not telling

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  1. Halloween is a couple weeks away. You should have waited to post this nightmare.
  2. The actual reality, wherein the person who wrote...whatever that was...works as an editor for a respected pop culture magazine. Maybe a stretch, but it's still respected by some. Sick sad world. Apparently he is a successful musician too. Ok. Nothing surprises me about that.
  3. Hmm, but some people want to remove tension from the structure. If I had to guess, I'd guess that's what he wants to do. Why is everyone suddenly so rude to each other here? Apparently I must return to help civility and sweetness prevail on these forums once again. Yes, that was a joke.
  4. Adorable! Mine is almost 4, and one thing that's been fun is to give her a good vegetable peeler and very soft wood and/or wood with easily peeling bark. You can suggest she try to make a spoon, or just have fun whittling. Then walk away, don't help unless she asks. The newly ten-year-old built himself a motorcycle this summer (motorbike kit), and he has a continuous go-kart project. I spent less on all of my actual cars. But considering how many violin makers are also engineering-inclined, he may come back around to violins. For sure, being around violin making constantly has made making and fixing things so normal, whatever the things are. I'm grateful for that, absolutely! He's never asked for an Xbox...too many things to make.
  5. I think everyone does. That was so confusing to me, seeing Roger's recipe for varnish with linseed oil in grams. But if you're doing ratios of oil and resin...yes. It's obvious, which is why I didn't understand. I just knew it wasn't a typo, and scratched my head for days.
  6. All true. It's different though. I've been learning a lot about the whole situation lately. In the 1990's they couldn't make them fast enough. Now, it's a struggle to get jobs beyond repair. Some refurbishing. My husband's all excited because he's finally building one. Also, he will have a chance to learn from one of the Notre Dame organists, who will be at KU here for a year. Sad that the job isn't at Notre Dame anymore...but amazing to have him here. And you're right, there is definitely a culture and industry there. But the growing churches, the ones where more young people want to be, view the whole business of organs and hymns as a stodgy old guard. Along with it, sheet music.
  7. David, I know more about the market for Pokemon cards. Sorry. The ones being made now (within the last 20 years) won't appreciate for 50 years according to Q at my local guitar store. An expert, obviously. So, there you go. I don't personally tiptoe my nosy fingers into guitar forums ever, but she might want to, just to see what folks say. A good friend of ours makes awesome arch top guitars that are flying out the door and appreciating already after 10 years. A lot of guitar guys think what he does doesn't matter, because they are guitar guys, but say what they will, he sells everything easily to the people who want something real made by a person. Ideas appreciate more than objects can. Objects are only what the ideas say they are, right? The idea of a guitar, now, not being mass produced....suffice to say, he's doing great and doesn't look like that will change. So, I base my opinion on that, a little. Just a few people have to see what's going on, and that's all you need if your product is really great. What is interesting to me, is people assume most violins are made with great care by individuals with hand tools. The idea persists. And honestly, today you can buy a Gibson for under $1000 (and there's nothing better than a Gibson!), so $1000 seems like a huge investment on an instrument to people. $3000, and that's just huge... you're investing in the future there. I'm talking about the Midwest... I hope it's different elsewhere. You talk about $7,000...$20,000 for a new violin....or more? A lot of people think that is really crazy. Especially guitar people... So people expect completely handmade instruments, for nothing. Kansas though...not the best place for culture. I tell myself it's a regional difference. I know the whole country is mostly like this, but I can tell myself otherwise just to feel a little better. It's happening in the pipe organ industry too. Neither here nor there, most pipe organ factories aren't making many new organs. They refurbish some, but for the most part, new churches don't see the point or the value of some huge handmade set of pipes and parts. Why, when all you need is a guitar and a drum set to start a church "music program"? And a big PowerPoint setup, but on the bright side, they'll save on hymnals and so forth and even better, we don't need the people to learn how to read music to participate in the church service anymore. I kvetch a lot about the end of culture and whatever, but this is a big one. How many of us learned to read music at church? Looks like I enjoy ranting as much as David Beard. His rant is more focused and interesting though...I better stop.
  8. Martins are cheap crap (imo). Everyone, especially those doing violin work, knows that(*everyone whose opinion I have thus far sought on this issue, which I discussed with some of the few violin makers who talk to me about such things). But whether you were joking or not, you know that. You said it--$10,000 for a decal. It's true. They got cocky and are sailing along on their name. Handmade arch top guitars made by one highly trained person are superior in every way possible, and definitely in the details. Ok, that's an opinion. But I doubt the Martins being made now will appreciate. Lots of people (*the ones I discussed this with) agree with me.
  9. Anyone who has fallen in love with this photo should come to Kansas, where they can gaze upon such beauty for 300 miles, all the way to the Colorado border. It's easily the best or worst road trip possible, depending on how much you love that exact image, that one, right there. I can kind of see why such a photo could be iconic. And also why anyone would give it a 'meh' and not think it is anything special. Violins handmade by one person who knows what they are doing will always be better. Power tools build in lazy into the work, and bigger mistakes are possible if not inevitable. That's not an opinion. It's what happens. I've been in maestronet forums enough to see the pattern. You don't like that being said, when folks ask if they can fix this mistake or that one, or use this wood, or is that seam tight enough, can this be reglued, whatever...watch. The power tool users (for the most part) say it's fine, keep going. Those who are known for handwork suggest that in their opinion it's a redo. It's a different orientation not just to the process but to the importance of the integrity of the work itself. How is this conversation still going on?
  10. I got the impression that through personality changes and abnormal forgetfulness in other areas of his life, Womack was doing violin making as an in-house pro on Monday, and on Tuesday he had a total breakdown about having forgotten his skillset. It's just a horror story. The years of decline in other areas when one knows that day might be coming, too. Shudder. I don't know details...why he parted ways with Alex Ross in Omaha, or the exact work he did for Lisle. But Alex Ross used to speak of Womack almost reverently ("That bench over there? That was Mark Womack's"; "Mark Womack mentored some of our luthiers"; "We actually have a Mark Womack viola in right now!", etc.) I'm sorry about your father. I can relate. My mother though, and she was not accomplished in any field, but it would be nice if she recognized my face by now, or even remembered about having a daughter. Actually, she did remember that, but in her head I always stayed a newborn. Whenever I see her (not often) I have to meet her for the first time again and convince her that I am that newborn, but that several years passed in the meantime. It's a routine that is more than unpleasant for everyone.
  11. https://beta.washingtonpost.com/health/well-that-was-a-weird-moment-and-other-signs-of-dementia-family-members-should-watch-for/2019/07/12/71fab37a-820c-11e9-bce7-40b4105f7ca0_story.html?outputType=amp I heard anyone who knew Mark Womack knew about this a long time ago, but wow. He was active as a vm long into his illness. Just goes to show... he was well-known. Talented. Young. His adult daughter contributed to the article...he had to be in his 40's when this began. Alzheimer's and this FTD scares me to death, honestly. I always kind of assumed it's less likely to present as an issue for folks who work with their hands or even anyone who regularly thinks three-dimensionally, and I assumed playing music helps protect the brain too. The possibly very wrong idea being, you keep the neurons healthier longer with all of the hand eye coordination. But maybe not? Obviously it's genetic too, and if it's written (in the DNA), it'll happen. Anyway, I read this with much interest (and much horror) and thought such an article was worth sharing. I also find this to be an uncomfortable topic because of my family history, and presumably it's actually probably very unpleasant for anyone to think of, but worth reading the article maybe. I certainly don't expect comments, there's just not that much anyone could say. It's an awful story (even if it's interesting). Is Mark Womack alive and reading this article about himself?
  12. Uh...gee...thanks...I think. Both are evocative images, I guess. I think I mentioned before about the fine cello and violas and some violins that were made from off cuts of the pipe organ chests manufacturing process. My husband works at the pipe organ factory too, and naturally it pains him to see perfectly serviceable poplar, maple, and spruce thrown out. So he can't let that happen. The wood was plain, but suitable for shop model instruments. So, a step up from altered factory instruments for sure, as they were handmade start to finish basically by one person only... and also, these were not meant to compete with the signature instruments from anyone at the shop. I've always wondered where they ended up. The dealer, a big one in Minnesota, always had a buyer before they were done.
  13. The United States isn't just one place, that's what I like about it. But why not poke fun a little! Come on, I'm from the Great State of Kansas. I've heard all about myself and my part of the country from people who have never set foot here. At least I've been to Appalachia, and I even like it. I'm a sucker for all those gem mining tourist traps out that way. My grandma taught in Asheville and started to raise kids there. Asheville is rather more civilized than the surrounding area, but I have nothing against either. You will always hear about Deliverance and I will always get Wizard of Oz and the Scopes II hearings (2005). On the first day of college biology my teacher sneered at me for being from Kansas. I didn't take it personally. I knew the biology teacher from Kansas in the middle of the b.s. One more sophisticated and romantic rube once brought up the free love movement history of Kansas, like, heyyyy....Kansas.... excellent.... I guess hoping I believed in those ways. I like where I'm from well enough. No one's saying you don't do serious work. I know you do, I've heard of you. No need for the chip on your shoulder. Life is too short. Stereotypes have their place, but everyone can think past them too. I'm definitely not better than Deliverance references. I resent that you would suggest that. That movie is more scary than anything I've ever seen, much like the entire decade of the 1970's in which it was filmed ((no, I never saw the 70's, but I am sure it was all hideous and terrifying)). But, ok, that concept would work in certain bits of Northern California, some areas of Florida or Louisiana, Montana... pretty much anywhere isolated. Anywhere with cities and you would expect amateurs to find a serious shop and ask some questions. And then, as a result of those serious answers, one would expect the all-spruce fiddle to not happen. I can only hope.
  14. Likes the way you think. Straight varnished instruments are beautiful when they are done right, and they show off the luthier's skills fully. Antiquing a personal model is very head-scratching stuff. Any antiquing is kind of tragic. Make a perfect corner, wear it down to a nub, repeat 7 times? However, one thing... great antiquing is great antiquing. I don't think Nedelec or Phillips make cheap-looking instruments, do you? Unfortunately a lot of folks are antiquing, but are not great at it. Almost all antiquing could be compared with new Chinese cheap product, and sometimes (too often), unfavorably. Antiquing should not be used mostly to hide errors in making...that doesn't work.