View Full Version : Laura Ratcliff's latest mandolin

Mar-27-2005, 9:14pm
Hello, I want to show the latest mandolin that Laura has just finished. This is #32 and is probably the best yet. THe top is 100 year old red spruce and old red maple too. The sound though is what's incredible about this mando. So deep and woody that it vibrates your left hand on the neck. THe volume is second to none. I'll put this mandolin up against any mando out there. It's really outstanding. Got to play it to believe it.

Mar-27-2005, 9:15pm
another view. The looks ain't to shabby either.

Mar-27-2005, 9:16pm

Mar-27-2005, 9:18pm
The finish is oil varnish with a satin look. she's really come a long way on the finish work.

Mar-27-2005, 9:32pm
Very very beautiful! That is going to make someone very happy. I wish it were me!

Mar-27-2005, 10:18pm
Very nice, I like the red/orange sunburst. What's the wood on the peghead?

Mar-28-2005, 12:58pm
Way to go Laura! Very sharp looking. I like the way the headstock's progressed in form. And the wood grain, instead of black veneer, is an especially nice touch.

Mar-28-2005, 2:09pm
the wood on the headstock is ebony but with brown streaks in it. Nice look.

Doug Edwards
Jun-16-2005, 1:01pm
Very nice. #Are most of her's one piece backs?

Mark Walker
Jun-16-2005, 1:30pm
Here is Laura's latest - #33, and named 'Angelina Abril.' She custom-crafted this for a friend of mine. #Ken painted the flying angel on the back of it. #It's perfect; Laura's craftsmanship is second-to-none. #(Ken, you taught her WELL.) #The finish is perfect; the tone is loud and 'woody' - reminiscent of an early 1900's 'The Gibson' A-3 - but MUCH more 'bark' to it than those old Gibsons. #Great volume but 'mellow' - and it'll only get better with age. #Great Job Laura!

Jun-16-2005, 1:32pm
Que bonito y muy bien hecho! Se vende este tesoro? Ojala que si.

Mark Walker
Jun-16-2005, 1:51pm
Here's another view - from the front - of Laura Ratcliff's #33. (Angelina Abril)

Jun-16-2005, 3:56pm
How about a close up of the nut. What's the black material?

Jun-16-2005, 4:22pm
Looks like the strap maybe.

Jun-16-2005, 7:05pm
Hola soy Laura....esta mandolina esta vendida, de todas maneras muchas gracias por tu interes.

Jackie Walters
Jun-16-2005, 7:13pm
I'd like to thank closetmandolinplayer for taking pictures of Angelina Abril and posting them here for me. She is a true gem of a mandolin. I'd also like to thank Laura for her fine craftsmanship..and Ken for his beautiful angel..
And congrads Laura for the completion of #32! Wow..what beauty..

mad dawg
Jun-16-2005, 7:56pm
More lovely mandolins by Laura <sigh>. (And I've got to say that I really like that yellow room in which many of her mandolin "portraits" are taken, as at the top of this thread.)

Doug Edwards
Jun-16-2005, 7:58pm
I really like that tortise binding.

Jun-17-2005, 7:14am
(And I've got to say that I really like that yellow room in which many of her mandolin "portraits" are taken, as at the top of this thread.)
Yeah. Who is the older woman in the picture on the wall?

Mark Walker
Jun-17-2005, 7:32am
I don't want to infringe upon Ken and Laura Ratcliff's privacy - and hope I'm NOT with this post - but my wife and I have had the honor and privilege of visiting them in their home in Kentucky.
Ken built his wonderfully beautiful home himself, and - being an artist - every room has portraits, sketches, water-colors, and other works of art created by him. #The portrait of the old woman is most likely another of his many displays of talent. #(Which includes - of course - his wonderful mandolins!)

Scotti Adams
Jun-17-2005, 7:45am
..very nice work Ken....I think Laura is a keeper http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif and I sure you do too. Its such a great thing when a husband and wife can embark on their dreams together such as you two have in buidling mandos....I bet you have alot of happy years ahead of you...cheers

mad dawg
Jun-17-2005, 10:40am
I really like that tortise binding.
Agreed --- I forget which number it is or who owns it, but someone here owns an amber one with tortoise shell binding which is my favorite of her's yet.

Jun-17-2005, 11:50am
Possibly you refer to #28?

Mark Walker
Jun-17-2005, 1:17pm
Here's another Silver Angel beauty. #My cousin - a fantastic mandolin picker - lost his wife two years ago this month. The very night she passed away, I had an eery dream about Ken having started crafting a two-pointer mandlin and naming it after my cousin's late wife. #When I called Ken the very next day, and found out he'd actually STARTED on this mandolin, I had to buy it for my cousin. #Ken named her Cynthia Jane - after my cousin's late wife. #It's unique in that it might be the only R2 Ken's ever made with the flying angel in the headstock. #(I told Ken it HAD to have an angel in the headstock; these headstocks are normally only on his F5 models - picture to follow!) #A beautiful looking and incredible-sounding mandolin - as all of his and Laura's are. #Truly a work of art, and my cousin and his 6 children all treasure this mandolin as a tribute to their beloved wife and mother, Cindy.

Jun-17-2005, 1:25pm
Those are all beauties. I should have bought the very early Laura mandolin Ken tried to sell me when I was at his house one day a couple of years ago.

I've noticed that Laura's infuence on Ken's work has been very positive, too. His fit and finish have come up to the level of the always good tone and playability of his earlier work.

Mark Walker
Jun-17-2005, 1:30pm
Here is Cynthia Jane from the front. #Note the unique headstock in this special R2 Model Ken crafted. #It can't be seen in this view, but the tailpiece cover is engraved with 'Cynthia Jane.' #Ken also wrote her name on the INSIDE of what became the back - which can be seen through one of the F-hole cutouts. #One last unique thing which simply cannot be captured in a photo is the headstock. #While it looks 'black,' when viewed in bright light or sunlight, beautiful wood grain can be seen wavering behind the flying angel. #Almost like she is indeed flying. #BEAUTIFUL workmanship and finishing Ken!

Mark Walker
Jun-17-2005, 1:37pm
Here is a close-up of the binding and details of Cynthia Jane.

Doug Edwards
Jun-17-2005, 1:46pm
My my my...that do look nice.

Jun-17-2005, 4:52pm
#27 which I think is a twin sister of #28 posted on the previous page is looking for a good home. #It's posted in the classifieds. #(large financial interest)

Jun-17-2005, 6:19pm
Doug, my initial reaction was: #Oh, my....then I read your post. #That's one sweet looking mandolin. #If it only had a sound hole....... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jun-22-2005, 11:07am
How 'bout some more Ratcliff pics? Anyone have a round sound-hole mando?

Mark Walker
Jun-22-2005, 12:15pm
I know that in Ken Ratcliff's early models he crafted them with a diamond-shaped center hole beneath the strings in ADDITION to the f-cutouts. He's not crafted those for several years, but I do have a photo of one somewhere. I'll resurrect it and post it ASAP.

Mark Walker
Jun-22-2005, 12:36pm
Here is one of Ken's earlier ones with a center sound-hole, which can be clearly seen in this photo, done in what I think he refers to as a 'British Tan' finish. I'll post another picture shortly of one in a more traditional sunburst finish.

Mark Walker
Jun-22-2005, 12:39pm
Look closely at this one - it too has the center sound hole. And the Flying Angel logo in a less-traditional headstock. Still a beautiful work of art.

mad dawg
Jun-22-2005, 1:20pm
Possibly you refer to #28?
Yep -- that's it Lee! (Drop-dead gorgeous, that mandolin.)