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not telling

When should a luthier become artistic?

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I will try not to ask this question in a rude way, as I am aware that there is a huge amount of artistry in being a great copyist. I am just not sure that one must spend 20 years earning the right to be an artist.

Roger Hansell and many others come to mind..the great copyists.

Those of you with well-established careers, do you feel the need to create your own models?...and do you believe it is possible to be original?

How about those who spend your careers successfully copying the great masterpiece instruments...why did you choose to do so? Does drawing out a beautiful "new" geometry hold no excitement for you? Do you believe it is worth trying to do so?

Those of you who create "personal" models, how soon into your career did you begin striking out on your own in this way?

I have plenty of questions in this area but so as not to overwhelm with even more related questions, I will await responses hopefully...

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Ok we're still going with this. The answer to the title question is 'never'. If somebody wants to get creative then by all means they can do whatever they like whether its designing new outlines, painting, carving or inventing new instruments. But there is never a point where they SHOULD. It's just an option.

I would also argue that the original outlines we copy were never created with 'artistry' in the first place. Its all maths and geometry, and perhaps a dash of greek philosophy.

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I can't prove it but I bet the better a copyist is, the harder it will become to be more creative later on.  Just as a musician who studies for years to be a "recreative musician" in order to play music of the master composers is not as likely to come up with something original as some guy who never studied music but gets a harmonica in prison.

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I can't prove it but I bet the better a copyist is, the harder it will become to be more creative later on.  Just as a musician who studies for years to be a "recreative musician" in order to play music of the master composers is not as likely to come up with something original as some guy who never studied music but gets a harmonica in prison.

Ouch. I don't agree with this either. To be clear. ..this topic is a serious question. I believe professionals are making a conscious choice to copy, or not. Either way they know what they like and must study a great deal. Creativity is disciplined if it's worth anything.

I want to know if anyone will honestly discuss making the choice to stop copying, and when one should not be afraid to make a personal model here and there.

Finding a wealthy spouse is the best answer yet. Heh.

Please, don't think I'm trying to goad anyone into a fight. I have agonized over this general topic.

Also not hoping to rehash an old topic, as fun as it may have been. I am also not suggesting that copying is not an amazing, artistic endeavor. It is.

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I am in the same opinion as David Hart.

 

Just in my mind comes the Mittenwald maker Joseph Kantuscher who is now over 90 years old and still working. He made close to 700 instruments after his own style, model and arching. All in straight look. His baroque style of edge work is unique and artistic. He won prizes in the 60´s in the last century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-1262-0-83586400-1392535852_thumb.jpg

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I can't prove it but I bet the better a copyist is, the harder it will become to be more creative later on.  Just as a musician who studies for years to be a "recreative musician" in order to play music of the master composers is not as likely to come up with something original as some guy who never studied music but gets a harmonica in pri

 

Ouch. I don't agree with this either. To be clear. ..this topic is a serious question. I believe professionals are making a conscious choice to copy, or not. Either way they know what they like and must study a great deal. Creativity is disciplined if it's worth anything.

I want to know if anyone will honestly discuss making the choice to stop copying, and when one should not be afraid to make a personal model here and there.

Finding a wealthy spouse is the best answer yet. Heh.

Please, don't think I'm trying to goad anyone into a fight. I have agonized over this general topic.

Also not hoping to rehash an old topic, as fun as it may have been. I am also not suggesting that copying is not an amazing, artistic endeavor. It is.

 

I think this is  a serious answer to a serious question. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14995534@N05/12137552504/

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For me it's about having complete control over the end-result - in other words, that what one intended to make is what the end-result is. It's immaterial whether the intention is a copy or one's own model.

 

But it also happens that when there is hardly any control over the end-result, and the model which was followed cannot be recognized at all in the final product, this process sometimes gets euphemized as "creativity".

 

I know there is no such word as "euphemize" but everybody will understand what I mean.

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I know from a conversation with a famous copyist that the yearning to create one's own "model" can run deep.  I don't know if he has done that yet.  

 

After thinking about my post #5, I'm not sure I agree with myself.  And probably irrelevant to the OP.  I think I misunderstood the intended use of "creative," and it set me off in a certain direction. 

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When should a luthier become artistic?

 

When his (or her) ability arrives at (or perhaps evolves to?) that point in his (or her) work.

After which, he (or she) almost can not help but be.

(artistic, that is.)

 

Ahh, such a question deserves a parenthetical answer, doesn't it?

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When posterity decides long after their death. And talking of death; haven't we already done this one to death many many times?  

 

But, the public wants to know, damn it! So, who are we to deny them their due?

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Any thing done that would look original would also look a little weird.

This is the crux of the matter regarding all those who try to get too creative, too unique.  It seems next to impossible to do something different enough to draw attention without leading to something that also looks wrong.  

 

We've probably all seen—I certainly have— some lesser makers over the years who became bound and determined to do something different.  It's as if it was a compulsion.  Their stuff looks bad. 

 

OTOH, Stradivari and dG did things different enough from what came before them and still look great.  So maybe there is a matter of artistry in there somewhere after all.   I guess a man would be wise to know his limitations.   

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I don't believe that I could create my own model at this point.

It's all been done before.

 

 

It certainly has. I don't give much credence to those that claim to be designing there own instruments. They may change outlines or sound holes, or alter this or that feature, but they are not designing, they are changing. The Amati family designed as did Leo Fender. The rest simple change an established design.

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I will try not to ask this question in a rude way, as I am aware that there is a huge amount of artistry in being a great copyist. I am just not sure that one must spend 20 years earning the right to be an artist.

Roger Hansell and many others come to mind..the great copyists.

Those of you with well-established careers, do you feel the need to create your own models?...and do you believe it is possible to be original?

How about those who spend your careers successfully copying the great masterpiece instruments...why did you choose to do so? Does drawing out a beautiful "new" geometry hold no excitement for you? Do you believe it is worth trying to do so?

Those of you who create "personal" models, how soon into your career did you begin striking out on your own in this way?

I have plenty of questions in this area but so as not to overwhelm with even more related questions, I will await responses hopefully...

 

Hi Not Telling,

You had some great answers to your very good question. I very much like Jacob's post number 9 in this thread.

 

The first thing I would say is that technique and understanding of the craft are the most important.  Stradivari was still trying to copy Amati until he was over 40 years old. I'd urge all young makers to follow a similar approach and not try to run before they can walk. It is very common for violin making students to assume that they know everything after a year's study and feel the need to do something more artistic.The results ( including mine) are always unfortunate.

 

Serious copyists never just dumbly copy what they see. They have an understanding of how an old classic instrument that they are copying has distorted over time and there is a real art to making a copy for someone who owns the original that takes into account the distortions but plays similar to the original to the extent of getting paid...That's an art if you understand enough to recognize it.

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It certainly has. I don't give much credence to those that claim to be designing there own instruments. They may change outlines or sound holes, or alter this or that feature, but they are not designing, they are changing. The Amati family designed as did Leo Fender. The rest simple change an established design.

 

Nailed. :)

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I don't give much credence to those that claim to be designing there own instruments. They may change outlines or sound holes, or alter this or that feature, but they are not designing, they are changing. The Amati family designed as did Leo Fender. The rest simple change an established design.

Very true!!

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