Inscribing the Dulcimer
Each Bear Meadow is identified with an inscription and a dedicatory verse.
After the inside of the body is sealed with shellac, the identifying label is applied. We do that by writing directly on the bottom of the dulcimer, using a steel pen and India ink. The inscriptions are located directly under the main bout soundholes.
On the major bass bout, the assembly date, Serial Number, and Dwain's signature is applied. The assembly date is usually the date that the assembly was completed. Sometimes, though, the instrument will not be inscribed until just before the top goes on. In any case, the date should not be used as a warantee date. The warrantee is keyed to delivery date.
On the major treble bout, a short dedicatory poem is composed and inscribed. This is a short verse, sometimes having to do with the person commissioning the instrument. But more often it arises out of the weather or landscape surrounding Beast House. Rarely, it is about my state of mind. Composing this verse can sometimes become quite a challenge, for it requires a certain quiet and calm (an energized calm, so to speak) to come up with something satisfactory.
If you're interested in the dedication verses, there is a collection of a few of my favorites on the Poetry page.