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Posts posted by arglebargle

  1. 1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

    I am loath to criticise American grammar, but surely you mean “My best friend is closing his violin shop”. Assuming he is still alive, I fail to see what difference it makes to you, if he is your best friend.

    Jesus, you are an ass. 

    I hope you finally get some help, because there is clearly something wrong with you.

  2. 11 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

    Having lived there extremely briefly, it is a really creepy, musty old place.  The basement is right out of a horror flick and House makes strange noises, not where I would ever stay again.

    I am really glad to hear someone else voice this. I am not a particularly "otherworldly" person, and some of my most happy and contented years were spent in an old Georgia farm/whore house from the early 1800. But as I live and breath, I have never been more unsettled and downright scared than when I was at the Chimneys house. Once when Ed and Mary went out of town I was granted the honor of staying at the house over night to keep an eye on things. No fucking way. I lasted until 9 or 10, then rode my bike back to my apt in Boiling Springs. Wracked with guilt, I rode my bike back at 4 in the morning to make sure that the place wasn't burgled or burnt, but I never did, nor would I ever, stay the night there. There was a wicked and cruel feeling in that house, and if I'm being honest, it showed in Mary. I hope the two of them have found peace and happiness, cuz it sure didn't seem like they found it there. Weird stuff.

  3. Guy Booth,

    Talk is cheap. In the end you either have an instrument that is both visually and aurally pleasing to the point that someone will pay you the money you ask, or you don't. Let's see yours. As David Sora implied, you can put any piece of thrown together crap on top of a peg box, but try selling it to a young musician about to spend real money for the first time on the tool of his or her trade.  In the mean time, there seems to be an endless supply of Jay Haide violins out there that retail for around 2k. Beat that. It strikes me that you don't spend enough time around the musicians that ultimately shell out their money for these instruments. I'd love to see the "half dozen" violins you made in your youth that you seem to hold as the standard of hand made violins.


  4. 1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

    That’s hilarious. Would you please take a photograph and share it? Meanwhile, Mr. White and his brother were significant American makers. I’m not sure how actually good they were, in the grand scheme of things, but they were certainly significant, so I would advocate leaving that violin exactly as it is, but take lots of pictures.


    This was many, many years ago. A lot of pictures were taken, but I have no clue where they are. This was at a different shop, with a different hard drive. I miss paper pictures. All the Asa White violins I have seen (I've seen a lot over the years) were quite good. Not sublime works of art, but competent and well executed. They remind me of the better Markneukirchen violins. Indeed, some say that is just what they were. ;)  They can sound very good with a bit of fussing over. 

  5. 2 hours ago, Melvin Goldsmith said:

     I don't fit a final bar on new instruments until the instrument is settled in and the varnish is fully cured....about 6 months after first playing

    This might be the most interesting thing I've read on this forum. Any further details you wish to share would be most welcome. Seriously.

  6. My first year at The Chimney's (1996) four of us arranged a visit to the LoC.

    We showed up, were led into the instrument room by a very nice (if disinterested) man, shown where everything was, and then left alone. We stood there for a second, not quite knowing what to do. Then we had at it!  For well over an hour we were left by ourselves. I played the Castlebarco cello, we took measurements, we took pictures, we picked up and handled everything, one of my friends played Turkey in the Straw on the Betts. At no point did anyone so much as pop their head in to see what we were doing. I feel like we could have stayed all day and nobody would care. We eventually just wandered out, said thank you, and left. I don't know if that was just the way it was back then or if we lucked out and just had a particularly lax attendant, but it was absolutely amazing. Four dumbasses in their mid 20's screwing around in a room full of some of the most important instruments ever. The woodwinds and brass were also great!

    My biggest regret is that I was not even a year into violin making and I honestly had no real idea of what I was looking at. Fortunately I was with someone with a slightly better grasp of these instruments, but I am sure the experience was wasted on me. All the same, I will never forget it.

  7. 34 minutes ago, Violadamore said:


    How would continuous lining interfere with anything?  I have some with that, they sound fine, and it's a sign of the maker having used an outside mold.  I'd be loath to tamper with that, any more than I'd seriously consider asymmetrically reblocking a Markie. 

    I don't think they do, and as I said I wouldn't mess with them. It was just an example of interior work that popped into my head.

  8. For me it comes down to art vs tool. Is the violin in question an object of art to be preserved and admired or is it a tool for musicians to use? For all but a few instruments on either end of the spectrum it is some combination of the two. Although on the bottom end I might substitute "trash" for "tool".

    It also depends on what you consider to be an artist's expression. While there is an "art" too fitting pegs, a well fit set of pegs is not art. The same could be said for graduations and bass bars and fingerboards. In Nathan's example of the terrible sounding American violin, if it is not made to sound "better" it will be relegated to "art" status only. If it is regraduated it could be a violin fulfilling its purpose: making music. To my mind, altering the interior work, or the exterior playability, does not impact the artists statement.

    There are of course as many exceptions as there are violins and each is a case by case basis. One that comes to mind would be continuous lining that are placed over the blocks. I would not alter that interior work. To me that speaks very strongly of the makers intent. But what is the difference between that and a bass bar? I don't know, aside from a bass bar having much more impact on the sound.

    I had an Asa White violin open in front of me. Mr White had written very clearly on and around the bass bar Do Not Alter! A later, though contemporary, repair person had written next to it "Very well Mr. White. Here your violin will sit as it was made. Out of sorts and singing a bad tune." Paraphrasing, but you get the idea. This is not a question unique to our time.

  9. Hi All,

    I have a client that just moved to Anchorage and needs some work on a cello that had a little bit of a rough trip.

    A google search turned up John Osnes and Petr's violin shop, but I have no idea if they are any good. Any feedback or other suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

  10. 2 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

    I have made instruments which were fully varnished, and had crisp edges  black picking on the chamfers and real ebony purfling. They looked really good until the first player tried it for a few weeks. After that they looked really scratched. I am sure those instruments will look great in about 30 years but in the meantime all any one sees are the scratches and dings even though toned down with the retouching brush. I also make instruments with lots of tool marks, a few deliberate dings and scratches and varnish wear in the places one expects to see it. No attempt to make it look old yet players seem to find them friendlier looking and the unavoidable edge wear and scratches blend right in and can be retouched in a few minutes and look fine.

    I would say that a personal model with full varnish which shows off the design abilities and technical skills of the maker for better or worse is really the most challenging and "artistic" expression of the craft. However unless the instrument is made on commission for some one who appreciates that  I think you find it harder to sell. If you are selling through dealers or any situation where someone is auditioning many instruments looking for the one they feel most comfortable with shading and a few freckles are the way to go.

    This has also been my feeling.

    Pristine varnished instruments are for the makers, roughed up varnished instruments are for the players. Another way of looking at it might be pristine varnished violins are art objects, antiqued violins are tools. And of course there are shades in between. When I hand a player a clean varnished instrument all I can think is that it will inevitably get scratched and please be careful with it. With an antiqued one I think "have fun and play the hell out of it!"

  11. Where are you located?

    You could get in touch with a "local" violin making school and let them know that you are closing shop. I know that when I was a student I would have thought nothing of getting in a car with my friends and driving hours to access good tools, wood, etc. It would certainly be easier to have them come to you.

    Good luck!