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Dave Slight

Dave Slight's Bench

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Testore did not use a mould, the instruments probably being built up on the back (although the ribs could have been built first on a flat board, and then the outline then taken from them). Given that there is no mould to define the outline, assuming a template was used to set either the back outline, or the rib outline, it was rather loosely adhered to at times.
While they fit a concept, the dimensions do vary, along with the overall outline. I don't think it was for any particular acoustic or structural reason, more a quirk of the making process at times, which in this example, seems more extreme than others.

As to the flatness you refer to, this can often be seen in the work of several makers, notably Del Gesu, Storioni and others. In some cases it seems that the lower block has little to no curvature, and was just planed flat. Sometimes there is just a slight flatness at the block area, on others it can make the lower bouts take on more the outline expected in a cello.

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Thank you :)

This one started out as a project to create a small viola based on ergonomics. Over the years, I've dealt with a lot of clients who had begun to suffer problems associated with playing a large instrument as they got older. I am also involved with the RNCM a lot, and a number of the students there really struggle with violas of the standard dimensions.

In these situations, people always worry that something smaller won't have the power or carry well, but that isn't always the case, and personally I think players will sound better on something they are comfortable with, rather than fighting against.

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Looks really great Dave!  One thing that stands out for me is that the worn varnish areas look too clean.  Maybe that's the next stage?

-Jim

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In my experience, classic Italian grounds are not really that dark, and it can easily be overdone.
With any strongly coloured varnish, there will be a strong contrast when worn back to the ground, and also a difference in texture between the two. It's hard to convey those sort of things in a photo when using a flash.

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I definitely agree about the difficulty of photographing varnished instruments.  It's strange that I don't see what I was talking about it now.  Maybe I was using a different monitor.  Previously I couldn't see the browns in the "worn" areas. It appeared stark like freshly planed wood.  I'm blaming the monitor (instead of me being crazy).  Beautiful work. :)

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On 2/3/2020 at 4:36 PM, Terry Colley said:

Beautiful work as always Dave, I am lucky that now and again I get to see these for real. Dave’s blog site is a great read too !

Thanks Terry.

If you happen to be passing by at some point in the future, I currently have a few things on the go, which you might like to look at.

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Thanks, Jim. A long time ago, I managed to get five pieces all from the same tree. This was the least figured out of the five, and really looks stunning when you turn it through the light.
Can't wait to use the others in the future :)

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