My inventory has been low for the past year but I'm putting the finishing coats on what is my fourth and possibly last violin until next spring. There's a waiting list so we will see if anything remains after the fall. I simply take names and when a violin is available, I go down the list. The first person on the list has been playing my violins before and after they are varnished, so after this last one is finished, decisions will start to be made.
I spent a lot of time doing research on Youtube this spring. Some makers I highly respect have been posting their methods and I saw a few ideas or methods that I have been incorporating into my work. I think it's paying off. Time will tell. Some day I will have to highlight some of the people who have been influential and helped me on my path. I've been very fortunate.
In other news, if you're a fan of celtic music, hand crafted violins (one of mine) and wonderful music ability, check out Jarred Albright on his 5-string:
Two nights ago, one of my clients came and played through some of my latest violins. My current favourite violin did not grab him like I felt it should. This caused me to turn my thoughts to what could be modified. I had an old mismatched set of middle of the road strings on it. We decided to replace them with Jargar Superior strings. After about 3 notes the violin had our attention. It was a reminder how the best violins can muddle along below their full potential due to something unique lacking in the setup. In this case, the violin needed a certain brand of string to bring out the best in it. That night Bach, combined with the voice of the violin made for a somewhat emotional evening. I'm at a loss how to explain it any better.
Perhaps this winter I will keep this blog up to date. For now I plan to make one or two violins and probably a cello. The cello design is my own which is very comfortable, seemingly not wolfy, very responsive and full of good tone. I've been advised not to change anything.