The Cannone-inspired Guarneri del Gesù is progressing. After completing the templates, mold and counter-forms, the ribs have been installed. Linings next, then on to the scroll as I like to have the scroll nearly-complete before beginning the plates. I’ll be re-creating the original scroll’s dimensions. Its a large scroll and a departure from the more Strad-style scroll I’ve previously created.
I recently had the opportunity to examine a Peder Svindsay violin from 1961 (sometimes spelled Pete or Peter Swindsay). Peder’s style is interesting, the fluting of his scroll is broad and sweeping and I’ve included a picture of that below, however, i was particularly impressed with his corner miters. These manage to include a graceful sweep along the c-bout line and have a certain liveliness and energy. Corner miters are always done by hand and are clear sign of the maker’s patience and care.
Peder was originally from Norway and a founding member of the Violin Maker’s Association of British Columbia in 1957. He was an accomplished violin, viola, cello and bow maker. He owed a shop in Vancouver for some time and won many awards for his work at the Association competitions and internationally.
After a quiet summer, I think an update on the 2nd Stainer 1679 is due. Since last update I’ve assembled the corpus and attached the neck.
I had planned not to setup the instrument ‘in the white’ but had a change of heart. So I’ve cleaned up the nut and added a saddle. As soon as the bridge has been cut I’ll put on some Evah Pirazzi stings and try out the sound. I’ve been working on some new ground techniques which I’ll be trying out once I”m satisfied no other adjustments need to be made.
Lee Valley carries some great hand tools. They’ve had a selection of instrument making tools in the past. Now they have introduced a special Luthier catalog. While this short catalog focuses on Guitar Making, there are still some great tools in here for Violin Making and traditional wood working.
Check out the online version here.
An update on progress. The 2nd Stainer 1679 is nearly complete with the back now glued to the ribs. Next the top will be attached and the neck mortised into the body.
Its usually at this point that I start looking forward to the next project. For the next instrument i’ll be following the ‘Il Cannone’ 1743 Violin by Giuseppe ‘del Jesu’ Guarneri.
The neck, back and ribs are aged European maple, chosen for similar figure patterns to the original. The belly will be made from Newfoundland black Spruce. This wood has higher strength than other species, but tends to be smaller and twist as it grows, making it very difficult to source. As a final touch the nut will be made from Tagua to simulate the ivory nut on the original ‘Il Cannone’. Known as vegetable ivory, its actually the nut of a tropical palm tree.
My ‘Il Cannone’ will have an outline which is an approximation of the original. This was a design choice. I went with a symmetrical outline, whereas the original has large variations.
2017 Violin and Bow Competition – Tucson Arizona
October 10 – 13, 2017
Do you want to really know how good your violins sound ? Join us, at The VMAAI Violin Competition in Tucson. We sit together and listen to an open competition of our instruments being played by professional players. This lets us hear all the instruments made by all the other makers. It is a unique experience of all the other competitions in the US. Technical workshops are conducted after the daily competitions, and there is plenty of time to talk to other makers about techniques or ideas.
- Instruments: Cello, Viola, Violin-steel strings, Violin-synthetic strings
- Bows – Workmanship and Playability: Cello, Viola, Violin
Please forward / share with other Violin and Bow Makers
Five years after the 2012 blind testing experiment of violins in Paris and New York, fresh analysis has found that new instruments project more effectively
Bow making is specialty onto itself. Most violin makers don’t make bows, and most bow makers only make bows.
Check out this video posted by The Strad today. Make by Dawid Gumula, it has W.D. “Bill” Watson take us through the bow making process. Its just under 10 minutes and well worth watching.
The first of the two Stainers is complete. The final varnish color is a deep maroon red. The strings chosen for the instrument are Pirastro Passion sheep gut wire wound stabilized strings. The instrument is very easy to play and has a deep tonal color and these strings give it an extra kick in complexity. I’m still in the process of photographing the one piece pillow maple back, but here’s what the front looks like.
And if you’re curious about the photography setup, here’s a peak at that too. Look for an article in the near future on how I put together and use this inexpensive setup.