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duane88

The Bowmakers

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10 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I accept that but that realization would only come after seeing it. That’s why I think PBS would be a good choice. Most of the folks who watch PBS would automatically be interested in handcraftmanship, endangered wood, and a classic skill being handed down through generations. I’ve owned Two Siefried bows Two Halligans( he learned from Siefried) a Robert Shallock( who apparently worked in Pt Townsend as well) and I’ve played several Sai Gaos and he’s apparently up there too.

Makes me want to make a special trip. With a lot of my Mad Money, and without my wife, who frowns at the very concept of Mad Money.

Party pooper....

They made mention of Shallock and included a picture of his young self at a bow bench. I miss him and sometimes worry about him. Sai spent a few weeks with Charles, but not enough to call him a student. Sai was never in PT, except for visits, and his bows are not stylistically linked to that tradition, lovely as they are. I have his latest violin bow out on trial as I type.

PBS? It's a full-length feature movie. The amount of money required to get PBS to show it would be prohibitive. This was done on a shoestring, as far as movies go, about $400k (public knowledge from the Q&A session. 7 lovely benefactors).

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8 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

 Of course, but the bow maker would have what he wants in mind and would carefully select wood with the characteristics he wants, so presumably he would be able to control the wood he gets so that any variation would be minor. Buying an entire log means you may get a lot of wood you don’t care for, but it also means you have a whole lot of wood to  choose from, and you can decide what you want to use and what you don’t. Choosing from among pre-cut blanks means you can be much more detailed in your selection, but golly that’s a tedious process. The bow maker you mentioned presumably would’ve liked one stick better than the  other and would’ve made that one into a bow and not the other one, unless the difference was irrelevant.

Charles got his wood from a 90 sq mile area just in from the coast. He showed me where on a map. He has done DNA teating of Pernambuco and has his own very specific ideas and requirements, some of which he discusses in the film. Based on his bows, it has validity.

Where a bow maker gets their wood is kinda like asking a mushroom hunter/gatherer where they get their shroons! Once a maker has their lifetime supply of wood, then they might share, but not before, and getting excellent Pernambuco is becoming more and more difficult, if not nearly impossible-excepting the bow maker's estate. As Floriano mentions in the movie, he is trying to change that.

Even a great bow maker can not make a great bow out of a substandard piece of wood. Charles' wood is special. My deceased friend and bow maker, Ann Larson, told me a story about Charles calling her up, when he still lived in Seattle, and inviting her over to have a look at some wood that Noel had been through and offered some to her. She had learned from Salchow and said that it quickly became apparent to Charles that she didn't know what she was looking at or how to properly choose. She said that Charles spent the afternoon showing her what to look for and how to evaluate Pernambuco. She told me that afternoon made all the difference in her bow making career and that the wood that she took that day made the best bows of her output. She also said that after Charles went through the pile with her that he mentioned that he needed to go back to Noel and have a chat with him, because there was wood in the pile that he should not have passed over. What is good wood? Apparently every good bowmaker has thier own opinion.

Regarding pre-cut wood: Charles got a call from the east coast about a stash of Pernambuco, I believe it was in Maine. He said that he didn't need any, but his apprentice would be interested. Robert flew out. It had all been milled by the individual who had it, thinking that stick would be more valuable than logs. I believe that Robert said that he took about a dozen sticks out of a pile of a thousand or so. Shocked, the seller asked why. Robert explained that he had cut the sticks incorrectly and that the grain was not suitable for bow making. In the IPCI book, Charles has an article about efficient cutting of Pernambuco. It requires a lot of thought and planning, involves a lot of waste.

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2 hours ago, duane88 said:

Charles got his wood from a 90 sq mile area just in from the coast. He showed me where on a map. He has done DNA teating of Pernambuco and has his own very specific ideas and requirements, some of which he discusses in the film. Based on his bows, it has validity.

Where a bow maker gets their wood is kinda like asking a mushroom hunter/gather where they get their shroons! Once a maker has their lifetime supply of wood, then they might share, but not before, and getting excellent Pernambuco is becoming more and more difficult, if not nearly impossible-excepting the bow maker's estate. As Floriano mentions in the movie, he is trying to change that.

Even a great bow maker can not make a great bow out of a substandard piece of wood. Charles' wood is special. My deceased friend and bow maker, Ann Larson, told me a story about Charles calling her up, when he still lived in Seattle, and inviting her over to have a look at some wood that Noel had been through and offered some to her. She had learned from Salchow and said that it quickly became apparent to Charles that she didn't know what she was looking at or how to properly choose. She said that Charles spent the afternoon showing her what to look for and how to evaluate Pernambuco. She told me that afternoon made all the difference in her bow making career and that the wood that she took that day made the best bows of her output. She also said that after Charles went through the pile with her that he mentioned that he needed to go back to Noel and have a chat with him, because there was wood in the pile that he should not have passed over. What is good wood? Apparently every good bowmaker has thier own opinion.

Regarding pre-cut wood: Charles got a call from the east coast about a stash of Pernambuco, I believe it was in Maine. He said that he didn't need any, but his apprentice would be interested. Robert flew out. It had all been milled by the individual who had it, thinking that stick would be more valuable than logs. I believe that Robert said that he took about a dozen sticks out of a pile of a thousand or so. Shocked, the seller asked why. Robert explained that he had cut the sticks incorrectly and that the grain was not suitable for bow making. In the IPCI book, Charles has an article about efficient cutting of Pernambuco. It requires a lot of thought and planning, involves a lot of waste.

That’s a great answer, thank you very much! Great story. Sadly I’ve never heard of Ann Larson. Gosh so much to learn.

thanks for sharing!

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Maybe if the bow blank came from the ballast of logs picked up in Brazil for a pirate ship which was captured from Johnny Depp and towed to France, where Tourte was searching the Quays for wood and saw the blood stain on the log from Depp and..... Well you get the picture.

BTW Bob Shallock never worked per se in Pt Townsend, but he apprenticed here in Portland with Martin Devillier and was a close associate with Charles, Stephane and all the earlier members of the group. He facilitated Noel's apprenticeship with Charles. We were all Buddies in the Day. Still are.

There is still wood around. It helps certainly to be connected. I'm in the process of getting a USFW permit to prove that I owned the wood pre-CITIES declaration, using notarized photos and bills of sale. It will hopefully allow me to sell the wood  internationally that reallistically I won't be using. Buyers would much rather have a cut stick than a board so they can feel the stiffness and see the runout. Cutting wood for any instrument out of a board is a blood pressure raiser. You want maximum yeild and little waste but if you cut it too close you can ruin two pieces or more forever.

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36 minutes ago, MeyerFittings said:

Maybe if the bow blank came from the ballast of logs picked up in Brazil for a pirate ship which was captured from Johnny Depp and towed to France, where Tourte was searching the Quays for wood and saw the blood stain on the log from Depp and..... Well you get the picture.

BTW Bob Shallock never worked per se in Pt Townsend, but he apprenticed here in Portland with Martin Devillier and was a close associate with Charles, Stephane and all the earlier members of the group. He facilitated Noel's apprenticeship with Charles. We were all Buddies in the Day. Still are.

There is still wood around. It helps certainly to be connected. I'm in the process of getting a USFW permit to prove that I owned the wood pre-CITIES declaration, using notarized photos and bills of sale. It will hopefully allow me to sell the wood  internationally that reallistically I won't be using. Buyers would much rather have a cut stick than a board so they can feel the stiffness and see the runout. Cutting wood for any instrument out of a board is a blood pressure raiser. You want maximum yeild and little waste but if you cut it too close you can ruin two pieces or more forever.

Thank you very much!

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