's been really interesting. Um, both of these games I brought the gatherings around the world, handpan gathering so people have probably seen me playing or have played me. Chickapig is a really fun four-people play, playing teams. Um, Game of Ur is a two-player game. I went undefeated at hang out UK, I also had the advantage that I was the one who brought the game. Uh, but, it's really fun and there aren't like there, there are no blowouts on the game of her. It never fails. It's an excited finish. Just how the numbers work. It's always like neck and neck. Even if you're way ahead, the person will catch up or you'll fall behind. So that's been another stand-in. And this is a quicker game, this takes 20 minutes. We'll do it at lunch. It's been another stand-in. And tell me about the clock. We heard it on the podcast. The clock was like, I thought of it in the dream. It was like, like a fever dream that was really hyperactive. And um, it was just this idea of like, "Oh, I could just make a clock" to a process and how I make hand pans. Like I could just make a clock out of it. And that was very much snowballed into this. Now there's a version that chimes and we can force it. The chime, if you want to hear it. I'm having it chime to a Celtic theme right now. Yeah. So it incorporates standard handpan stuff like dimples. Um, and just kind of a simple clock design and just, just scratching a creative itch. You know, when you walk into my shop, it is a handpan shot, but it doesn't mean you can't make other things and all these amazing tools. So I get inspired to do kind of side projects. It keeps the energy of the shop fresh as well.

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