francoisdenis

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About francoisdenis

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    Male
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    Angers France
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    Organology, history of science and art

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  1. francoisdenis

    Best contemporary luthiers

    I have the french edition no idea of any translation
  2. francoisdenis

    Best contemporary luthiers

    Paul Kaul was an interessting man working not far from my workshop strong defender of the modern violinmaking tireless fighter against the ancient's tyrany. He wrote a rare book (published in 1927) on this topic with some funny anecdocts about competitions betweens ancienst and moderns at the turn of the 19th century.
  3. francoisdenis

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Deformation analysis depends on the reference chosen (plan or axis of symmetry in the case of an outline). In the example of the Strad, rather than seeing a collapsed vault, we can consider that top and the bottom blocks have been pushed upwards and that the motion has been thwarted by the pressure of the bridge. The result is that the deformation is reflected in the long-arch under the fingerboard and under the tailpiece. In this case the the long-arch original form reconstruction demands to -lowered the plan of the top and bottom blocks - lengthen the length of the table (You can reproduce this experience of distorcion easly usind a simple strip of wood on a bench)
  4. francoisdenis

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    What I heard from CF about that point is that this musician was not one of the players but one of the promoters of the project. His results have been rejected only because he had seen the instruments before the audition test.
  5. francoisdenis

    Central soundpost (Christian Rault)

    here is a Xray picture of an untouched violin from the earlier XVII° century with a central soundpost It seems reasonnable to considere that different of setting have coexisted for a while in relation with the local traditions
  6. francoisdenis

    Central soundpost (Christian Rault)

    Soundpost viol seems to have been in used far earlier. The wall painting in Knights' Hall of Goldegg Castle in the Pongau area (1536) seems to testifiy of that. Interrestingly only one viol (vihuela on the right) of the consort seems to use this item... Both mobile accessories (a mean removable bridges and sound post), probably existed for a while a the earlier XVI° century a soon as some crazy people start to want play a luth with a bow in the first half of the XV° century An example of a second unglued bridge clearly visible add to a luth to make possible the use of a bow (XV° century)
  7. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Could you say a bit more about that Michael?
  8. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Glad to learn that violins of the level of those made by the Amati or Strad were made in Ireland until the year 50 . A pity that it is not much knowed What I see most often are poorly copied models and poorly varnishes. But I agree that mass availabiltty of information is the cause of massive homogenization and also....a signifiant improvement of the production. But maybe that's not our subject. Regarding making, difficult to deni that hand tools we have today are easier to use than those of the past. I also learned to make joints with a long wooden plane and it asked me time and technic not easy to acquire. To summarize, the less advanced tools you have, the more you need to learn to do if you do not want to spend a lot of time there. Of course the approach is very interesting and i will say a necessity. We definitly must encourage all the curious to take an interest in it. This would make it possible to realize that theories can collapse as soon as one takes the trouble to use the techniques of the past. To talk about a subject that I know a little, start by hand planed a walnut board, draw a shape taking care to recover 6 templates for corners and blocks, cut the board by hand, finish it with at rape then bend the ribs on the iron heated with coal. You will quickly realize that you have some problems with symmetry... no need then to invent a theory of pushing the neck to the right or left to explain the asymmetries that we observe on the old instruments. It is just an example. Knowledges supported by the mnemotechny has been a more tricky and facinating question for me
  9. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Think about everything that should be eliminated from our environment. No electricity to cook varnish, no thermometer to take the temperature, no lighting, no bookcase lined with violin books, no nielsen plane, no japanese saw etc... etc. who could pretend et demonstrate that he is able to make violin like a Strad in these conditions? I worked many years on this topic and I found difficult to get back only on few of this point. Think for exemple to the way you store and get access to info now and compare it to the fact that most of the craftmen processes of making depended of some kind of mnemotechnic systems. Do you know these systems? Are you aware of them?
  10. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    "replication" is not the word I have in my mind but anyway today, how many makers would be able do make a nice violin in the XVI, XVII° century conditions? I'm not for sure
  11. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    May be we could get more than beliefs and statements on that point. I don not defend any position but is it possible to find any scholar investigation on that topic? But, I know of experience, that common craftsmen from today or from the past, get few chance to catch any interesst on this side....
  12. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Don, it remains the question of Delabo "How does one replicate what it was to live and think like a 17th century Cremonese person ?" is a good one and you dont seem to consider it serioulsy. Social and cultural environment affects the education of our senses without the individual being aware of it. This last point is important. Imagine something you have never felt because you have not been educated for that. Obvioulsly you will never feel the lack of that feeling simply because you don't know it but, this is more embarrassing, you will not understand everything that acts where reacts in response to this sensory experience that you lack. Worse, we do not like the idea of being amputated of something and ( and more if your are one the scientific side) so we tend to believe that we feel things like our ancestors did, this leads us to denial poses that destroy our assessment abilities. The importance of the evolution of human sensory capacity is largely underestimated because, despite abundant evidences, its principle is intellectually difficult to accept. Note that I speak in terms of "evolution of capabilities" and not only in terms of "capacity reduction". If you want some examples just ask
  13. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Which kind of "right tool" do you used to do this?
  14. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    O.K. add "only Strad's instruments sound like a Strad ;-) " Is it a kind of joke? the preposition is always right "a Sora sound like a sora "... may be I missunderstand
  15. francoisdenis

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    hand made rasped ebony is what i found to work the best for me. I did not get good result with the but may it was the wrong quality ...anyway ebony is easy to find for us. I get the nodal using with a bow .