I always feel relieved when my purchase finds its way across the Atlantic to my doorstep
and I learn that the photos upon which I based my selection were indeed fairly representative.
This time I selected for more modest flame in the cello wood because I am in the mood for subtlety in pattern as well as more visual interest. I will rely on the varnish patterns to enhance the attractiveness of the wood. As always, I select for great grain structure so if I work it right, the next cello will sound even better than the last one (if that's even possible).
I am in the process of making a violin with a one piece back that is similar to the those in the photo to the left. Varnishing will happen outdoors in May and the violin will be making sweet music in June. I made some subtle design changes and I look forward to hearing the results.
Michael Unterman from the chamber orchestra A Far Cry tested out my cello.
He asked if I had a request and I volunteered the Prelude to the Bach Cello Suite No. 1.
To be the sole audience for such a gifted player performing on an instrument that one has
made is such a remarkable experience.
Naturally, receiving his very positive feedback was also a boost to the ego.
My favorite violin sold late in the fall and I keep working through my diminishing inventory
to see if I can find a new favorite. I haven't finished the process, and it could
take some time as I bounce back and forth between violins.
I am truly amazed at the different personalities possessed by my creations.
I have one violin that would likely be my favorite but it just doesn't fit.
It is patterned after an Andrea Amati from the 1500's and although it was considered
full sized at the time, today it would be considered a 7/8ths.
I really need to work harder at letting the world know it is here as the tone is wonderful
and it is very well suited to an adult that is struggling with a violin that is physically too large.
One of the great things about being in this line of work is that I
get to help people. I often get inquiries from people who
are intimidated by formal strings shops or are concerned about costs.
This inquiry came from a client who is neither intimidated or concerned but
simply came by way of referral. A family member had slipped on some ice
while carrying their violin in a case. The case hit the ground and you see the result below.
I can only imagine how horrified the owner was when he opened the case to inspect the damage.
Repair work starts in the next few days and I look forward to hearing the violin when the work is complete. Happily, the breaks are fresh and clean and none of the wood is missing so the repair has every chance of being quite successful.
I spend a lot of time with two other very capable luthiers and I enjoy "show and tell" when we get together. When I showed them this violin they could not get their smartphones out fast enough and started snapping photos from all different angles. Within minutes, people around the globe were viewing the damage and providing them with opinions and insights on the matter. Their excitement and enthusiasm fascinates me and I feel fortunate that I can take advantage of their knowledge and interest. They provide second opinions on all sorts of violin matters including repairs such as this. They will be assisting me with this project as they really wanted to be part of the challenge.
They're great guys!