Julian Cossmann Cooke

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About Julian Cossmann Cooke

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  • Birthday 10/19/55

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  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    Making; restoration; psychoacoustics; grounds and varnishes; aesthetic development of the violin family instruments form

    Studied with Karl Roy, Jim Robinson, and Zoran Stilin at UNH summer program for three years; completed studies at VMSA studying with Charles Woolf,Georg Meiwes, Sanghoon Lee, and Aubrey K. Alexander; attended 2016 and 2017 Oberlin Summer Restoration Workshop

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  1. Widely varying rib thicknesses

    And yet Brescian violas with thicknesses as much as 2mm manage to sound good. Another one of those interdependence things -- rib thicknesses, plate thicknesses, archings, wood characteristics...
  2. Widely varying rib thicknesses

    Treble: 1.22, 1.65, 2.0 from neck to end button; bass: 1.14, 1.14, 1.9. The pattern is the same as on the back of the posters -- centers of upper, c, and lower bouts.
  3. Widely varying rib thicknesses

    I just measured the rib thicknesses on a mid-19th century English viola. On the treble side, I found that on the same rib, there is a variance of up to .8mm between the lower and upper bouts, the the thickest being on the lower bout. The c falls roughly in the middle between the upper and lower. The bass upper and c-bout ribs are similar to the low end of the treble and are while the lower rib again roughly .8mm thicker and close to the same as the treble lower rib. This seems like an awful lot of variation, but then I am used to the uniformity that I was taught in school. Any chance there is a method to the madness? Or are things like the lower rib thicknesses both varying widely from their compatriots and being roughly equal to each other more likely just coincidental?
  4. Julian Cossmann Cooke's bench

    Even taking into consideration the challenges of outlining an intact instrument, here's to asymmetry and using a full template.
  5. Amati violas

    I just heard a Gabriella Kundert copy of the ex Primrose last night and mommy did it have a sound I associate with bigger violas -- though admittedly, I am just immersing myself in this world. Can anyone confirm that length?
  6. Julian Cossmann Cooke's bench

    Finally, stepping smartly out on the limb with a thread about what's on my bench. Starting with a photo of rib stock emerging from almost 70 years of oxidation. This is an acquisition from the Moennig auction at Tarisio in 2010 -- a bit of lark because my wife is a native of center city Philly. The ribs will find their way onto a viola modeled on a Craske owned by a local player, which coincidentally she bought years ago from Moennig. Poetic, no? As with the original, the flame varies from medium to huge, wavy, swimming stuff. Happens to be just the look I personally like. The back -- also quite varied in its figure -- likely will come from a supplier in Bavaria -- and the top is unevenly grained Italian, again a fair match to the original. I say modeled on because this is not a bench copy. I don't antique. This is not just a commercial proposition, but a great learning opportunity -- from being thorough and accurate in taking measurements and pics to working from the original "in the wood" to working with the client on her preferences, involving her at every major stage of the process. I think I'm in love with this process. More pics as the instrument takes shape.
  7. Digital Amati project

    Now that I've copied the outline of a viola I am copying, using the hole in the box method, it would be very interesting to try arriving at the outline using Harry's program and compare the two. I suspect, given the precision offered by the program, there would be differences. But it would be an interesting exercise -- maybe one more incentive to learn to use Harry's contribution to our trade.
  8. Secrets in the wood (Stradivari's maple)

    If you are beginning to understand the way my mind works, David, I advise being very afraid. And yes, I suspect there is a link between BO and halitosis. Another topic for one of our intrepid researchers. Does the heart attack come before the rotator cuff tear or after?
  9. Secrets in the wood (Stradivari's maple)

    David, one must dig deep into the murky accounts of personal amusements common in the times of the Ancients. My understanding is that a favored pastime was a game in which players flapped their arms vigorously on two sides of a table, moving air in the direction of the opposing team, seeking to send a feather across and over the edge of the table. The Italian name roughly translates as BO.
  10. Hills shop records

    Thank you for the extensive and informative post, Ben. I appreciate your taking the time and effort. I think I have pretty much decided this line of inquiry is a dead end for my purposes and have copied the outline using a method suggested to me by an established maker in New England. Once I have finalized the outline, I'll post a picture here. As for inspiration, I am motivated more by the opportunity to learn some of the techniques involved in copying when one has the instrument in hand as opposed to working strictly from photographs/posters. And then there is the commercial inducement -- a bird half in-hand being worth at least one-and-a-half birds on consignment somewhere. It's a full risk commission but between the above considerations, well-worth the risk for someone with a somewhat anachronistic approach to learning for being so early in my career as a maker.
  11. Green and purple pigments

    Both colors have come up in conversations with colleagues about some minor antiquing needed by a cello on which I've been asked to work. Needless to say, there will be extensive experimentation before anything is applied to the instrument. Otherwise, I would be of the same mind as VdA.
  12. Green and purple pigments

    Would anyone care to recommend specific green and purple pigments for antiquing? Lots of variants out there on the Kremer site...
  13. Antiquing techniques

    Did John ever write this up and was it published?
  14. Hills shop records

    The instrument for which I am trying to identify the model is a 16" viola labeled 1845. The bout widths don't appear to conform to any Amati violas for which I have data. del Gesu is out. Other Guarneri family members I have yet to research. Perhaps he reduced in size a Stradivari viola. I haven't looked at the dimensions of those yet. The search continues.
  15. Peg bushings and the Olympic rings

    I understand the concept of new peg hole alignment with the bushing of the old one. I just found it odd to find three interlocking holes/bushings because the positionings of at least some of the bushings did not correspond with reasonable placement of the pegs. So it's the three-way that has me confused. (See the pitch I sent fluttering over the plate, David?)