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  1. Hello All, Thank you very much for your responses! I think what spurred me to think romatically about violin making is Chemistry! Just had some mid semester thinking that it would be so nice to live working with my hands, instead of worrying about atomic molecules. There are a lot of great insights by many of you, what really made me think is David's response. Let me recap the suggestions in this thread. 1. There are better jobs that provide more security (objective) as well as just as fun (subjective). "Violinmaking has been a blessing and a real hoot, but I think there are equally fun and challenging jobs which can generate much better money and job security." - David Burgess 2. Anyone wishing to become a Violin Maker or repairer should know that it's a tough market that could be unpredictable in the years to come with low cost foreign instruments being made. "This is a tough market. The learning curve is very slow. Competition is tough too." - Manfio 3. Your success as a Violin Maker will rely on your reputation of skill and integrity. "Without a very good reputation, people won't trust you with thier instruments." -FiddleDoug 4. When considering to become a Violin Maker first consult and consider those that your choice would effect. 5. Overall, if you want to become a Violin Maker you will need; Determination, hard work, optimism, being able to branch out to clients and maintain your integrity, supporting spouse or family members, and many other aspects. If it really is what you want to do and you know it is for you,do not let the naysayers put you down or any cynicists. But it also is important to get down from a cloud to really take a look as one of you put it sobering, to have a realistic outlook on what you are getting yourself into. Thank you so much for all of your input and the support of this community. I really appreciate it and I hope that other Violin maker enthusiasts may see before making any final decision to read this thread. I made it this far in school and with the recommendations I might as well finish, my current path is leading me to Medical school. I am still going to be attempting to make a violin over the years as opportunity presents itself. Hopefully fulfilling my love for the violin as well as violin making! Aaron Towarak
  2. Hello Maestronet! I have quite a dilemna, as many of you know it is important to consider many things before making an informed decision. I have many questions for you violin makers out there both amateur and professional. I am 23 years old, and I am very passionate about the Violin. I currently am enrolled at a University in the Biology program. I love everything about the violin and enjoy messing around with different strings (probably have spent close to a 1000 dollars on different strings and just appreciating differences in strings and sound). I've also taken apart a few violins when I was younger (probably not very well) and just enjoy the shape of the violin also the new violin smell from a newly finished violin by a maker, you could say I have an obsessive personality. I am also looking into doing the Southern California Violin Making course as well as the American School of Violin Making. I have the neccesary tools, but lack basic woodworking skills such as sharpening. Also I have the Courtnall/Johnson book 'The Art of Violin Making' which is a good guide, but is a bit difficult to get started with just that. I also lack certain power tools that would make life a bit easier such as a band saw. I've looked around on the site for information but have further questions to ask. I have a few questions for you makers out there. 1. If you had the option to do it all over again, would you choose violin making and why? 2. Another question is, I am no longer on my own. I have a wife (in her final year of undergrad) and would like to one day have children, I am concerned with my capability to be able to provide the necessities for my family in the future. 3. The availability of apprenticeships or internships- Are they available and what does it entail? Usually how long do they last and what does life look like after graduating from a reputable Violin making school? of course there are other questions I would like to ask but these are the main questions I have been wondering about. I greatly appreciate any response and have enjoyed this board for many years. Aaron Towarak
  3. I will be at our Nations Capital here in a few months an was wondering how to schedule an appointment for instrument viewing and playing if possible? I have heard of a few of you doing this
  4. So I was browsing violinist.com a few weeks ago and came upon an interesting blog by Laurie Niles http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/20107/11473/ I think this is quite the exciting break in device, It is called an exciter, and it rotates inside at about 20,000 rotations a minute and transfers the sound through vibrations and creating something that comes to the ear as sound. The cool thing is, is that they are not at all expensive. about 10 dollars each. You could buy two for 16 dollars from the link below, I bought a pair for myself and should be here within the week and I will let you know how it goes. Some of you may be opposed by artificial breaking in, but a violin needs some loving. The violin I will be attaching it to is a Violin from 2009 by John Osnes (www.osnesviolins.com) I will post how I feel about it after trying it out, a week later a month later as well. At school though I would not be playing this 24/7. It would be nice to try this though. Thoughts? http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.c...tnumber=300-375
  5. They may sound good at a distance, and may have good resonance, but I believe that there are better bangs for your buck. I tried one probably 3 months ago. They had Helicore strings on them and at that price it just does not have much soul. It sounds good though, but unless you are playing the violin in the arctic or something then probably not, I would say it is more of a Gimmick. I was so tempted about 2 years ago to buy one, and I live in Alaska, but still there are better violins in that price range.
  6. Yeah it is beautiful, make sure you all put it in HD on the bottom right of the youtube video and watch it full screen
  7. So I could start it off, this is not a high quality sound sample, but here is the violin I own that I bought from a local maker from Anchorage, Alaska. As described in video it is a violin by John Osnes from late 2009 early 2010, it has a two piece bosnian maple back with a two piece sitka spruce top. I am not advertising on his behalf, but on my own accord, I bought the violin because I love the lower register, reminds me of a viola. I am not a professional, I've been playing for two years, this playing is not to move or inspire, but just a sound sample, for some reason the sound and video do not line up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oITdVxz4XGU
  8. Hello all, I was browsing youtube and thought, "I really love seeing new violins violas and cellos and their sound." But for those curious about modern makers sounds such as Zygmuntowicz, Alf, Curtin, and many other makers, decided that it might be a good idea to put many sound samples together of contemporary making instruments, or even of modern fine violins. Go ahead and post a youtube video of a quality sound sample for all you violin porn addicts. 2009 Sam Zygmuntowicz Viola played by Helena Baillie
  9. aaronjt

    old violins

    This is probably a naive question, but why is it being sold as Ruggeri, when it's being referred to as the works of the brothers amati, I played a brothers Amati in Chicago, I wish I could have spent more time playing it, but I remember immediately preferring the Brothers Amati over a Guarneri Del Gesu I played, I do not have the skill to pull out the sound of either, but the brothers amati is a lot more friendly in my mind, it was like playing love, and everything that came out of that violin was just so beautiful. I read that Kim Kashkashian had the same remarks as well as I did with Amati violins/viola they just sound too beautiful after awhile, which explains why she likes her Greiner. I feel that modern instruments have a bit more edge than the older violins because there is a bit more settling in needed, which is not a necessary bad thing in my opinion.
  10. I mainly posted the video because I found it interesting with the slow motion. Seeing Heifetz at 1/8th speed was quite more revealing than blurry old video
  11. I thought a few of you would find this interesting here is a video of heifetz with small parts of it playing in slow motion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju9ODQ2suKo Enjoy
  12. if this is what I think it is (advertisement) I think Ming Loo runs the website previously discussed, I could be wrong though.
  13. Sorry for not remembering the introduction, My name is Aaron Towarak, from Anchorage, Alaska. Originally from Unalakleet, Alaska a small coastal village south of Nome. I am an Alaska Native, the heritage is full Inupiaq. I was thinking that I am probably the first ever Violin Luthier from my culture, and probably one of the only violinists. I was also thinking, about bow frogs, because around here you could buy walrus ivory for about 75 dollars a pound from the locals, and I think there is a law that you could only buy ivory from an alaskan that already carved it, I was wondering if that would do good for bow frogs, just a thought. Aaron Towarak Anchorage, AK/Palmer, AK
  14. I probably spent about 600 dollars so far, does that 8000 dollars include tools like a drill press etc? seems like quite a bit, I bought some decent gouges, about 2 or 3 of them and 2 Ibex planes so far, wondering if a Flat whetstone will work to sharpen, or if I need something curved, bought a saw, and wondering what I should use for a clamping system, need to make a mold, wondering if I should make it one piece or just two piece.
  15. So the project has officially started July 9th, today I purchased wood from a local violin maker, some 33 year old wood from wales, decently flamed, good wood for a beginner, and all the other wood needed, bass bar, linings, blocks, fingerboard, scroll, etc. also have purchased many pfeil gouges and ibex planes including a saw, and many patterns, still need to buy a sharp knife, sharpening tools (does a 8000 grit whetstone work?) calipers are needed. But everything is set in motion and should have pictures of starting out here in a few weeks. Also a 9 1/2 plane, and going to try and even out the spruce and maple to potentially join the wood. Might need some assistance with that. Aaron
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