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beneviolins

Another successful SCVMW Workshop

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Having just returned from this year's workshop, here’s

my take: Jim Brown was an attentive and gracious host, providing

for our every need.  Most importantly, he provided an

excellent teacher in the form of Michael Darnton, who

generously shared his vast knowledge. I came away with volumes of

notes, a deeper understanding of building concepts, tool use,

design considerations, pitfalls to avoid, and technical specs. The

environment is supportive and humorous, and there’s no

cooking required! Room accommodations and great meals are included.

This irreplaceable opportunity not only strengthened my skills, it

furthered my passion for building violins.

Jennifer

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I came home yesterday, had lunch, and pretty much slept most of the rest of the day. I would not have believed it possible but I find I do have a saturation point for violin information--some of it's been settling out of solution.

Hi Jennifer, I didn't get to say goodbye properly, it was great having you there again!

Yes Jim B. was a really fabulous host, very responsive to requests and always looking for ways to ensure that we all had the best possible time. The campus setting is lovely and peaceful, it is hard to imagine a better one.

Michael provided vast amounts of information, including a number of demonstrations and a great deal of personal coaching and feedback. It is always a revelatory pleasure to see him do anything, everything is done methodically, efficiently, and oh so quickly.

Congratulations and thank you both to Jim and Michael for another fabulous workshop!

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Thanks Andres, it was a pleasure seeing you again. I hope that "last supper" thing went well! By the way, I've been re-organizing my notes and if it's possible, I'd love to take you up on that offer to get a scan copy of the F-hole from the Betts. Best of luck to you in this coming year's violin building.

Jennifer

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Here's a Michael Darnton quote from the workshop:

Question: Why aren't soundposts square?

M.D. answer: "Because they're round"

I guess if everyone needs more Michael, then all ya'll will just have to sign up for his 2008 workshop, June 2 - 20, 2008.

Here's some photos from this year of Michael demonstrating how to make purfling

Purfling%20Making%201c.jpg

Purfling%20Making%202c.jpg

Purfling%20Making%203c.jpg

Jim B

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Thanks Dean. You know, there was so much going on we forgot to take the group photos at the end of each week like we did last year. Sorry. I am working on adding restoration and repair. It could possibly happen next year. However my first priority after a few successful years is to add bow making then repair and restoration. So keep posted.

Jim B

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I've just recently returned from the Jim Brown Violinmaking

workshop in Southern California.  We all had a wonderful time,

and I'd like to heartily recommend next year's workshop to any who

may wish to attend.  There was plenty of individualized

instruction from Michael Darnton, with fine foods and a lovely

downtown area to walk to with every convenience.  We ate well,

rested well, and learned many new things.  I met Jeff Hass, a

superstar who did the very best purfling that I've ever seen in my

life.  He uses a number 13 Exacto knife blade that he's

lightly thinned.  Michael showed me a new tool handling

technique for cleaing up the inside of my plates that will really

help. He uses a flat-bottomed, non-toothed finger plane to

perfection.  I can only speak for myself, but I smiled the

whole time, and loved the wonderful people who attended.

 There were many old friends, and quite a few new ones.

 I'm still fired up, and getting ready for the Oberlin set-up

workshop that's coming up.  Good job, Jim Brown!...and Good

Job, Michael Darnton!.

Cordially,

 

Sam Compton

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I think that was a typo-- he meant a No. 12-- looks like a small scalpel blade, as it comes from the manufacturer. I did not see it, but he said it was somewhat thinned-- I'd like to see a picture.

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Thanks Sam for the kind words. Looking forward to having you again next year. One thing about the blade Jeff used. It is a No12 Mini-Curved x-acto blade #X212. I presume we have the same blade as I was standing right next to you when I bought my pack. No doubt however that Jeff's purfling corner and bee sting was one of the best I've ever seen, and on only his 2nd violin! Folks we magnified this corner up on a screen 15 ft wide and the purfling corner filled the entire screeen. Even at that magnification, the mitre joint was beautiful and perfect.

John - here is a photo of the blade. As Sam said, Jeff thinned the blade slightly up at the tip

xacto12c.jpg

Jim B

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Hi guys,

This is my first message so hope this goes well.

I too was at the workshop. Hi Jennifer, Andres, Sam, JimB and any others I don't recognize. I had a great time. Michael does look happy but I think he was pretty tired. We worked him hard.

Hope to be back next year!

Darwin

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Darwin!

Welcome aboard! I wish I had been there to see you, but I am really glad you had a good time.

Chet Bishop

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Chet! How you been? It's been a while. We thought you were going to the workshop.

Andres, that's the view from the cabin. Have you recovered from the workshop yet? You finish that fiddle yet?

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One of my neighbors here in San Diego, an older gentleman by the first name of Brockway, attended the workshop (I can see him at breakfast on the right of the photo above). I'm looking forward to hearing all about the workshop from him! My wife and I (we both play violin) are looking forward to seeing his violin(s).

Larry Samuels

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Hi to everyone from the workshop, we got so busy cleaning up after that I missed proper goodbyes to Sam, Andres, and Michael. My apologies, I'll have to make it up next year. Yes, even though 3 weeks of 14 hour days thrashed me, I'm coming back for more. Two years of this workshop and the surface is just scratched. Too much to learn. Unbelievable learning opportunity, even for experienced builders. Great people, wonderful company. And hi, Chet. Good to hear from you. Now for a question: Michael states that his method of plate graduation, Stradly authentic, will produce under eigenmode testing the patterns desired in that test for a finished plate. And that without any need for eigenmode testing and adjusting during the construction process, or any real need to test to confirm that when done. Has anyone out there independently confirmed that?

Sam, did you get that new top plate done yet? Darwin, have your blisters from that bottom plate healed yet?

Take care, friends

Bob

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Hi to all again. I forgot to thank JimB and Michael for a fantastic workshop. Michael, I don't know how you do it. We asked a tousand questions and you gave up the goods. Many thanks. And JimB you put on a great workshop. The fan and extra blankets made it comfortable but you didn't have to add the air-conditioner; and the chocolates each evening were totally un-necessary.

Darwin

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