Journal

Monday, June 7, 2010 Work continues

Plates for Alafaire are nearly finished. Once they are attached to the ribs, the purfling will be inlaid, the edges rounded and then blended into the arching.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 Arching the table

Alafaire's table. The inside is already hollowed and substantially finished with only a little blending to go. The outside is now matched to the inside making any minor corrections necessary. Out of the original glued up blank, most of the spruce will wind up as shavings on the shop floor.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 Making the table

Italian spruce for Alafaire's table glued up and resting.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 Alafaire: Back

This is the back of the most recent Strad model. Already hollowed and with the arches roughed out, it's ready to be planed down to final shape and graduated.

I used to give the fiddles names just before I closed the body but lately, with the lead time on silver tags, I try to do it right away. This one is called Alafaire, a name first seen in Scotland and England in the 16th century.

Monday, May 17, 2010 Gluing up

A friend who lives in Italy asked for a violin to be made which will be presented to his friend, a resident of California. This is the table blank of Italian spruce waiting to be glued up. The lights warm the edges prior to applying the hot hide glue.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 Wood grain on silver

Susanna Prince, the jeweler who makes the silver labels for each fiddle, was showing me her rolling mill a few weeks back. She puts a piece of silver through the mill with a flower petal or leaf over it and when it comes out on the other side, the imprint of the petal (or leaf) has been pressed into the silver. It didn't take too long for the idea to grow between us to take a shaving of wood and do the same thing for the violin labels. And from that it was only a baby step to using a shaving from the same piece of wood used in the violin itself. So now, thanks to her unbridled creative thinking, the silver label that accompanies each fiddle will have an imprint of the instrument's top, sort of like the fiddle's fingerprint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mighty Rolling Mill

Thursday, May 13, 2010 Northwest Folklife

This year at Folklife on the narrative stage, I will be part of a presentation on practical acoustics, specifically regarding violins. Joining me will be Rick Davis of Running Dog Guitars, who will offer the guitar perspective on the same subject. The hour long presentation will be tailored to whomever shows up and what they, as a collective audience, are interested in talking about. Hopefully we will also have a practical demonstration or two as accompaniment to our dialog; maybe even a diagram.