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Good vs bad workmanship


noidea22
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Lots of great thoughts here . One point that I haven’t heard yet , regarding good workman -good workmanship  , throughout my career as a maker by hand in wood and iron , a common theme among the finest craftsmen and women I’ve known over the last 40 plus yrs is the idea that materials have a sort of language of their own . Our job as craftsmen is to listen as much as to tell …to act in concert with the materials and not try and force our personal expectations on them . As violin , instrument makers we also must listen to the players and audience as well … 

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On 4/7/2022 at 4:45 PM, John_London said:

Machines make things very regular, obviously. Without pretending to expertise, if I buy a carpet or a carved chair I'm looking for irregularities which say it was handmade, because usually I find handmade things more pelasing.

You don't need to be a tailor to spot a bench made suit or pair of shoes, but you do need to have seen a few. It is hard to explain why the small irregularities are pleasing and gross ones are not...

This is why you have to read David Pye's book on workmanship, because he articulates very clear concepts and terms to discuss these issues.

His book on Design is also very useful, and as a pair they give a very deep conceptual framework to understand all these issues of manufactured goods and the built environment in its most broad sense. Even if you don't share his own aesthetic preferences that doesn't matter because he is trying to articulate what it is that we are discussing.

Otherwise we end up with "I know what I like and I like what I know"...

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1 hour ago, bungling_amateur said:

This is why you have to read David Pye's book on workmanship...

Looks interesting. I have obtained a copy and started to read.

I am not a violin maker, and judge judge a violin by the feeling it gives me to the eye, and perhaps a little by ear, by sense of smell, and by its weight and its feeling of life in the hands.

I maintain and sometimes make websites, and can tell lot about how a site is made from looking at it. And yet, I don't judge a website by technical points, but by what I call its "energy". That is odd.

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5 hours ago, John_London said:

I am not a violin maker, and judge judge a violin by the feeling it gives me to the eye, and perhaps a little by ear, by sense of smell, and by its weight and its feeling of life in the hands.

So you're one o' them fiddle-sniffers, are you? ;)

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21 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Thanks for the link, I share every word of the article, how to disagree!

Players should also read it, especially this sentence, with reference to the instruments they use (ancient vs modern):

"I wish they put as much passion into their photography as they do when worshiping their camera gods, then they would take far better images. Sadly, many photographers are far more concerned about the camera they are using than the art they are creating."

No offense to anyone.:)

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11 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Thanks for the link, I share every word of the article, how to disagree!

Players should also read it, especially this sentence, with reference to the instruments they use (ancient vs modern):

"I wish they put as much passion into their photography as they do when worshiping their camera gods, then they would take far better images. Sadly, many photographers are far more concerned about the camera they are using than the art they are creating."

No offense to anyone.:)

v.com just posted a blog and poll asking "are you still looking for your deram violin?" I replied that I am not really interested. However, the violin is so personal. The temptation to think that an insturment with a sprinkling of fairy dust, an Italian name, and a comical price-tag, will help solve our problems overwhelms the dry logic of double-blind trials. That instinct no doubt keeps many violin dealers in honest employment.

"Some violinists are absolutely predictable, some have absolute abandon. Oistrakh married the two." Menuhin, interview extracted on "Art of Violin" documentary.

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