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viola_license_revoked

How did you start?

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7 hours ago, Rue said:

Awww...

I'm glad you're getting to do what you wanted to do! :) Sorry about your insomnia :(...I imagine counselling the Government for 30 years would be a potential source of PTSD ...:ph34r:

Thanks Rue, I worked for the courts doing assessment with folks for whom a state held their guardianship due to being incompetent to stand trial. Truly awful stuff and I sincerely wish I would have stuck with being a museum conservator. 

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5 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Nathan's story is very similar to mine. I bought Heron-Allen, as a child cellist, when I was about 12, then wasted time until I was 30. I went to guitar-making school in Tennessee in 1980, came back and made guitars, but ended up working on more and more violins. In 1984, after four guitar years, my wife saw an article about Bein & Fushi's training program.

I applied but discovered they'd discontinued it (I'd been planning on taking the training, being rejected, coming back to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and continuing as before, only trained somewhat). However, they hired me. Even though I'd not planned to work there or to stay, on my initial interview I got a tour of the vault, saw what was there, and vowed that I was going to do this, even if it meant moving from the woods to Chicago.

And that's what happened. Then four years later I met Nathan at WH Lee when I switched to working there, wanting to build instead of restoring. After about 4 years there, I went on my own. So it took me a while to be independent.

I have been back and forth between making and restoration, and also had a five-year stint as a B&F salesperson. Currently I"m in another big shop, but this time it's mine (with two partners). Well, actually, currently I'm working in a closet in my basement while avoiding the plague. :-) 

MUCH later, after I was in my current situation, my mother told me that she had gone into my room and taken a look through Heron-Allen ($12 , bought with Christmas money), and declared to herself that this was a waste of money, and I would never do that!

I have a great deal of respect for the instruments at WH Lee, I’ve played many of the makers and liked them all. Even the lesser Instruments are excellent. I never saw a Darnton cello. Did you make any?

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I was thirteen when I started:
I’d always been doing woodworking, but played the violin too, and decided one day to try making a violin. The father of a friend pointed me in the direction of a local violin maker, who sold me some tonewood and helped me with some harder parts, my parents were generous with books & tools

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Oh. The VSA. Better not to mess with 'em.

Exactly right, they're modeled after the Japanese Yakuza mafia and I have it on good authority that they do indeed chop off fingers!

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5 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Oh. The VSA. Better not to mess with 'em.

 

2 hours ago, Fossil Ledges said:

Exactly right, they're modeled after the Japanese Yakuza mafia and I have it on good authority that they do indeed chop off fingers!

Be careful what you say, the VSA's Italian counterpart has members on MN, and one is listed by them as a "Consiglieri", http://www.associazioneali.it/en/association.html  :ph34r:;)

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19 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

 

Be careful what you say, the VSA's Italian counterpart has members on MN, and one is listed by them as a "Consiglieri", http://www.associazioneali.it/en/association.html  :ph34r:;)

We can take 'em. We'll just call Trevor (who coldcocked an obnoxious local in one punch at the Indianapolis VSA Convention). :lol:

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First admission. I'm primarily a fretted instrument guy. I claim that I got started because I couldn't afford a guitar that wasn't broken and could never find anyone who could fix it correctly. Admittedly, that was nearly sixty years ago, and the repair of many fretted instruments just wasn't done back then. The conventional wisdom was that they had a limited life and after enough time you should just replace the thing. But building and repairing things runs in my family (cabinet makers, clock and watch repairers, etc.) so I fixed the darn things. When in college, a friend took his guitar to a local store to be repaired, and when he got it back I looked at it and said "Heck, I can do better work than that!" So I was repairing guitars in my dorm room. Later I had the opportunity to maintain instruments when I was in the army. When I opened my current shop 40 years ago, I had a partner for about a year who was a violin guy. He later moved to the southwest and went on to the higher end of the violin trade. I then hired various people to do violin work many of whom didn't work out for various reasons. Then I had the good fortune to fall in with someone really good, who had worked in some top tier shops. When he decided to move on, he sat me down and said "Now you're gonna learn to do this right." Since then I have had help from a number of other really good people and I thank them all. That's the short version of the story.

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6 hours ago, Anthony Panke said:

The father of a friend pointed me in the direction of a local violin maker, who sold me some tonewood and helped me with some harder parts, my parents were generous with books & tools

Which reminds me...  30 years before I made my first violin, I stopped in at the shop of a violin maker just a mile or two from where I was living at the time.  After I asked a couple of questions and mentioned my interest in making violins, he made it clear that if I wasn't buying anything, I should leave.  Who knows what might have happened if it had been a maker with a different attitude.  Basil J. Hooker; he's dead.

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52 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Which reminds me...  30 years before I made my first violin, I stopped in at the shop of a violin maker just a mile or two from where I was living at the time.  After I asked a couple of questions and mentioned my interest in making violins, he made it clear that if I wasn't buying anything, I should leave.  Who knows what might have happened if it had been a maker with a different attitude.  Basil J. Hooker; he's dead.

That was a rather harsh punishment from you, don't you think?

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31 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

That was a rather harsh punishment from you, don't you think?

coffeescreen.gif.0dcb3a9ff06f9ca319301261836107c0.gif  I thought several similar somethings, but didn't dare.  I mean, Don's a "steely-eyed missleman", and all.............  :lol:

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It's interesting...in general...how a negative interaction can stay with you forever.

Way back when, in 2004, in my old MN incarnation, I asked a beginner question (because I was even more a beginner than I am now :rolleyes:)...and received a very rude reply...by a still active MN member.  I won't mention their name.

It wasn't a tit-for-tat interaction.  It was a student-teacher interaction, much like Don's negative experience.

I doubt the MNer would remember our interaction, but I do.

Not just elephants have good memories...:P

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

We can take 'em. We'll just call Trevor (who coldcocked an obnoxious local in one punch at the Indianapolis VSA Convention). :lol:

Besides, it's all about promoting culture, says so right on the website. ...And we have you and David!

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

coffeescreen.gif.0dcb3a9ff06f9ca319301261836107c0.gif  I thought several similar somethings, but didn't dare.  I mean, Don's a "steely-eyed missleman", and all.............  :lol:

In addition to all his government connections, Don is also a very practical "cut to the chase" sort of guy. Run into an arsehole, might as well just take him out with the poison-tipped umbrella. ^_^

But I suspect the same of you. That's the only reason I try to act semi-nice to both of you. :lol:

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That is why we try to tread carefully! 

2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

coffeescreen.gif.0dcb3a9ff06f9ca319301261836107c0.gif  I thought several similar somethings, but didn't dare.  I mean, Don's a "steely-eyed missleman", and all.............  :lol:

Hey VAD, since you are the one with the sharp pointy things, I always meant to ask you,  what do you think of the Nihonto collectors who have only one nearly perfect sword or maybe no swords? It's very much a different aesthetic, since most of us have more instruments than we are ever going to play, repair etcetera. Just wondering, because you probably run into some of that collector community.

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On 5/25/2020 at 1:42 PM, Brad Dorsey said:

When my wife had some business cards printed and gave them to me for Christmas.

When I rescued my tools first during my divorce thirty years ago.

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Contrary to the implication, I did not kill Basil J. Hooker.  I only put down the two things that I know about him:  his name and the one fact I found when I looked for info. about him (someone on MN posted a photo of one of his bridges here.)

If anyone knows anything else, or has seen one of his instruments, I would be interested to find out.  Apparently my memory of him is one of the few marks he left in the world.

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Ive shared this before, but worth sharing again. 

How I got my non-start:

walked into Jays shop one day, watched him re-hair a bow, and said,” you know, I love wood. Maybe I can make some extra money re-hairing bows? Why don’t you teach me?”

Jay is very kind. He handed me a knife and a little square of pine, and said,” cut that into a trapezoid.”

I whittled a bit and then said,” um, I need another square of pine.” Jay smiled and handed me another and I whittled a bit, and said,” um, I need another piece of pine.”

We repeated the process a few times until I gave up. Jay took a piece of pine and without even looking, cut it into a trapezoid in about ten seconds and four swipes of the knife. He kindly explained that until one can cut a trapezoid, one can’t go any farther.

Oh well... I can’t make ‘em but I can play ‘em, and I suppose that’s ok.

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12 hours ago, David Burgess said:

That was a rather harsh punishment from you, don't you think?

That was in the old days before Don mellowed out :lol:

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16 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Which reminds me...  30 years before I made my first violin, I stopped in at the shop of a violin maker just a mile or two from where I was living at the time.  After I asked a couple of questions and mentioned my interest in making violins, he made it clear that if I wasn't buying anything, I should leave.  Who knows what might have happened if it had been a maker with a different attitude.  Basil J. Hooker; he's dead.

So far I’ve been graced with all the violin makers I’ve met being very friendly and willing to help. I guess it’s not everyday that a 13yr old has an interest in violin making (though it does happen).

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19 hours ago, David Burgess said:

That was a rather harsh punishment from you, don't you think?

7 hours ago, jezzupe said:

That was in the old days before Don mellowed out :lol:

While I was not physically involved in that guy's demise, perhaps my thoughts stirred up the Great Punisher in the Sky, or what they just refer to as GPS these days.

 

4 hours ago, Anthony Panke said:

So far I’ve been graced with all the violin makers I’ve met being very friendly and willing to help. I guess it’s not everyday that a 13yr old has an interest in violin making (though it does happen).

Thank you for reducing my age by 15 years.

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

While I was not physically involved in that guy's demise, perhaps my thoughts stirred up the Great Punisher in the Sky, or what they just refer to as GPS these days.

 

Thank you for reducing my age by 15 years.

:lol: GPS....god punishment system

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How did I start?

I was sitting in a bar one night. All the usuals were were conspicuously displaying their fake Mercedes, BMW, and Rolls Royce key fobs on the bartop, so I wan't gettin' no action.

Out of boredom and despair, I started reading the advertising on the matchbooks. (Anyone remember matches?) :lol:

The writing on one said, "Make violins for fun and profit. Enroll in the Specs Howard school of violinmaking."

But the clincher was that at the bottom, in fine print and parentheses, was written, "Lotsa girls". Well hawt diggety dawg! :):):)

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

How did I start?

I was sitting in a bar one night. All the usuals were were conspicuously displaying their fake Mercedes, BMW, and Rolls Royce key fobs on the bartop, so I wan't gettin' no action.

Out of boredom and despair, I started reading the advertising on the matchbooks. (Anyone remember matches?) :lol:

The writing on one said, "Make violins for fun and profit. Enroll in the Specs Howard school of violinmaking."

But the clincher was that at the bottom, in fine print and parentheses, was written "losta girls". Well hawt diggety dawg! :):):)

Come on, they didn't have key fobs in the 1800's :lol:

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