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Kelvin Scott

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  1. Nice....lots of new names!
  2. Hey, Janito, I was cleaning my shop a week or two ago and I found the purling that I had made for this violin. I had meant to send it with the top so that back would have matching poplar-holly-poplar purling, but the day I sent it across the pond, I could not find it. I guess this is par for the course on this type of project. Kelvin
  3. I have attended three Triennale competitions and during these past competition years, one was not allowed to play the competition instruments. The award-winning instruments are played at an awards presentation. Because the exhibition of the entered instruments extends over a period of time, it would be quite difficult to meet with a given maker as many simply show up at the end of the competition to pick up their entry. You may want to consider the VSA competition, where one can play all the instruments entered in the competition....quite a unique experience. Mondomusica Instrument Fair takes place in Cremona at the same time as the Triennale, and it would provide you with many opportunities to try various maker's work. That said, I would never turn my nose up at a chance to visit Cremona during this time of year.
  4. Hi Berl, I guess I like the quality of the gouges and I make enough instruments that pretty much all of them see use, though I only use five or six on a given scroll. I also had him make me some fishtail gouges. I really don't care what the resale value will be because I will be dead.
  5. Hi, I bought an entire set of these gouges plus a few extra about seven years ago, and they have served me very well. I the smith who makes them is very knowledgeable and the gouges hold their edge very well. I plan on reordering a few extra gouges of particular sweeps that I use all the time.
  6. Hi Martin, Yes, that's what I was describing. Kelvin
  7. I think that bit of spruce looks quite acceptable assuming all else passes muster. If it were mine, I would cut off one or two bassbars off the thick side of the wedge, thus moving the wider grain more into the bouts of the eventual table. Good for tone? Perhaps. I like tight-grained bassbars. I met a famous maker in Cremona once who swore that you must cut off some of the wood near the sapwood in order to get the best out of a billet. FWIW
  8. I watched Tibor Szemmelveisz rough arch a cello with a large, wood roughing plane, then go straight to a large scraper. No finger planes, no large arching gouges. Impressive.
  9. Hi Matt, I spent a very memorable week at the SRAM making a viola with Neil and a group of other viola makers. Neil was a lovely guy and and I would be happy to help out on the USA side of the work, let me know. I can do any part of the making process that would be helpful. Best, Kelvin
  10. Hi Carl, Sure, overall I thought that in the cello category the straight instruments were really strong. Had Goodfellows and Nagaishi's cellos not been entered, there were a few others that could easily have taken one of the top spots. While I do not speak for all the judges, I personally thought that Nagishi's cello individually and as part of a very well thought out quartet was pretty special. His cello exhibited both incredibly high technical accomplishment as well as a great deal of artistry in the design of the scroll, corners, purling treatment, etc. I also felt he took some risks both in his design choices as well as his personal setup. His nuts, saddles, pegs, and TP were great sources of discussion among the judges. Goodfellow's cello perhaps did not step out as far artistically, but it was a great study in tastefully expressed lines, arch, and edgewoork. His work is also very clean, but he somehow captures a very natural, organic impression (very different from Nagishi's modern aesthetic)....not always easy in straight finishes. Further down the list, Silvio Levaggi's Scroll lines and corners were amazing, and Dobners Scroll was deeply cut and visually lovely. So, all in all, I thought it was great to see makers pushing the new look and asserting personal style. Contemporary making could use a bit more of this. If I were giving advice to makers wanting to compete, I would say that unless they have mastered a process and antique at the highest level, in the manner of a Jeff Phillips or a Melvin Goldsmith or a Stephan Von Baehr, etc, they would be good to avoid middling antiquing on competition entries. We saw so much one dimensional antiquing that simply could not stand up to the bar that has been set by other makers. Anyway, only regret was that none of the workmanship recommended cellos picked up a CM for tone and thus a gold. Another lesson to future competitors: make instruments that have exceptional tone and control your own destiny! Could you please elaborate with some specifics ?
  11. Hi Julian, I echo many of your sentiments. I just got back and as with most VSAs, the overwhelming feeling that I come away form these conventions is the sense of wanting to push my work in reactiokn to some of the instruments and makers whose work made me think in new directions, or feel a jot of inspiration. This was my first time judging; it was difficult, and an honor, and I was deeply impressed with the level of the some of the new instruments, particularly, this time, the pristine finishes. The top five pristine cellos were incredibly strong. I hope that younger makers took a long look at Goodfellows, Kostovs, Levaggis, Dobners, and Nagaishi's cellos and had some take-aways. A pleasure to judge such technically fine and personal work. Thanks again to all the scribes who stuck in there even during the wee wee hour of the night!
  12. The violin was not bad and in the end it sounded quite good. It had poor areas of workmanship, but it didn't matter. The violin had charm that derived from the fact that a bunch of makers of different backgrounds and abilities came together to make something collaboratively. Such collaboration are always novelties and can be fun, produce a decent instrument, but the work will be uneven. I did a collaborative viola in Scotland with a group of professional makers and even there the workmanship told the story, e.g., the purfling of the top differed from that of the back because differnet hands were involved. Nature of the beast.
  13. Someone asked if this had been done before on Maestronet, and the answer is that it was. About fifteen years ago a group of Maestroneters did a group build, mailing the bits of the violin around the country and world. The violin turned out fairly well, though with inconsistant workmanship throughout. The violin was donated to the Joy of Music School, a non-profit that provides string music eductation to underpriveledged kids. Good luck! Kelvin
  14. I would say that fusing amber is only different from fusing pine resin in that you need a somewhat higher temperature in your pot. I like amber varnish for lower coats and dislike it for upper coats. There is something optical about it that is pleasing when it is down low and near the wood. You should definitely grind the raw amber well to a fine dust in a coffee grinder before you begin your fuse and I use cheap porcelain pots you can get at Walmart or some such store. The ones with the old fashioned speckled surface. Without checking my notes, you need a temp over 300 Celsius. Run it for a couple of hours on a hot electric burner, cool it, and then regrind it before adding it to hot oil. Pretty simple. All the fuse about fusing amber came from the use of open flames, I suspect. Be careful...wear long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection. Good luck, Kelvin
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