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Skreechee

How can I promote myself as a relevant maker

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A retired luthier who has been making violins for over 40 years took a look at my violins and said that I was one of the best makers in the UK. I am self taught and also by going on these forums, reading up a lot and started off making kits. It takes me a long time to make and varnish a violin but I get obsessed and have to finish it. I don't seem to make mistakes though now because I have studied and practiced. How do you get known for your work. Here is the back and scroll of my violin I put up. the pics aren't too hot its not dark like that on the back. The wood was wonderful to work with though. Nice and dry and also plyable. :)

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As a novice in this professional field, I have two bits of advice. First, hold yourself in low regard. I am sure there are folk on here that would shout Pharisee at me for arguments I've made-- but all the same-- you never know how astoundingly accomplished a given luthier may be when you look them square in the eye and speak your mind.

They may have written the book on the subject.

Second, only being present with nice violins you've made can establish you. If shops can sell your fiddles, and if you are there at conventions and competitions, maybe you can become relevant.

I am struggling with it as we speak.

And an un-advertised third... if you no longer make mistakes, I can only hold you in the utmost awe. I think the reason that this profession is right for me is that, truly, it only gets harder as I go. Violins number 37 and 38 on the bench, and my living heroes are counting in the 3 and 400s...

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A good luthier learns how to minimize mistakes, and cope with and disguise the minor mishaps. I doubt there's any Luthier having lived that didn't slip up one in awhile.

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how do you get your violin to look just like a german trade violin from 1900, even the colour of the neck looks 100yrs old?????

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You may be doing this now but don't forget to get input from players who can offer a whole other dimension. I know this topic of input from players encompasses another long-standing debate but speaking from a personal standpoint, input from players in invaluable to me.

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How many fiddles have you made? I would suggest better photo's one's that don't look photo shopped. Look at Manfio's, those are sellers! Also from what I gather ...winning maker competitions helps get the name out there.Like kubbasa said about player input ...I've found it very valuable.....make sure they are the caliber player you want to market to....and as Jacoby said ....keep a scene of humility about yourself....No one knows everything about these things....Make lots.....

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A retired luthier who has been making violins for over 40 years took a look at my violins and said that I was one of the best makers in the UK.

Three simple questions:

- How good is/was the retired luthier?

- Does the luthier's reputation extend beyond a 10 miles radius of the workshop?

- Would this luthier be prepared to recommend your work to everyone he/she met?

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How do you get known for your work.

The best trick would be to actually make a violin, rather than trying to pass off a souped up schönbacher dutzendarbeit as you`re own work.

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Its simple, just spend your days hunting down and eliminating your compitition, then get caught. You won't sell any violins, but everyone will know who you are....haha

{ lost my emcons, I have no emotions}

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A retired luthier who has been making violins for over 40 years took a look at my violins and said that I was one of the best makers in the UK. I am self taught and also by going on these forums, reading up a lot and started off making kits. It takes me a long time to make and varnish a violin but I get obsessed and have to finish it. I don't seem to make mistakes though now because I have studied and practiced. How do you get known for your work. Here is the back and scroll of my violin I put up. the pics aren't too hot its not dark like that on the back. The wood was wonderful to work with though. Nice and dry and also plyable. :)

You're a member here on MN. That's all it takes.

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You won't sell any violins, but everyone will know who you are....haha

I think that's precisely the key for folks who sell lots of 'violins' on eBay passed off as things they are not.

It helps to remain very anonymous...

And - elephant in the room - for someone purporting to be a maker I would think it pretty difficult to make a name for yourself when nobody knows your actual name. Just saying...but that relates to my first point. The two cannot easily co-exist.

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Its simple, just spend your days hunting down and eliminating your compitition, then get caught. You won't sell any violins, but everyone will know who you are....haha

{ lost my emcons, I have no emotions}

Few years ago there was a black comedy french film depicting exactly this stratagem, although not in the world of violin making (and of course the man didn't get caught in the end, but instead got the job he wanted. there is no morale in this world... :) :) )

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Maybe he didn't want to hurt your feelings by telling you the truth. Sounds like a really nice guy smile.gif

A retired luthier who has been making violins for over 40 years took a look at my violins and said that I was one of the best makers in the UK.

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The best trick would be to actually make a violin, rather than trying to pass off a souped up schönbacher dutzendarbeit as you`re own work.

:D Agreed. To become a "relevant maker" the actual making is actually the only "relevant" part.

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Skreechee,

First of all, and perhaps most importantly, I would use my name as a MN moniker and not something silly. People who use their name, IMHO, exude confidence and professionalism. I also remember them when I hear their names from other makers and buyers.

Next, I would listen to the professional heavy hitters on MN and not the "others". The former will give you advice, the latter, opinions. The former have solid experience, the latter just conjecture. I will not try to differentiate the members of these classes to avoid trouble.

Try my ideas for starters.

Stay Tuned.

Mike

PS: I am not a "heavy hitter", but working my ass off to get there.

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A retired luthier who has been making violins for over 40 years took a look at my violins and said that I was one of the best makers in the UK. I am self taught and also by going on these forums, reading up a lot and started off making kits. It takes me a long time to make and varnish a violin but I get obsessed and have to finish it. I don't seem to make mistakes though now because I have studied and practiced. How do you get known for your work. Here is the back and scroll of my violin I put up. the pics aren't too hot its not dark like that on the back. The wood was wonderful to work with though. Nice and dry and also plyable. :)

1. Get a web site.

2. Name, address and telephone number on it.

3. Put as much information on it, with pictures.

4. Join every relavant makers organization.

5. Keep posting on maestronet, but with full disclosure about yourself.

I am a retired New York State Attorney and CPA. If you have talent USE IT.

Ben Podgor

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The truly relevant people in promoting your ability as a violin maker are players, not makers. The question then becomes, how do you get your instruments into the hands of competent players who by word of mouth will promote you? Well, if you have to give away at a next to zero price the first dozen of your instruments to competent players who are very pleased with them, then that's what you have to do.

I should add relevant to some posts above: Reputation, positive or negative, in a word of mouth enterprise like violin making and dealing is everything. It takes a long time to develop a good reputation and very little time to do the opposite. Staying scrupulously honest is rewarded here on earth as well as in heaven.

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A retired luthier who has been making violins for over 40 years took a look at my violins and said that I was one of the best makers in the UK. I am self taught and also by going on these forums, reading up a lot and started off making kits. It takes me a long time to make and varnish a violin but I get obsessed and have to finish it. I don't seem to make mistakes though now because I have studied and practiced. How do you get known for your work. Here is the back and scroll of my violin I put up. the pics aren't too hot its not dark like that on the back. The wood was wonderful to work with though. Nice and dry and also plyable. :)

I forgot one very important point. How does your violin sound?

Ben Podgor

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The truly relevant people in promoting your ability as a violin maker are players, not makers. The question then becomes, how do you get your instruments into the hands of competent players who by word of mouth will promote you? Well, if you have to give away at a next to zero price the first dozen of your instruments to competent players who are very pleased with them, then that's what you have to do.

I take issue with this viewpoint. Would not give away anything. I would try to get to know every player and violin teacher so that they are aware of my existance. You do have to use every promotional effort available. The product should sell itself.

Ben Podgor

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I take issue with this viewpoint. Would not give away anything. I would try to get to know every player and violin teacher so that they are aware of my existance. You do have to use every promotional effort available.

Ben Podgor

If you sell for $500 a violin which took you 200 hours to make and for which you spent a few hundred dollars for materials, then you're selling your instrument for next to zero. But that may be a wise investment in your future sales.

The question is not how cheap or expensive your instrument is, but what quality of player is willing to bother with them.

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