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MANFIO

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Everything posted by MANFIO

  1. I can see the "flaws". The channel is much wider in some regions, the curve is not smooth in others, and così via. Just enlarge the picture and you will notice that.
  2. Hummm here the description of Del Gesùs/his wife Katarina/ and his father purflings, with very sharp tools, "niente vino in testa", no worries, etc. : See how consistent was Del Gesù purfling, in the words of our Roger Hargrave. Violin 1: the purfling, disrupted by the deep figure, is delightfully crinky... Ocacasional wild knife cuts stray outside the purfling slot and the varnish has sunk into the gaps in the purfling, which is a little loose in the channel. In most of the corners, the innermost point within the mitre has chipped away during the excavation of the channel. Violin 2: The purfling is haphazard, the corner mitres quickly made, and knive strokes still clearly visible from the initial marking of the channel. Within the channel, the purfling itself is frequently buckled, althouhg the black and white strips remain glued together... ... some effort was made to create an extended mitre in the corners, in the style of Stradivari, but all the corners vary considerably in the lenght and direction of the point. Again, the purfling channel follows the uneven knive cut of the edge, and is far from smooth in it's course. Violin 3: The purfling in this violin is certainly the coarsest encountered so far. The channel varies considerably in width, and the purflings are by turn constricted or free to wander from side do side within it. The purfling in the lower bouts meets in the usual sloping scarf joint on the centre seam, but the downward knive stroke wich formed it has scarred deeply into the back. In the corners, the purfling naturally takes the shortest route between two points of the oversized channel and runs in straight lines, forming the short mitres virtually as a right angle. Violin 4 - The purfling is rather narrow, squeezed into a tightly cut slot with barely enough room for the black strips. Nevertheless, the slot meanders slightly around the edge, and the purfling is generally distorted, the tight curves in the corners are formed by a series of cracks, the sloping joint to the left of pin in the lower bout is hopelessly awry, and the knife cut still scars the surface of the back. Violin 5 - Here and there gaps have been filled with slips of maple, and the purfling corners do not always meet cleanly, but the impression is of unusal precision. Violin 6 - The purfling is not inlaid smoothly, but follows the knife-cut facets of the edge closely. It fits snugly into its channel, with no sign of any filler, although there are several unconcealed gaps where the purflings do not quite meet in the corner mitres. Violin 7 - The purfling is somewhat forced into a narrow channel and in some places the black strip disappears entirely. Violin 8 - The purfling stands a little proud of its channel and is unusually wide. Even so, the slot has generally been cut wider than the pufling, and much filler has been used around the bouts. Violin 9 - The pufling is extremely shaky. Huge deflections appear in the lower bouts of the back, and the two strands of pufling have been forced too tightly into a butt join sligtly to the left of the pin, causing dramatic buckling. The purfling itself seems to have been cut from two different directions at this poind and does not quite meet, wich must have added considerably to the difficulty of inserting and joining the purfling. The resulting gaps are pugged with filler paste. The black strips have generally faded to grey, and disappear entirely at various points in the middle and upper bouts of the back on the bass side. Violin 10 - The slot for the purfling is frantically cut. The knife slashed roughly along its intended route, leaving marks wich career over the finished edge. The mitres are only approximately formed; the large gaps were sometimes quickly filled with paste or simply left open. The purfling pursues a hesitant course, stopping short of the end of the corner, and meandering across the wide channel. The black stris are unevenly stained. They are quite brown under the varnish and grey were exposed, but in other paces apper to have aborbed some of the filler, and remain a very deep black. These descriptions correspond to these Del Gesù's violins: 1 - Joachim, 1737; 2 Ysaye 1740; 3 - Heifetz 1740; 4 - Vieuxtemps, 1741; 5 - Lord Wilton, 1742; 6 - Cannon, 1743; 7 - Carrodus, 1743; 8 - Sauret, 1743; 9 - Doyen, 1744; 10 - Ole Bull, 1744. These 10 violins are among the 25 ones in Biddulph's book, that is, they are the pick of the pile.
  3. If you take, for instance, the 1735 pochette by Guarneri del Gesù, that is in mint condition, totally coated with colored varnish. You can't see the tool marks, but they are certainly there. You can't see them because the coloured varnish is covering them all... Give it 400 years of use, the varnish will get thin, the colour will go away, and you will see them. As the boarders of the tool marks start to worn out, you will see the tool marks.
  4. The freedom of a painter can't compare with that of a violin maker.... we work with tenths of milimeters, we have to follow a "grammar". But Van Gogh used the technique he found was suitable to convey his art.
  5. We are too much StradCentric. Strad - and the Amatis - clean, neat work is much more an exception in violin making than a rule, mainly when we consider the classic Italian period. And yes, all the tool marks eventually can disappear with the obssessive/compulsive use sand paper. That is what many are doing right now.
  6. Yep. Here a photo I took from a nice Van Gogh, side view. It is thick, tridimentional. It was certainly frowned upon by most connoisseurs in his time, they would see it as naive painting.
  7. As some mentioned here, the scroll, the end of ribs, places were the toothed plane was used. Every wood is different, every carving day is different, one day you may lack patience, the other you drank too much, the other you was working at night, the other your tool was not all that sharpened, you was carving a wood that chipped a lot, etc. Tool marks are also the result of the personality of the maker. They are much more abundant in del Gesù tnan in Stradivari's work. I will mention my personal case. I always struggled to get a more clean, neat woodwork. It is darn difficult. It seems my hands will be always be there. Wen we see a good instrument, we will see the "hand" of the maker there.
  8. Nope, they are the result of the technique and tools used by the maker. As Davide Sora mentioned, these tool marks were barely visible when the instrument was new. As the varnish wears and becomes thinner, the tool marks become visible. This was very true for makers like del Gesù, Storioni and the Brescians in general. The coloured varnish covered the gaps left by the tool marks when the instruments were new. Here it is not a question of mistake or incompetence. But some Chinese instruments made today will have no tool marks but.... they are not Scarampellas!!!
  9. I prepared scroll carving tutorial many years ago, if you google MANFIO SCROLL CARVING STEP BY STEP you will find it.
  10. Tool marks are ok when they are "natural". I really don't like the "artificial" ones we see in many instruments today. I think tool marks are a bit like symmetry.... The maker never wants to make an asymmetric instrument, or leave tool marks, but eventually he does that as a natural result of the method used to make the instrument. And I agree with Davide Sora, tool marks were not so visible when the instrument was new and well covered with the original varnish.
  11. I made a 16-inch viola with an Aspen back some years ago. It turned out extremely light in weight. I would like a bit more of focus in the sound, but perhaps a thicker back would cure that in the next one. . . Aspen is a blessing to carve, so easy. Unflamed.
  12. I imagine most of his clients were nobles, courts, the Catholic Church, rich amateurs. That for Strad and the Amatis. Some of the Cremonese makers such as Storioni, perhaps del Gesù, may have sold to musicians. Marquis Carbonelli was contemporary to Stradivari, he was a Stradivari client, he commissioned instruments from Cremona, Venice and Mantova. He had instruments sufficient to a small orchestra. His inventory was made in 1740. It seems the decorated violin known as "The Rode" was made for him. The inventory lists 22 precious violins, 8 violas (including Gambas, that is, viols), 3 celli, clavicembali, etc. The descriptions are like this: "two violins by Signor Antonio Stradivario Cremonese, one of the year 1723, and the other of 1726, with their double case covered in yellow Moroccan leather with brass latches, marked number 1. "two violins with their case covered in read leather, one by Antonio and Girolamo Brothers Amati of the year 1614 and the other by Nicolò Amati of 1643, "Two violins in a case covered in red leather, one by Antonio Stradivario... "Two violins in a case covered in black leather, one by Antonio Stradivari... "Two violins in a case covered in red leather with brass latches, both by Nicolò Amati..., Two violins in a rose colored case, one by Antonio Stradivari of 1702 and the other by Pietro Guarneri of said year 1702... two violins in a case lateched with brass, covered in red leather, both by Stradivari, A violin by Stradivari of the year 1715, with its case covered in black leather, with brass latches, Two violins, one by Stradivari... in a case covered in yellow leather
  13. Perhaps because of the short corners and wide lower bouts... but my model is more orthodox, I think. The Tertis model is based in low,, full but unscooped and rather thin plates, with deep ribs. The Tertis model solved some problems such as response, C string and dynamic range, but the sound may lack warmth and colours.
  14. Marquis Carbonelli was contemporary to Stradivari, he was a Stradivari client, he commissioned instruments from Cremona, Venice and Mantova. He had instruments sufficient to a small orchestra. His inventory was made in 1740. It seems the decorated violin known as "The Rode" was made for him. The inventory lists 22 precious violins, 8 violas (including Gambas, that is, viols), 3 celli, clavicembali, etc. The descriptions are like this: "two violins by Signor Antonio Stradivario Cremonese, one of the year 1723, and the other of 1726, with their double case covered in yellow Moroccan leather with brass latches, marked number 1. "two violins with theis case covered in read leather, one by antonio and Girolamo Brothers Amati of the year 1614 and the other by Nicolò Amati of 1643, "Two violins in a case covered in red leather, one by Antonio Stradivario... "Two violins in a case covered in black leather, one by Antonio Stradivari... "Two violins in a case covered in red leather with brass latches, boty by Nicolò Amati..., Two violins in a rose colored case, one by Antonio Stradivari of 1702 and the other by Pietro Guarneri of said year 1702... two violins in a case lateched with brass, covered in red leather, both by Stradivari, A violin by Stradivari of the year 1715, with its case covered in black leather, with brass latches, Two violins, one by Stradivari... in a case covered in yellow leather The text in Italian mentions "due violini del Sig. Antonio Stradivario Cremonese, uno dell'anno 1723 e l'atro del 1726, con sua Casseta da due violini.... This "con sua Casseta da due violini" (with its double case) may indicate that the two violins belonged to that case, this is one of the possibilities of the translation of "con sua casseta". Other instruments are not mentioned with "sua casseta", indicating, perhaps, that they had a "different" case. Other violin is again described as "A violin by Stradivari of the year 1715 with its case coverd in black leather with brass latches...". In other ocasions instruments are mentioned "in a case", instead of "its case". This inventory is in the book THE STRAD LEGACY.
  15. Thanks Rue and David! Rue, I have 15.5 viola model that sounds nice, it is a "fat" lady.
  16. I unearthed this thread... Melvin, have you done the borax treatment to avoid woodworms?
  17. MANFIO

    SG .45?

    http://www.fiolinmaker.no/tips-triks.php?uside=eigenvekt.en&flagg=en A calculater for that.
  18. This is a new, 42 cm. (16.5) viola model, a bit bigger than my previous models. When we make a big viola, it is important to keep the quick response and the sound focus, you can lose these things with a bigger soundbox. Do you find a 42 cm. (16.5) viola too big?
  19. Another thing is that some players will impose their sound on the instruments. During a viola Congress in Cincinnati, Roberto Dias made all the 40 (or so) violas he played sound about the same. And of course they were all very very different. In the hands of another player, they would sound very differently.
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