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Joseph Liu

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Everything posted by Joseph Liu

  1. Larry, I agree with what you are saying. It is somewhat similar in the US. People with money would rather buy non-Chinese violins, even though Chinese instruments have vastly improved in the last 20 years. Older instruments have until recently been out of most people's budget in China, but when the Chinese currency starts to be controled by the market instead of the Chinese government, everything Western will suddenly become a lot cheaper to the Chinese!
  2. Glenn, I am thinking more of old instruments instead of new instruments. Taiwan is often viewed as a model for Chinese economic growth. By this, I mean that the economic growth pattern from the 1950's to today in Taiwan can be used to predict the market growth pattern in China. The difference is that China is growing much faster. Today Taiwan has one of the largest collections of valuable old instruments in the world in Tainan's Chi-Mei foundation. They do not just buy from Taiwanese or Chinese dealers. Carl Becker's shop set up a branch in Taiwan a few years ago. I think a Taiwanese person runs it now. The number of people who can afford older Italian instruments in China is growing rapidly. There are also many conservatories and orchestras in big cities. Many Chinese parents encourage their kids to learn to play piano and violin. That's why I think it's a matter of a few years instead of decades before China catches on.
  3. I just read the news article about GM selling more cars in China than in the US. article here We have known that the Chinese have been shipping tons of instruments to the US and perhaps the European market, but so far they haven't been buying a lot of instruments from foreign countries. I believe things will change soon. GM was one of the first to enter the Chinese market when they had to invest a lot of money with little return, and now Buick is one of the most popular brands in China. Western violin dealers who can step into the big cities of China, I believe, will reap the benefits in the next few years.
  4. This link is from a Canadian violin maker showing coloring and varnishing of colored wood for antiqued instrument making. My link
  5. I buy mine from Metzler's Violin Shop. They have a very good selection and an online store www.metzlerviolins.com. I usually go to the physical store to browse since they are only about 20 minutes from where I live.
  6. Used copies for sale seem to be hard to find. Although for collectors, Margaret has a couple of leather bound deluxe editions that are very rare. I don't know if she wants to sell them.
  7. Very interesting looking instrument and very ugly at the same time.
  8. I agree with Fiddlecollector. According to Hoadley's Understanding Wood, "Molds live mainly on the surface of the wood, while stains invade the cell structure. Both principally live off carbohydrates stored in parenchyma cells. Because their work is confined essentially to sapwood, they are termed sapstains. Since tehy commonly produce a buish-gray discoloration, the term blue stain is often applied. The main problem with sapstains is this discoloration (Figure 2.44), not structural cellular damage." The quote is from the 2000 edition on page 40. The figure is a picture of the white pine board with severe blue-staining.
  9. I just bought some tonewood from them recently. Excellent Engelmann spruce and big leaf maple. Excellent service. I have not tried to call them, but they answered their emails pretty quickly.
  10. There is a hardwood supplier here in Southern California that had a lot of pernambuco a few years ago when I went. They might still have some. http://www.eisenbrandhardwoods.com/ Another species that is in the same family as pernambuco with similar coloring is Chakte Viga. It is more widely available. Hope this helps.
  11. I got to meet gold medal winner Paul Sadka there for the first time. I believe he also won three gold medal for his bows at this competition. He was just a very nice person and very humble. The bows looked beautiful. I didn't get to see the bass bows this time, because every time I wanted to see them, there was a crowd of people looking at them.
  12. There were a lot of good instruments and bows at the competition. My friend from school, Luke Degner, won a Silver Medal in Workmanship for his violin. He is probably not very well known outside of his coworkers or people who went to school with him. He went to the Chicago School with me for three years, then the Salt Lake School for a year. Then he went to work at the Beare shop in Dallas for several years before going to the Beare shop in London for two years. Currently he lives and works on his own in Wisconsin. The violin was antiqued beautifully and sounded great.
  13. This German company that makes tools for Gewa sells nipple cutters. The item link is: http://www.aehnelt-tools.com/shop/product_...f3f5f4f5caab328
  14. Hi Ed: I don't know if all Maire bows have greater curves toward the handle compare to other bows. The one that I copied had about a 3 inch area behind the head that was flat when the bow is tightened. The rest of the bow had very strong camber compared with most bows that I have seen. The few Maire bows that I have examined closely had relatively flat areas behind the head compared with Fetique, Sartory, and most German bows. Jessupe: I think bow making takes very different skills and tools. I like making both instruments and bows. That's why I do both. Good bow makers usually make their own frogs and buttons which require metal work and silversmithing. A lathe is also required for making cutters and turning the button. A great violin maker does not need to know how to make pegs and tailpieces, but it would be hard for a bow maker to be great without making frogs and buttons.
  15. Oh. Thanks for the explanation of VSO. You guys are funny!
  16. Thank you! I used simple un-colored oil varnish for the ground coat. I takes a while to dry, but works well for me and does not penetrate too much.
  17. Thanks for the complements! The bow that I copied had a rounded front slope of the head (no ridge in front of the head) like Janito's first link. The frog, the eye postion, and the button looked like the second of Janito's link. I decided to use Paua abalone from New Zealand. Paua has tighter grain lines and more blue-ish green color than green abalone that you can find here in California. I don't know if Maire ever used green abalone, but he probably never used Paua.
  18. Joseph Liu

    New Bow

    Just finished this violin bow. It is a copy (with different color and shell species) of a Nicolas Maire. The original has a very light weight pernambuco stick. It also has a camber that is quite flat behind the head and very strong towards the winding. I pretty much used both the thicknessing (graduation) and the camber of the original bow. I thought it would not be a easy bow to control but turned out just the opposite. I used pernambuso, Madagascar ebony, Paua abalone, and sterling silver for the bow.
  19. Thanks Alma! Records International seems to have many CDs I am looking for!
  20. Thanks for the list! I will take a look through it.
  21. Since the closing of all the local Tower Records, I haven't bought Classical music CDs or DVDs in local stores. The only place I have bought them is from Amazon.com. I don't like the selection at Barnes and Noble, Borders or Best Buy. I miss going to a good store with knowledgeable sales people and a good selection. Does anyone here buy CDs or DVDs from a good physical store? Do you have recommendations?
  22. The frog and button look like they are made from bone. Stick doesn't look like anything special. I think the frog, button, screw, and eyelet belong together and are quite old.
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