Julian Cossmann Cooke

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About Julian Cossmann Cooke

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    Enthusiast
  • Birthday 10/19/1955

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    http://www.cossmannviolins.com
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    Making; restoration; psychoacoustics; grounds and varnishes; aesthetic and tonal development of the violin family instruments form

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  1. For anyone who plays blues violin, what progression do you recommend to move into that style of playing? I have taken classical lessons off and on for the last 50 years. My skills aren't bad, if a bit rusty, and am a maker. By progression, I am referring to something like: 1. Basic fiddle skills; 2. Listening to blues fiddlers; 3. Basic blues fiddle concepts, including fingerings and "licks"; 4. Find a blues fiddler who can provide tips; 5. Work from recordings (or a specific book?)
  2. For the initial work on the fluting, I use a curved Iwasaki. It produces a very smooth cut so minimizes necessary scraping. It does not yield the proper fluting in the Stradivari style, but that can be added toward the last stages using scrapers or other tools. I like the Iwasaki curved round because the convex shape is easier to match to the curves of the fluting: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/iwasaki-curved-half-round-fine-file?via=573621f469702d06760016cd%2C5764197769702d3baa0002e9 I can't remember whether these are among the chemically treated Iwasakis that seem to cut better.
  3. Right you are, David. The recordings will be available to VSA member non-attendees starting next month. VSA has been moving the recordings over to Vimeo from YouTube. Attendees should be able to access the recordings now unless some are still in transit to the new site. The intent is that they be available "in perpetuity" like the Proceedings Journal -- if you kept your copies ;)) --, just in e-form. So anyone who joins or renews at any time should be able to access the material starting next year. An email will be going out to the membership next month. I'll provide a heads-up when
  4. When I was searching for a microscope, I was impressed by the LabX.com lab gear auctions. If you have your specs well-defined, you may be able to find what you are looking for at a reasonable price. Bidspotter.com is another option. Of course, I also looked on eBay. Even if there is a return option, though, these things are monsters from a shipping expense standpoint. My sense from looking at things like reviews online is that it is hard to go wrong on quality with an older Bausch&Lomb which is what I ended up buying. It is adjustable both laterally and vertically and gives me pl
  5. Bench space is in hatch marks. Shelves are dotted. Bench island is in chessboard. Dashes are hutches on top of a cabinet. Inside features not to scale -- but close. Woodworking on the left of the half wall and machine room on the right. Two areas are also separated by clear warehouse curtain strips which keep AC, heat from being wasted in the machine room.
  6. Much of what follows already has been mentioned. But the list reflects what I wish I did or did more of and consequently what I try to impress upon the occasional first-time maker who asks me to look over their shoulder. 1. Marry -- or otherwise partner -- well. And yes, my wife who has conventional employment knows I say that. 2. There's an amazing amount of fascinating stuff about this trade and places to find information. But resist siren song of digging into everything at the outset. Focus on the basics. Get those down. Plenty of opportunity to branch (and nerd) out
  7. I've been reading the Cahill book The Gifts of the Jews and your reference to Michelman brings to mind the worldview of the Sumerians -- the Wheel, everything coming back around, rendering life predictable. I thought I was done with Michelman and yet -- here he is again! I guess if I lived in ancient Sumer, the inevitability of his turning up would have been a given. Up until now, nothing has motivated me to take him back down off the shelf, but this will do the trick.
  8. Well, I think she is more sentimental about the instrument that she played professionally than insane. Now, sentimentality about the family VSO AND being willing to pay the going rate for significant repairs? Might be a horse of a different feather. As to ordering, it was more a matter of her saying "Sure, you can have my viola for a couple weeks to make measurements and we'll see how it turns out" and my saying "Of course, no commitment on your part to buy." Once again, perhaps my choice of words implied something else.
  9. Point taken, WB. Please know that a change to my use of the nomenclature will be thoroughgoing -- not just here, but on social media as well. That said, I don't recall my ever saying that even the terms "model" or "inspired by" involve only soundhole tracing and outline design of an original. That may or may not be what your statement was meant to imply, For purposes of clarity in this dialogue, I still use what arching information I have on instruments so described by me. I use all available dimensional information. Where I can -- as I am doing in the case of the Craske -- I oft
  10. All good points, WB. I appreciate the effort that went into steering clear of condescension. And if that statement itself sounds snarky, I don't mean it to be. The job of upolding a culture of respect on MN belongs to all of us. This IS both less and more complicated than making a bench copy. You are absolutely right. If this were going to be a true bench copy, I would have at least done laser arching shots. So, strictly speaking, we are talking about something simpler -- a viola modeled on a specific Craske. The challenge of reflecting the precision of a bench copy has been eliminat
  11. Oooooh! It's a great resource. Annual subscription of $45. 460+ instruments with background notes, dimensions, photos, arching drawings, and laser arching pics. Admind by the folks at David Kerr Violin Shop in Portland. http://luthierslibrary.com/luthiers_library/ http://www.luthierslibrary.com/faq.html#faq-8
  12. Back to working on the Craske viola copy model. [cue ] Checking my files, I see I have detailed graduations and lots of photos. But I have nothing on arching. I can find information on Stradivaris of which he was known to make copies. Assuming I can find something close in rib height, length and widths. But I thought I would check here and see if anyone has any leads. Not that there are a lot of folks making Craske copies. I wouldn't be either if it weren't for a friend who sold her original and may be interested in buying this one instrument. And then there is the exercis
  13. I use a small muller -- about 2" across -- and find I waste less pigment. But maybe that's an illusion. I just find I spend less time scraping everything back up into a pile for further mulling since I tend to make small batches. I also use a coffee grinder starting out -- I cheat? -- to start out with a finer consistency, reducing the time. I have mixed turps or alcohol with the pigment as it comes off the filter -- turps for oil varnish, alcohol for spirit --, I get a "mud" which stays wet in a sealed jar for quite a while. Sounds a little like what Michael does, though the oil
  14. David, is his own mover and seconder, but in case he gave me his proxy and I didn't get the message...I second his emotion. Sorry, Smoker fans, but... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO5YmKrxnSY
  15. I've been looking at Brescian viol archings for further clues to those found on the violin family instruments from that city. Found some really nice photos here, though not specifically of archings. Still, if you like Brescian, they're worth a gander. https://emuseum.nmmusd.org/search/viol/objects/images?page=1