If you’re lucky enough to be around Turin, Italy this summer check out this temporary display being put on between The Strad and Edizioni Il Salabue.
Titled “Precious Instruments, Illustrious Names: Lutherie and Music in Europe between the 17th and 20th Centuries”, it will take place from 31 May to 30 September. “Visitors will see instruments played by some of the most prominent musicians of all time, including violinists Nicolò Paganini, Henri Vieuxtemps, Yehudi Menuhin and Gaetano Pugnani; and guitarists Mauro Giuliani, Ramon Montoya, Andrés Segovia and Ida Presti.”
The exhibition takes place at the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale.
Check out more here.
I’ve been researching linseed oil, and discovered the SRO method by Tad Spurgeon. I also was surprised to see that linseed oil can be bleached separately from thickening.
The results speak for themselves. The picture above (with the coffee stirrer) is 18 months of exposure to sunlight in the window. It was covered during this time. No appreciable thicking has occurred. Up to 12 months slight lightening had occurred, but after 12 months the bleaching accelerated rapidly with very clear oil achieved at 18 months. This oil was in a fairly sheltered window with little direct sunlight and in a northern latitude.
Next, I’ll be testing out the oil to determine the yellowing properties when dried. Stay tuned.
Check out the summer workshops, including three free workshops (at bottom) being offered from the University of New Hampshire’s Violin Craftsmanship Institute for the summer of 2018. Credit to the Violin Society of America for distributing this to their membership, their email follows:
New Instructors & New Programs – June 18 – July 20, 2018
Click here for complete brochure.
The UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute carries on the tradition of luthiers, dating back to the 16th century European craft guilds. UNH’s Institute is one of the oldest string instrument repair programs in the U.S. Current internationally renowned instructors are respected masters of their craft.
Repair shop employees, string instrument teachers, musicians, and professionals from any background with a passion for woodworking and music looking for a second career, a source of income, or to study the craft.
All levels of experience will learn the trade from our accessible and knowledgeable instructors. You must be 18 years or older to attend.
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.