Jonathan M.

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About Jonathan M.

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  1. Thank you for all the wishes of 'good luck.' I appreciate the positive sentiments. Ben, I am all for higher efficiency or getting the most out of a given amount of time spent in Cremona. However, this logic seems risky as it lends itself to inactivity. When can one say they have developed enough skills and knowledge to understand the importance of the things that are out there? It is not a quantifiable question. I could indefinitely sit introspectively in my dorm room working on instruments without ever knowing I was 'ready' for the pilgrimage. No need to worry, the name is safe with me! The concern for the misrepresentation of oneself or one's violin making skill has emerged a couple times in this topic. It is strange how this thought portrays someone with passion for the art as a threat to the meaning and sacredness of the name Cremona. I do think it is important to respect those that are violin makers from Cremona or professional violin makers in general by reserving such titles. I will not take the assumptions personally. David, I am on a quest not to make violin making my profession. I went to engineering school so I could keep violin making a fun stress-free hobby. With that said, I am searching for inspiration when incorporating violins into my future. And I am searching for the thrill of learning a new way of life in a distant town centered around a skill I have passion for. Whether Cremona is or isnt like it used to be doesnt concern me as I understand the fact that few places have been able to keep traditions strong and pure. If nothing else, I am interested in the shear density of violin minded people in a single town.
  2. Arglebargle, the immersion is what I am looking for! In addition to being a piece of art, I suppose I look at the violin as a tool, an implement to connect me with both music and the culture of the people around me. If I were to stay in the United States to study violin making, I wouldn't be using this wooden tool or my own passion behind the wooden tool, most effectively. After-all, I am familiar with New Hampshire having grown up near by and I am acquainted with Los Angeles having gone to school in California. Not to say I am intimate with the life blood of these places, I just feel I have more ways to grow in a land that doesn't prescribe to the America way. When you went to Cremona, how did you make your contacts with the different shops? Did you need a working visa? Bob Sp, I appreciate your advice as well as the open mindedness you passed on to your daughter. I will take your encouragement to heart. I am about to complete my BS in mechanical engineering. The ultimate goal would be to figure out how to incorporate both into my future.
  3. Thanks Roderick and thanks Fiddlecollector, that is good honest feedback. I have considered the New Hampshire workshop but haven't heard of Michael's workshop. Ill look further into it. I have wanted to do some traveling in Northern Italy for quite some time. I figured it would be exciting to incorporate my passion for violin making into my traveling as a way to connect to the place, the people, the culture, instead of simply being a tourist. I do have the ability to pay for my own living expenses and potentially extra. How might that change the equation? Thanks, Jonathan
  4. I have spent several years trying to teach myself how to make violins and now I think it is time to observe and hopefully assist a professional. I will be graduating from college in May and cant think of a better time than this summer and this coming fall to follow my passion for the structure of the violin. I don't plan on making a living with violins, I plan on using violin making as a way to channel my creativity. My hope would be to work or volunteer in a violin shop in Cremona for several months doing odd jobs or even sweeping the floors perhaps in exchange for room and board. I live in California currently, speak English, and am trying to learn Italian. Does anyone know who I might contact to accomplish this goal? Here are a couple photos of whats currently on my workbench, all while I finish up my degree... Cheers, Jonathan
  5. I am in the need for a violin rib bending iron so I decided I am going to machine my own out of aluminum. It seems like there is a lot of variation in the shape when looking from the top down at a iron. I was wondering if there was a shape for the iron that has been known to work for most people. I am looking to make early 1700 Strad ribs for now. Once I get a good shape and I start the project I can post pictures of the process if anyone would like.
  6. Thanks for the advice. Now that you mention it maybe I should try to find some other varnishing method. It seems like a crime to put a cheap varnish on a violin you have spent so much time on.
  7. I have recently enjoyed watching the Harry Wake videocassette on violin varnish. I have tried and failed to locate a supplier of Nikerseeko (maybe spelled wrong) varnish and or Gamboge gum crystals which are both used during the movie. I am kind of interested in trying Harry's technique. Has anyone found these ingredients? Thanks
  8. What is the preferred method of fixing a widening back plate seam? Is it best to glue down little studs to reinforce the gap and then pare the studs away? I always appreciate the help. thanks
  9. Does anybody known the names Hemstrom and F.G Hack? I just got a violin made on July 18, 1914 by these makers in Brooklyn. New York. Any help is appreciated thank you.
  10. Thanks so much Melving. I found a piece of dried paint bridging the gap between the f hole wing and the spruce belly. I had heard of something like that before but had completely forgot to look. You saved the day. And I learned a good lesson. It is funny how something so simple can destroy something so complex and beautiful.
  11. I just completed my new violin two weeks ago and it sounded great. In the two weeks I have not had a any problems with it until now. I was playing it tonight and all of a sudden after 5 minutes or so it started to buzz and sound awful. The buzzing is on all four strings. I noticed when I lightly press down on the treble side f hole the buzzing decreases but does bot completely go away. Any help would be greatly appreciated I would love to get the great tone back as soon as possible. Thanks
  12. Thanks for all the help. I do have cold pressed linseed oil. I was thinking maybe I could mix a very small amount of burnt umber oil paint into the linseed oil than rub it into the neck. Also has anyone tried the potassium silicate and tannic acid on the neck as described in "The Art of Violin making."
  13. What is recommended when finishing the neck of a violin? Would boiled linseed oil do the trick? Thanks
  14. Does any one know a good website to buy beginner / intermediate violin bows online? Thanks for the help
  15. I have not put the bassbar on. I was thinking could my heavy top plate be due to high humidity in my basement. If so then how much of an effect would the humidity have?