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Everything posted by arglebargle

  1. There are a lot of great thoughts and answers here. Almost a consensus!? Let me just add, I think that a valid way of thinking about art versus craft is the subjects functionality. That is, what is it for? Is is built to use, or only built for aesthetic consumption? Stairs are built to use. Paintings are made to consume. Furniture is made to use, sculpture is made to consume. Violins are made to use, the music they produce is made to consume. Very broadly then, a craftsman makes "useful" things, an artist makes "useless" things. Now of course, there are no absolutes and the
  2. Hooray! What do you advise players to do to "take care" of their bridges?
  3. How about scrapers!? I've used them before to put the slight hollow in the surface, both along the length and width.
  4. Sorry. I sound like a grumpy snoot. I guess what gets my dander up is the fact that when actual violin makers (and by that I mean people that earn their bread and butter solely from making new instruments) pipe up with advice or admonishments regarding the difficulties of a particular skill set, or the necessities of having this or that firmly in hand, there often seems to be a chorus of people ready to disagree and argue that that advice is worth no more or less then what they themselves have to offer. I don't know. To me, the people that have always given me the best advice,
  5. Listen. If this has to be boiled down, how about this: Everybody here is passionate about violin making and has or is developing opinions about it. But perhaps some have a little more on the line then others? Violin making as a hobby for retirees with a pension as opposed to violin making school grads with bills to pay, or independents with no plan B because they love it. When one group gets a little snippy with the other, perhaps it's to be expected. If you can't easily join two plates, then you have no business making instruments. Wait. Sorry. Make all the instruments you
  6. Yep. The woodworking skills required for violin making are really very basic. I always say that violin making is more like wood carving/sculpting than carpentry. I'll make you a very nice instrument. I'll make you a pretty average chest of drawers, at best. (Or a decent spice rack, if we're dating.)
  7. Nice sentence!!! Let's all take a few seconds to read it again. Huzzah! (However, now all I can think about are appendix sausages. yum.)
  8. Thanks for the info. I've got more questions, I think. But for now I would like to express an appreciation for workshop photos, and the small things they show. Direct your attention to the third photo. See anything? There is a lot, but what I love is the single paper clip hanging from a nail. At some point that happened, for what ever reason. A small gesture. Why? Who knows? Who cares? Not me. People being people all over the world. Thanks.
  9. 1707 'La Cathedrale' has two, very small, wings.
  10. Why? I can't find a postable picture online, but take a look at the 1670 'Tullaye' violin. A very early instrument, but still a pretty wild choice of wood for an up and comer. (or perhaps I'm missing the sarcasm? )
  11. Oh yeah. I'm not alone in my room or my head when I post things on the internet. Sorry. Thanks for cleaning up my filth.
  12. This is the kind of stuff I love! Let any modern maker try this and they would be thought deficient in skill or wood choice or blah blah blah. I would assume that none of these instruments would stand a chance in a modern competition because of those extra joints. (I hope I am wrong.) But the makers we admire most just put the thing together, and made compromises when they had to. Granted, in a very nice way. And I have to wonder, how did a maker of Mr. S's skill not pull off matching the flame better on all three backs. 'Cause #$% 'em! That's why.
  13. Again, I see your point regarding the original poster's question. However, I don't think that these days modern makers fall into any school any more. Could you explain the differences in construction and appearance between a violin by a graduate of the Cremona school, the Chicago school, the Newark school, or the Salt Lake City school? Perhaps you can. I couldn't. Further, could you point out the difference between an apprenticed trained maker and a graduate of any of those schools? How about an amateur not formally trained, but tenacious, intelligent, and curious enough to make a fi
  14. Using two piece slab cut for a cello right now. Pretty funky.
  15. This comment has stuck in my craw for a awhile now. While I understand the reasoning behind it, I'm not sure I agree. 1: What do you mean by self taught amateur? II: How do you judge amateur work, besides I know it when I see it? I assume you have seen some Italian violins in your day, and if you have, you are sure to have seen at least a few examples of shoddy workmanship, poor wood choice, crap purfling inlay, etc.,yet fetching quite a bit of money and sounding very nice. Amateur workmanship? C: Are you really saying that if you can't place the modern maker as having gra
  16. Me at a party, talking to a very cute architect: "What's your favorite building?" Her: "God, I hate that question." So yeah.
  17. My gut reaction is no, don't show them. But I suppose it really depends on the client. The emotional investment/intrigue you might provide could go either way. The player might be put off by seeing/playing the unfinished instrument and it could sour them on the finished product. (NOT because there is anything wrong with the work, but as an emotional reaction.) But they might love it. I would think that your workmanship would have to be flawless, as certain woodworking quirks are often softened with the varnish but rather glaring naked (but also the other way around, so ). If they don'