Tom Blatz

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About Tom Blatz

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  • Birthday 07/30/1951

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  1. I began my studies with Mr. Nebel at the Mass. College of Liberal Arts in 1999. I'd studied the Sacconi book for 20 years prior to that time, and finding a living master who had worked side by side with Simone Sacconi at Wurlitzer, went on to run the restoration shop of this unparalleled mecca of violin expertise for 19 years , and was willing to share his experience with me was, I thought, too good to be true. Hans Jurgen begins each day in a suit and tie at 7:30 AM, and expounds upon his vast knowledge and experience of the vast body of fine instruments he has seen and handled through his long experience in an incredibly informative (you need to take notes) format for an hour or so. He then ceremoniously removes his jacket and dons his smock. Now work begins. He visits each participant, advising and guiding their day, and is available from his own bench for consultation throughout the day. We break for lunch, then work until 5, a dinner break, and at 7 or so, the night session begins. At this point, Hans Jurgen has a more relaxed posture, and for 3 hours or so, he shares instruments and bows with the class that few of us have ever seen before. This is an incredibly informative and educational day, and it's only day #1 - 4 more to go! I have met many colleagues through his seminars who continue to be valuable contacts, and I have become a friend of Hans Jurgen. I have a 2-inch thick manila folder of our correspondance over the years,and have visited his atelier on numerous occasions. On my last visit, he had opened the Apollo Stradivari, and I had the unique pleasure of viewing Strad's work from a place few have enjoyed. The techniques, tools and materials I gleaned from my 8 summer workshops there have enriched my life and work immeasurably.
  2. To Whom it may concern, I just got an email yesterday saying that the company is relocating... As many of you know, we are expanding into a new location. We will be moving our staff, computer system and telephone service this coming weekend. Beginning Monday, February 5th, you may experience some disruption in our normal services. WE WILL BE OPEN! However, we suggest that you place your orders this week (Jan. 29 - Feb. 2) in order to avoid any possible delay. All orders placed by the end of the day Thursday, Feb. 1 will ship this week. For details, log into our Dealer Site. Best Regards, Howard Core Company LLC This sort of change can impede the expedience of day-to-day-business. I would give them some time to re-establish the quotidian of daily transactions. All the best for a happy and peaceful new year, Tom
  3. At a retouching workshop with Hans Jurgen Nebel, I observed his technique for applying retouching varnish. The varnish is applied with a fine sable brush (like a Winsor Newton series 7, possibly a #7 or #8). The varnish itself is extremely thin, almost all alcohol, so that one layer hardly changes the appearance at all, giving great control over the shading factor you describe. He would apply a similarly thin clear layer in between the coats to prevent removal of the colored layer. The thin varnish dries very rapidly, and as a result, the work can be completed in a few days. I hope this is helpful to you.
  4. I've sent you a private message.
  5. web page Don't know how close they are, but this should help. Best, Tom
  6. A client of mine has five of Christopher English's bows. Upon close examination, you will understand why. Christopher English, bowmaker
  7. This is the url for the Mass. College of Liberal Arts webpage that provides information on Mr. Nebel's classes: Hans Nebel's Workshops If the link is inoperative, just google: mass. college, hans nebel, and that should do it as well.
  8. I second Michael's recomendation of the Sacconi book. The man who worked side by side with Simone Sacconi is alive and well, and sharing his extensive knowledge and experience each summer in Massachusetts. Hans Jurgen Nebel's course in violin identification and recognition, at the Mass. College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, (Maestro Nebel is featured in the current Strings magazine), is an excellent hands-on educational experience. Mr. Nebel brings the wealth of his 19 years of experience as director of restoration at the Rembert Wurlitzer shop in NYC, as well as examples of classic and modern Italian, French and German instruments from his own collection for the aspiring connoiseur to study first hand, with the guidance of a master.
  9. Capelin, Try it again later, I think the site is experiencing an overload. I did not find an e-mail address in your profile to send the image directly to you. Best, Tom
  10. Here's one from a noted Bohemian maker, mid 1920's:
  11. Wood is hygroscopic, and instruments will shrink and may crack if the humidity level falls below 40%. I use a cool mist humidifier filled with rainwater. This is less costly than distilled water, and prevents the 'white dust' that can form on everything in the room from the minerals in most tap water. This device, along with a gauge to measure your success, is necessary for the well-being of your 'baby'. If you can't treat the room, then a dampit is the next best thing. Happy Winter!
  12. On a visit to Reuning and Son Violins in the early 90's, Mr. Reuning showed me a Gragnani violin whose table had been miraculously restored after worms had eaten long tunnels from beneath the varnish. The before and after photos were astonishing, and as I remember, the technique involved planing matching wood from the inside of the instrument which was used to undetectably restore the ravaged exterior. I believe that Ben Ruth was the person who performed the work.
  13. Here's one that just arrived. Appears to be a late 19th century German instrument with a repair label from Andrew Hyde,1899. IMG