The Dargaville Museum (New Zealand) presents...
'Accordion Gems' by Kevin Friedrich
...A Master Collection of Accordions through Time...

Aratapu Library Purchased - June 2006
Dedication of the Accordion Gems Display - 3 December 2006
Aratapu Library relocated to Harding Park - January 2007
Grand Opening of New Music Wing at the Dargaville Museum - 21 October 2007 at 1:00 PM
Launching of Accordion Gems Exhibit in Display Cabinets - 29 March 2009

Kauri Accordions by Aaro Luukinen
the crafting...
Master artisian Aaro Luukinen was born in Lapland in Northern Finland. His father Matti Luukinen had an accordion workshop and a small factory in the village Salla. The workshop specialised in diatonic accordions and was the only accordion manufacturer in Finland since the Kouvola factory stopped in 1995. Matti Luukinen worked for more than 30 years building accordions. Aaro grew up in this atmosphere of accordion building and got a lot of knowledge from his father. Both parents were professional with Aaro's mother making more than 500 sets of accordion bellows by herself.
Aaro studied accordion building at the Ikaalinen Arts and Crafts School and graduated as an Artisan in 2003. He worked in his father's factory in 2006-2008 and since then, he has operated his own accordion workshop and now serves as a teacher of accordion making at the Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design. Aaro's wife Henriikka is the visual artist, and she has designed the grills of the beautiful and unique accordions.
Above: Aaro Luukinen working with the Kauri wood
The creation of the Kauri Accordions
Below are a series of pictures as Aaro crafts the three unique and rare Kauri accordions.
Above and Below: the beautiful rural setting of Aaro Luukinen's accordion building workshop,
located some 100 km from Ikaalinen
The Kauri wood as it begins its magical transformation into instruments under the hands of artisian Aaro Luukinen
Aaro (kneeling) with his students at the accordion crafting school, who are actively following
the construction of the three Kauri instruments
Aaro Luukinen working with the Kauri instruments
The reedblocks begin to take shape
Above: The beautiful New Zealand Paua Shell is often used to enahce the design of Kauri products, and it is anticipated that some small Paua decorations will be used on one or more of the instruments. To the native New Zealand Maori population, Paua are recognised 'taonga', or treasure, esteemed both as kaimoana (seafood) and their shells are a valued resource for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts.
Aaro carefully gluing one of the Bass bodies together
The treble side bodies of K1, K2 and K3
K1 begins to take shape, showing the two sides of the instrument
Above: The Kauri accordions continue to take shape
Above: The Kauri reed blocks for the right hand keyboards
Aaro continues to assemble the instruments and reed blocks
K1, K2 and K3 having their reed blocks fitted, the first two for their left hand sides,
one right hand setup, then the fourth setup being the final left hand side.
Above left: Aaro and his wife Henriikka who custom designed the three grill designs for the instruments
Above right:
the late Jarmo Salin's preliminary work on the Paua inlays

Contact for the Accordion Gems Exhibition: Kevin Friedrich
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