James M. Jones

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About James M. Jones

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  • Birthday 06/12/1966

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    Mason Wiconsin U S A
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    I have been working as artist craftsman since 1983. In 92 I began a three year apprenticeship for blacksmithing /doing fine architectural work in the high style. and have been working in the field since .In2007 I was able to attend a semester of violin school. My goal is tho create works that honor the work of the masters . I am happy to have MN to continue my learning

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  1. James M. Jones

    new Strad recordings

    So ... big picture stuff, are we better or worse off as a musical culture with or without the project? Does it directly in someway threaten the livelihood of working musicians? Not a big fan of virtual music, not a fan at all, and not every strad is great, mostly seeing it as a makers aid of sorts, raw information without artistic overlay, might provide some clue for makers without direct access to the instruments. Like a strad poster ,imperfect but a damm sight better than blueprints.
  2. James M. Jones

    new Strad recordings

    I read they were recording plucked string, doubles, transitions, . Sort of an every sound and combination, possible approach, doesn’t,t seem like they used any sort of anabolic chamber to record a truly flat sound , rather utilizing the hall, a major contributor to what we hear in the end. Still though ,seems a cool endeavor. What else ya gonna do with 32 mic,s and keys to the city?
  3. James M. Jones

    The old and the future. Am I on the wrong path?

    That,s on my list of things not to do before I die!
  4. James M. Jones

    The old and the future. Am I on the wrong path?

    Ok. I did , watch the video and I did say thirty foot waves was a stretch...so , did also say I’m sure the bearing sea can be exciting , I,m trying to describe the wave action its self is very different from big water. being narrow peak to peak and very steep , with multiple angle of waves , Don,t need tall waves when there’s one every four five seconds ripping from three directions , every year folks with that additude end up dead. Look up the number of sunken ships in the lakes , there’s a reason why lake pilots are a profession separate from big ocean captains. Again not trying to discount your experience, just trying to not have you hammer on ours,. Have you been on a laker during a November squal? Under sail. .? Can you compare? Who,s better Strad or DelGesu.?
  5. James M. Jones

    new Strad recordings

    I mean who knows right? Can,t realy access those old instruments tonaly , in the event that some drastic circumstances arise, might be real cool to have some audio , I generally agree with using it in place of a performer real time, however, if several top players music producers museums curator the mayor and technical staff all agree that closing the streets for five weeks to try and record as many different tones as possible , on instruments that in some cases may rarely if ever be heard again, commercial endeavor or not , I,m interested in hearing what they come up with.might be real cool to hear a piece composed with the source as well, depending on the artist.
  6. James M. Jones

    The old and the future. Am I on the wrong path?

    Not to put to fine a point on the subject, firstly yea 60 foot is a stretch even thirty but in Dave,s defense ,it,s hard to get an accurate read on wave height while trying not to drown, so... yea, however...., 30 feet on the ocean is minor compared to the Great Lakes considering the crest to crest frequency of the lakes is much shorter the actual angles of rise and run and the reflections of other wave from the shore, tend to be a much bumpier ride, the frequency of the waves also demands a shorter waterline so as to not straddle or bog in the waves, being under sail adds yet another layer, changes happen quick and often , The lakes eat boats and folks and lots of both , , in fact we , my wife’s cousin was the man overboard this year, woke up dead, Sharp strong experience crewed in , fun, a huge loss. Folks that never been there wonder why they didn’t,t throw a ring....I have and don,t .......not that bearing sea on 30 footer in a boat six times that doesn’t sound exiting,..it does , but the lakes are to respected..... bringing it back to violin making sailing does seem an apt analogy for violin making , get suitable tools do your best , spend time and money, succeed and fail...live for the love of doing ...and die.
  7. James M. Jones

    new Strad recordings

    Thought this was interesting, wish I was the linking type, but apparently there is a project , recording strad del Gesu And Amati going on in Cremona, the goal is to record as many sounds as possible, using some thirty two mics to capture as broad a range of tones as possible from the instruments , they even blocked off the streets for five weeks so the rumble of traffic was cut off. The individual tones and combinations of styles of production will then be assembled into catalogue and made available.....people will be able to select and assemble music made with the bites.... kinda cool I thought. Might provide also some info to makers who are out side of the close sphere of people who get to actually hear the golden oldies up close and personal like. The recording as I understand were made as technical as possible as opposed to performance pieces trying to capture the accuracy of tone vs enhance the player. So they should be very flat. Just thought folks might like to know about it.
  8. James M. Jones

    The old and the future. Am I on the wrong path?

    I,m pretty sure Strads shop was a bit more developed than the average, though Del Gesu might have worked with less. The standard rule of thumb is that a first rate crafts man can do more with less , than a second rate can do with more. That said, modern makers and probably those of the past as well tend to place a emphasis on highest quality, suitable tools , within reason and purse of course. Continuous Education also is a pattern among modern makers as well.. almost a central tenant to the work , good education, good tools , good wood, good eye, good hands. Good work. You just might not have talent....or you might , but do not recognize it, without seeing your work ...who,s to judge. Can,t say what anyone’s path should be, that,s up to you.alone.
  9. James M. Jones

    Do you make your own varnish or purchase from a vendor?

    No sense making a stink over something we have no proof of....gotta take it with a grain of salt. For what it,s worth though, we do have solid evidence that varnish making was ,at least for some, a special skill set requiring all the nuance of any professional, and almost certainly carried no small economic weight, considering all the artifacts covered with the stuff. In my own oil /rosin varnish making , I have burnt and ruined plenty , had mixed results, noticed a big difference in ingredients and other variables add up in the same way as violin making, it is conceivable then that while some makers might have made their own , given they were trying earn a living first and foremost, they might have simply utilized what was readily available.
  10. James M. Jones

    Neck set measuring tool

    That,s not a measurement builders use . ....not that I am aware of . Projecting the Fb or neck surface to the body stop and down works a charm though.
  11. I wonder... did violin making ever completely ceace in Cremona? If so about when, ? And then when did the resurgent movement begin?
  12. Bespoke.... lol... back in the day we just said “custom” really though I get the point ...as in my first comment , “ virtually the same craftsmanship” And agree that today it is impossible to determine country of origin, however...most people buying track shoes though have no expectations of reselling them for as much or more than they bought them for. Violins are in fact items of culture and as such they are open to a wide array of bias and preconceived ideas, what works for one, could simply be a vso to another. As makers we are constantly on the lookout for the bigger picture, what do others think of our work? How does our work fit into the long established ideas of what a good violin is? If shadow puppets shared the same broad cultural impact as violins ...would we see the ones produced for hundreds of years in Indonesia as exactly equal in value to ones made in Wales for decades? I think not , or how about a kantana made in Canada? Sales ,and associate values are built on trust, and people love stories. The trust needn’t be justified , nor the story true, but that is how the culture works. I’ve,e never felt comfortable trying to tear down the competition, but rather highlight the qualities of my own works.
  13. James M. Jones

    So...Why didn't the Italians make good violin bows, too?

    They did make good bows , for the day. One thing the Italians lacked was a colonial foot hold in the new world,the source of pernambuco,a superior wood for bows. I suspect also technical advancements made the production of screws and nuts easy and Gluck by the time the modern bow was invented. Playing styles has also evolved placing new demands on bow makers.
  14. Agreed , thankfully there are lots of really great makers to help dispel the superstitions and waylay the scammers, If I might argue a fine point though, , the culture of violin making ,like many others, would seem best passed on from teacher to student, Not book to student , or web blog to student, I think the violins of the Mexican tiawarra tribe offer an exemplary example of how ideas get made over by culture. Without having the cultural background they supplanted their own construct of what good is. Not saying one can not learn the culture of violin making very well , but without some background , it would take a very special individual to carry it to the highest level. People are strange , the violin world even stranger, on one hand , we only become involved with them because of an emotional response, On the other ,one must be very critical of detail,or risk being taken advantage of.