The invention, a rectangular prism of thick cardboard wrapped in masking tape and bolstered in styrofoam was measured precisely by “Fujie,” a gifted ceramic artist, to fit easily over my three pedals.
An adult piano student, she had more than once come to my rescue after an unruly student pounded, snapped and otherwise plundered the sustain pedal. The abuses spanning weeks, caused increased pedal motion and irregularity, driving me up the walls.
As usual, Fujie saved the day.
Not only had this very gifted woman made her own tofu (Tofujie) in her downtown Fresno factory, but she could design almost anything she set her mind to. Take for instance this gorgeous, meticulously made keyboard bracelet, one of my favorite things, that I’ve been wearing on my wrist all the time. You might say it’s my eternal good luck charm.
And this applies to Aiden, as well:
An even more impressive creation of Fujie’s, is this costume she designed for her two-year old, grandson, “Rider,” after he insisted on being a garbage truck for Halloween. Apparently, when the toddler went trick or treating, the word leaked out that parents along the route were so taken by the outfit, that they placed orders with Fujie into 2012. Now she has her hands full!
Another treasured snapshot has Fujie’s grandson seated at her Kawai studio upright doing some tactile sound exploration.
He’s now been exposed to all the pieces his grandma has been studying with me including Kabalevsky’s “Clowns,” a colorful splash of major/minor transitions in quick tempo. He will someday be in the driver’s seat playing these compositions himself.
It seems that my list of prize possessions keeps growing. I particularly love the glass sculpted cello lamp that sits atop a Japanese style corner table in my Bay area piano studio. I purchased both these items at El Cerrito Lighting on San Pablo before the very unique establishment went out of business. The store had a bounty of merchandise that wooed me to its doors weekly. The eye-catching lamp provides a stream of dim light that creates a tranquil mood. The table it sits on, has its own special internal luminescence.
My tour de force Bay area acquisition is as expected, the Kawai grand piano, GE-20 model that I bought at DC Piano in Berkeley. Though not a Steinway, it’s the next best thing, with its voluptuous singing tone and even touch across its keyboard.
The bench which accompanies the instrument is decorated by a beautiful cover given to me by “Joy,”one of my Fresno adult students.