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Women luthiers


Samuel Detached
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Right now?  Or historically?

Right now, there are many...

Historically, women were either not working (upper classes) or were running the household (child care, etc.), or, if they were helping their husbands, they were behind the scenes and their names weren't mentioned.

Names weren't mentioned because it might be scandalous (to have a woman working) or, it might be embarrassing to admit to having a woman working...

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2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Someone (who may be sleeping in the doghouse tonight) just told me "It's because most women have better sense than that."  ;) :lol:

Did you build him his dog house? ^_^

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Marilyn Wallin, former VSA prez...

When I took Joe's varnish workshop, there were several women there, established luthiers, including an instructor from Chicawgo School o' Violinz...

In Darnton's summer class, at one point, it was half women.  Could the US be ahead of Europe? Looking at the Italian Syndicate, Cremona Consortium there are few women who are established. I counted 4...sad. Of course, there may be others who identify as female; I just made a non PC judgement. :P 

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5 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

There were a number of women at the school in Cremona when I was there in 1975/76.  One of the instructors as well.

Many women luthiers have graduated from the Cremona school of violin making and have become appreciated professionals all over the world, I would say that they are no longer so marginal as a presence in our profession. And there are also many others who did not go to the Cremona school but obviously just as good;)

The instructor you speak of is Wanna Zambelli, who finished her long career as a teacher at the school a couple of years ago. She was also the first woman to attend the Cremona school. https://www.scuoladiliuteria.it/staff/vanna-zambelli

In my opinion she was one of the best teachers in the school, she will be greatly missed as a teacher. She was also one of the teachers of my wife Annamaria Menta, another exponent of the now large group of female luthiers.:)

 

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

The instructor you speak of is Wanna Zambelli, who finished her long career as a teacher at the school a couple of years ago. She was also the first woman to attend the Cremona school. https://www.scuoladiliuteria.it/staff/vanna-zambelli

Yes!  I remembered her name but didn’t happen to mention it.  I knew she was well respected when I was there, but had no idea how long her time at the school was.

Thank you Davide!

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Women were in the 18th century and before socially more or less restricted from working in the crafts. (Historically If you look into what women were allowed to do in general, you get a pretty clear picture.) I think exceptions were made when their master craftsman husband died and someone had to manage the workshop, in general apparently with the help of a hired journeyman or the craftsman who already was at the side of the master. (Good example for this is the Ruggieri workshop. When Francesco Ruggieri rather unexpectedly died his wife continued the workshop with the help of Carlo Bergonzi.) Often women were hidden helpers in workshops in the 16th, 17th and 18th century. Roger Hargrave was speculating whose hands were on some del gesu scrolls and raised the question if this couldn’t have been Catarina Guarneri (born Roda) the wife of DG

(Besides many of the anonymous painters were women, because they were not allowed to put their real name on the painting)

With the industrial revolution things changed, women became more involved in violin making. I was told that varnishing and/or polishing was often women’s task in the Markneukirchen violin industry. We might ponder if some women didn’t make violins and they left the shop signed by their husband or father.

Some women artists and writers as we know, tarnished themselves with male names…

Besides Jenny Bailly there is Theresa Toth mentioned in the books. 
 

——————-

Times have changed, the number of female violin makers has increased dramatically like in many other traditionally male dominated professions. 

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A couple more historical figures...  I believe Olga Adelmann gets credit as the first German maker to pass the master's exam, in Berlin just before WW2.  I've never seen one of her instruments.  But years ago I did have another Berliner instrument, a very nice viola labeled as by Greta Tennigkeit, 1923, with the interior note "student of Otto Mockel" (auf deutsch naturlich).  That is the only example of her work that I know of.

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I would like to add the quasi-protégé of David Caron, Klarissa Petti.

She does not post here, so I won’t post a photograph of her work, but if you look her up on YouTube, she is a very competent cellist and there is a video of her playing her own first cello. Her subsequent ones are quite beautiful and she just sold number four, Which is not even finished. Splendid young cellist, and worthwhile maker.

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