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Important: Tightening of CITES regulations on Pernambuco, including finished bows


GeorgeH
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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

OK, I don't really think of these as "major brands" - the only serious professional bows I'm aware of are Arcus, but happy to be corrected if there are others ...

I sold many Arcus bows and CodaBow bows as well. I would not call the lower grade Arcus bows "professional" while a lot of professionals use CodaBow bows as their second.

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Does anyone have any opinions on Berg Bows made in Bloomington Indiana?  They are not strictly carbon fiber, but I'm not sure how/what they are made of.

They seem to be popular among some of the Cincinnati symphonies players.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Swing Monkey 1 said:

Does anyone have any opinions on Berg Bows made in Bloomington Indiana?  They are not strictly carbon fiber, but I'm not sure how/what they are made of.

They seem to be popular among some of the Cincinnati symphonies players.

I once attended a presentation by Berg. He claimed that his bows could be bent beyond 90 degrees without breaking. I asked him to demonstrate. He declined. :P

If enough of the Cincinnati Orchestra players truly like them, I think that says a lot. Cincinnati has some danged good players. They manage to get some of the best players in, and keep them,  because the orchestra is financially stable enough that it is unlikely to go into bankruptcy or receivership, unlike so many other orchestras.

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On 7/3/2022 at 1:55 AM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Wood is not uniform so we need testing of each  piece we use.

That's another sad thing about Pernambuco, the blanks with knots fail the strain test. That's a lot of fails.

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On 7/3/2022 at 2:56 PM, martin swan said:

My experience of higher end carbon fibre bows is that they are overly light and slightly brittle/skittish in sound, but I agree that they are a better option than inexpensive and negligently sourced pernambuco bows.

The yitamusic carbon violin bows are 62g, not exactly light. They produce a powerful tone, definitely not brittle, maybe sometimes skittish, because they are a bit on the stiff end of the spectrum, you never feel the stick, but the stick is very resonant on the string, you feel the vibration more than in a wooden bow. It is harder to do a differentiated spiccato because they are somewhat too stiff. But this can be learned.

I tried several CodaBows (not Carbondix) which behaved similarly, but I preferred the Chinese ones - there former are a lot more expensive. When I tried those I bought bows from many Chinese online shops and these were the only ones that I found to be excellent.

Try them, they are fun to play. Unfortunately I lost my favourite one of those bows when I moved to Germany.

Edited by uguntde
corrected something
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On 6/30/2022 at 3:16 PM, sospiri said:

 ( ... )

When I say Lucky wood, I mean wood that you like the sound of in spruce and the feel in a bow. The characteristics of the wood in density, feel and responsiveness.

I am interested in your Pernambuco boards and how best to cut them. I spent a lot of time studying this and working out a technique for high yield whilst preserving the right grain alignments. But I am in the UK. Are you in the US? Either way, I can show you my methods and explain them.

I have a few boards just over 14cm and of course.less. Those less than 10cm pose more of the issue. They are long enough to over lap quite a bit. I might complete the 2nd bow of the year this summer so I am not in a hurry.

The outside edges of the boards waver a bit, but am not so concerned as I can work around the simpler issues.

You have made some sage remarks as to bow behaviour. My assumption is that you do have good ideas. I do manage to cut off one stick at a time. The first stick indicates to a broad nature of the rest. I do tend to create sticks for sound and not so much for response. They will learn to behave over decades.

The difficulty of orienting the wood is complicated. Some spiraling boards can be addressed as they are a bit more inferior. Yes, US. I might address this in the fall.  

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On 7/2/2022 at 6:22 AM, martin swan said:

 ( ... )

On the other hand, any scenario in which pernambuco is regulated rather than banned will result in the death of Brazilian bow-making, since foreign makers will always be willing to pay a lot more for the wood than Brazilian makers, whose output is inexpensive. That could feel like a form of colonialism.

 ( ... )

 

Could the great makers go and teach in Brasil? Could there be a "residency," as in arts speak.

Some makers have traveled to fine makers.

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On 7/2/2022 at 6:22 AM, martin swan said:

 ( ... _

I wonder if a better way forward would be for all pernambuco leaving Brazil in the form of blanks and finished bows to require an export license but for there to be no requirement for further licenses once the wood has left Brazil. This could be achieved with an addendum to appendix 2.

A single licensed sawmill responsible for processing all Brazilian pernambuco would also make sense. 

The first part makes sense. Bureaucracy can be better defined and established if there is an overall consensus or understanding. Bravo.

But a single sawmill... ? My father studied economics. I was lectured to, in the backseat of a coupe, all throughout secondary school. Trying to wrap my mind around how this would help?    

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7 minutes ago, GoPractice said:

 ( ... ) 

Some makers have traveled to fine makers.

Stupid to quote myself and apologize for not having explained the comment.

If one examines the bowmakers stamps in Brasil, the techniques ( more recently ) adopted, are quite good. I have no idea who the makers are, as I have not met them. Nor do I know who they have studied with... but some are quite good. Not sure the stamps mean anything. This is not intended to be a misleading comment, but I do own at least a half a dozen bows with the stamp of one maker. It could be that the stamp is used overwhelming on most bows.

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On 7/5/2022 at 1:15 AM, GoPractice said:

Stupid to quote myself and apologize for not having explained the comment.

If one examines the bowmakers stamps in Brasil, the techniques ( more recently ) adopted, are quite good. I have no idea who the makers are, as I have not met them. Nor do I know who they have studied with... but some are quite good. Not sure the stamps mean anything. This is not intended to be a misleading comment, but I do own at least a half a dozen bows with the stamp of one maker. It could be that the stamp is used overwhelming on most bows.

I tried a friend's Brazilian bow a few years ago. It was an excellent violin bow. Maker led to a name I was not familiar with. He had a reference to Guillaume on a web page. I asked Pierre Guillaume who said he had had some kind of training with him, but not a full apprenticeship.

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Interesting. i have one Guillaume bow, overall thin and beautiful but rarely play it. And of course, several of the rosins. One of my cellist friends is crazy for it as I was the Tartini when it became available.The Guillaume I have is octagonal. I am less ( not a ) subtle a player; I like octagonal bows... the octagonals feel stronger?

That makes sense? Many of the Arcos Brasil bows can be quite good for the way I teach. Thank you for the info. The next time I am in Belgium, I will head to Maestro Guillume's shop.

 

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On 7/5/2022 at 12:05 AM, GoPractice said:

The first part makes sense. Bureaucracy can be better defined and established if there is an overall consensus or understanding. Bravo.

But a single sawmill... ? My father studied economics. I was lectured to, in the backseat of a coupe, all throughout secondary school. Trying to wrap my mind around how this would help?    

The problem with pernambuco is certification. Everyone wants a sustainable output of pernambuco to service the bow trade but currently there are too many opportunities for corruption and illegal activity because there are so many routes the wood can take. If all legal pernambuco had to be processed through a single mill, which in itself was the only entity that could certify the legality of the wood, then you only need only one stage of the process to be monitored.

It's not really to do with economics, more to do with law enforcement.

Of course this sawmill would need in some way to be publicly funded, and the wood would be more expensive, but the bow trade can afford that.

It's just an idea ...

 

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17 minutes ago, martin swan said:

The problem with pernambuco is certification. Everyone wants a sustainable output of pernambuco to service the bow trade but currently there are too many opportunities for corruption and illegal activity because there are so many routes the wood can take. If all legal pernambuco had to be processed through a single mill, which in itself was the only entity that could certify the legality of the wood, then you only need only one stage of the process to be monitored.

It's not really to do with economics, more to do with law enforcement.

Of course this sawmill would need in some way to be publicly funded, and the wood would be more expensive, but the bow trade can afford that.

It's just an idea ...

 

I think we should acknowledge the work that CITES have done. The sustainability of the species is not a workable solution unless we accept the new rules with perhaps a few minor addenda.

 

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9 hours ago, martin swan said:

The problem with pernambuco is certification. Everyone wants a sustainable output of pernambuco to service the bow trade but currently there are too many opportunities for corruption and illegal activity because there are so many routes the wood can take. If all legal pernambuco had to be processed through a single mill, which in itself was the only entity that could certify the legality of the wood, then you only need only one stage of the process to be monitored.

It's not really to do with economics, more to do with law enforcement.

Of course this sawmill would need in some way to be publicly funded, and the wood would be more expensive, but the bow trade can afford that.

It's just an idea ...

 

It's a bit of a 'communist' approach to the subject.

A similar problem is / was in the USA with wood for electric guitars - 'swamp ash'.

It was done differently there. Until there was a problem with the extraction of 'swamp ash', it was considered the only correct material. When the problem arose ... it was decided that other types of wood are also 'great', or even better :) - and the production of alder began, and now ...rules of 'poplar', previously considered the worst 'muck' in the world.

The problem arose that with the change of the wood used, the myth has fallen, for example of the 'Fender' company, about the superiority of the 'pre CBS' models over the others.

Following this path (idea), it would be necessary to make a bow, e.g. from 'bamboo', and announce to the world that it is the only 'right' material. :)
Of course, this idea is a joke, but it shows the superiority of 'political correctness' over reason.

This reminds me of the situation of Europe's struggle for clean air, destroyed by China and the USA (and, for a long time, Germany) sucking it on.

Because the question is, how much the hell is wood used for a bow, and how much for other completely redundant and replaceable products?

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2 hours ago, Renegade said:

 

Because the question is, how much the hell is wood used for a bow, and how much for other completely redundant and replaceable products?

Pernambuco is currently only used for bow-making.

The question is how much is it endangered by bow-making, and how much by generalized deforestation and destruction of habitat.

How informed are you about the history of pernambuco conservation? The Brazilian CITES proposal is dressed up in politically correct language but it doesn't really have any plan to stop illegal logging, only to stop exportation of pernambuco or pernambuco products.

You say my approach is a bit "communist" - you think capitalism is the way to solve such problems ...?

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15 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Pernambuco is currently only used for bow-making.

The question is how much is it endangered by bow-making, and how much by generalized deforestation and destruction of habitat.

How informed are you about the history of pernambuco conservation? The Brazilian CITES proposal is dressed up in politically correct language but it doesn't really have any plan to stop illegal logging, only to stop exportation of pernambuco or pernambuco products.

You say my approach is a bit "communist" - you think capitalism is the way to solve such problems ...?

Pernambuco is currently only used for bow-making.
The question is how much is it endangered by bow-making, and how much by generalized deforestation and destruction of habitat.

(I didn't know that.)

How informed are you about the history of pernambuco conservation? The Brazilian CITES proposal is dressed up in politically correct language but it doesn't really have any plan to stop illegal logging, only to stop exportation of pernambuco or pernambuco products.

(I have no knowledge, except what you write here. But I live long enough that I know that political "mush" always has a second bottom ...)

You say my approach is a bit "communist" - you think capitalism is the way to solve such problems ...?

(Absolutely not - I mean, it reminds me a bit of the old activities in my country, vaccinated from the USSR ... like - and now you are to plant beets, not potatoes...)

There will always be 'war' where money and ecology are at stake.

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32 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Pernambuco is currently only used for bow-making.

The question is how much is it endangered by bow-making, and how much by generalized deforestation and destruction of habitat.

How informed are you about the history of pernambuco conservation? The Brazilian CITES proposal is dressed up in politically correct language but it doesn't really have any plan to stop illegal logging, only to stop exportation of pernambuco or pernambuco products.

You say my approach is a bit "communist" - you think capitalism is the way to solve such problems ...?

On the margin of this topic (bow), I had a certain reflection on the violin.
You writing about some 'systemic' solution to the Pernambuco problem.

In a moment, we will have a problem with spruce and maybe maple ...

How about taking action - buying and restoring the old 'dutzendware' and 'verleger' and offering them to young students rather than buying Chinese products by their parents? ...the same can be done with old 'copies' of bow like Thomassin ... and others. :)

PS: though, I've heard a lot also of positive information about them (china violin) :)

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45 minutes ago, Renegade said:

 

How about taking action - buying and restoring the old 'dutzendware' and 'verleger' and offering them to young students rather than buying Chinese products by their parents? ...the same can be done with old 'copies' of bow like Thomassin ... and others. :)

 

Any old violin which is capable of being restored and made playable is already treated in this way. There are thousands of armchair restorers who buy these things and sell them locally for small profits. Much of this trade is on Ebay, but most violin shops in the world have a large stock of such instruments.

In China they are even sold as "Amati copies" or whatever the label says.

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7 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Any old violin which is capable of being restored and made playable is already treated in this way. There are thousands of armchair restorers who buy these things and sell them locally for small profits. Much of this trade is on Ebay, but most violin shops in the world have a large stock of such instruments.

In China they are even sold as "Amati copies" or whatever the label says.

I regret, is my idea was not innovative.
But I can see that I was on the right track :)

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54 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Any old violin which is capable of being restored and made playable is already treated in this way. There are thousands of armchair restorers who buy these things and sell them locally for small profits. Much of this trade is on Ebay, but most violin shops in the world have a large stock of such instruments.

In China they are even sold as "Amati copies" or whatever the label says.

I watch Thomassin bow, and what do I see?
...your website on the Internet :) nice.

PS: It's a pity, I can't afford the original :)

Are the later copies a total 'carcass'?

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Marco Raposo makes very good mid-range bows in Brasil, and he states that for every tree felled they plant 3 saplings!

Another anecdote is that he goes around buying 100 year old fence posts - clearly not sustainable

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1 hour ago, reg said:

Marco Raposo makes very good mid-range bows in Brasil, and he states that for every tree felled they plant 3 saplings!

Another anecdote is that he goes around buying 100 year old fence posts - clearly not sustainable

I hope Marco Raposo will be making submissions to the November meeting - he and other good makers in Brazil will be the hardest hit by this proposal.

When I was peripherally involved in forestry the accepted figure was that you had to plant at least 10 trees for every one mature tree felled.

 

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5 hours ago, martin swan said:

1, Pernambuco is currently only used for bow-making.

2, The question is how much is it endangered by bow-making?

3, and how much by generalized deforestation and destruction of habitat?

4, The Brazilian CITES proposal is dressed up in politically correct language but it doesn't really have any plan to stop illegal logging, only to stop exportation of pernambuco or pernambuco products.

1, Thus making it a very valuable commodity.

2 and 3, Unfortunately both problems are interlinked.

4, Some degree of political correctness is inevitable if Pernambuco wood in the Mata Atlantica is going to be saved from being wiped out completely.

Stopping illegal logging in the Brazilian rainforest is impossible, but I don't see how the continued trade in newly cut Pernambuco can be justified. What other solution is available other than to ban it?

How can the general purpose of the new rules be a bad thing? 

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