Sign in to follow this  
PhilipKT

Question for makers. How many instruments have you made?

Recommended Posts

David Caron has made 180 instruments.  I have a lot of respect for William Wedbee, I looked up his website, and was astonished to read that since 1979 he has made over 1100 instruments.

That’s astounding productivity.  I was under the impression that somebody working alone would be producing a lot closer to 180, and it occurred to me to ask you guys who make for a living, how many instruments have you made, or how many instruments do you expect to make during your working career?

 I know there are lots of qualifiers, and some repair and restore as well as make, some don’t make full-time, and so on. I’m just asking, if it is an answerable question. 

And this is what we do on a Sunday afternoon when we don’t watch football games… We ask silly questions at maestro net. Thank you for indulging me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new to this. I haven't sold a single fiddle, nor have I tried yet. It's a hobby. I play my own fiddles in a bluegrass band. I started my first 3 years ago, and I am nearly finished with my 8th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, bkwood said:

I am new to this. I haven't sold a single fiddle, nor have I tried yet. It's a hobby. I play my own fiddles in a bluegrass band. I started my first 3 years ago, and I am nearly finished with my 8th.

I would love to see some pictures!

 Last night at rehearsal, I met cellist playing an instrument made in 1880-ish by Pietro Dosi. It was a nice instrument, although to my eye it looked very German.

But when I looked it up, I found that he was a gifted amateur who made fine instruments.  This one has survived 150 years. If you’ve made 8 by now, I wager you are making worthwhile stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit behind BK with 5 builds in 2 years time. I also do not plan to sell, it's just a fun hobby next to my computer work. Currently i'm gathering some inspiration and ideas for #6, propably a deep, growling, loud DG style one :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how many instruments I have made. Probably something between five hundred and a thousand.

That's my own fault. I was taught early on that only amateurs put numbers on their labels, or get obsessed with how many instruments they have made. Apparently, Stradivari and Guarneri did not

Sadly, I have never gotten beyond that. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

 

I don't know how many instruments I have made. Probably something between five hundred and a thousand.

 

That’s a pretty big number either way. I have no idea of your age but can you estimate how many you make per year? I know a lot of time is taken up by varnish drying and such, so you can work on several simultaneously, but it’s an interesting question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've finished one in 5 years, the only one. I'm already learning and I can only dedicate 1 or 1 1/2 weeks a year for the course (involves traveling and spending holidays).

I'm also about to finish my first bow.

I'm planning 2nd violin to be finished much faster as I already own a few tools and have done knowledge to work on my own for a few bits of the violin.

So I'm probably the slowest and least prolific of all is us, but very proud of my first violin, that I play also as an amateur!! :P

Juan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

That’s a pretty big number either way. I have no idea of your age but can you estimate how many you make per year? I know a lot of time is taken up by varnish drying and such, so you can work on several simultaneously, but it’s an interesting question.

David must have two sons helping him in his shop, both being in their seventies :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Juan Tavira said:

I've finished one in 5 years, the only one. I'm already learning and I can only dedicate 1 or 1 1/2 weeks a year for the course (involves traveling and spending holidays).

I'm also about to finish my first bow.

I'm planning 2nd violin to be finished much faster as I already own a few tools and have done knowledge to work on my own for a few bits of the violin.

So I'm probably the slowest and least prolific of all is us, but very proud of my first violin, that I play also as an amateur!! :P

Juan

That feeling must be incredible. I have exactly zero skill in creating anything made of wood except firewood,  but the joy you feel at being able to create is matched by my awe.

congratulations! Please post photos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I don't know how many instruments I have made. Probably something between five hundred and a thousand.

That's my own fault. I was taught early on that only amateurs put numbers on their labels, or get obsessed with how many instruments they have made. Apparently, Stradivari and Guarneri did not

Sadly, I have never gotten beyond that. ;)

Don't worry in 300 years someone will write the violin iconography of David Burgess. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stopped counting at no 28 long time ago. I stopped because numbers didn't make sense to me any more. Each copy is a unique piece anyway and even there I hadn't any repetition for any of those iconic violins. Maybe in a few years I make a catalogue of my work. Should be a pretty interesting diversity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

That’s a pretty big number either way. I have no idea of your age but can you estimate how many you make per year? I know a lot of time is taken up by varnish drying and such, so you can work on several simultaneously, but it’s an interesting question.

The most productive year I can recall is one in which I made 17 instruments, including three cellos. I didn't sleep much. :blink:

1 hour ago, Emilg said:

David must have two sons helping him in his shop, both being in their seventies :)

Ouch. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

The most productive year I can recall is one in which I made 17 instruments, including three cellos. I didn't sleep much. :blink:

Ouch. :lol:

I envy Strad because

he didn't have to answer the phone

didnt need to deal with slow computers 

he didn't have to file tax papers

he didn't need to commute to work

he didn't need to deal with travels

he didn't need to organize events

and he didn't get distracted by TV or the Internet (like me right nowB))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I envy Strad because

he didn't have to answer the phone

didnt need to deal with slow computers 

he didn't have to file tax papers

he didn't need to commute to work

he didn't need to deal with travels

he didn't need to organize events

and he didn't get distracted by TV or the Internet (like me right nowB))

No, he just had war and disease to worry him.  I think I'd rather answer the phone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, David Burgess said:

The most productive year I can recall is one in which I made 17 instruments, including three cellos. I didn't sleep much. :blink:

did you ever make other intruments, like guitars, harps, ..?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, David Burgess said:

The most productive year I can recall is one in which I made 17 instruments, including three cellos. I didn't sleep much. :blink:

Ouch. :lol:

Paying for kids college? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, David Burgess said:

The most productive year I can recall is one in which I made 17 instruments, including three cellos. I didn't sleep much. :blink:

Apprentices around?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been said on MN before that the number of professional that earn the majority of their income through making is estimated to be quite small.  I think it was somewhere under 20 in the U.S.  Strictly anecdotal.  I wonder what the real number is both in the U.S. and in other countries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.