I have a special relationship with my tonewood. Many pieces are like old friends. I go back to visit them each time I peruse my wood collection, choosing materials for an upcoming commission. In fact, I prefer a certain amount of my work to be un-commissioned ... in part because I can through my wood and decide the time has come for a certain piece, even when there may be no standing order for it.The piece I'm holding below is an interesting case in point. I got a call from a contact in Bosnia that scouts wood for me. A beautiful curly maple tree had been found high in the mountains.
|This week, time has finally come for one old friend. I will build a personal model violin and make it available to someone who would like a part in the next chapter of its long future.|
|Piles of top wood. Although maple is more costly, the contribution of spruce to the final sound of a violin is far more dramatic! I have piles and piles of spruce, sorted according to various qualities that I feel are important.|
|This piece of wood will become GA203 later this summer. A violinist in the Euclid String Quartet has been using my violin for some time. Now the other Euclid violinist, Jacob Murphy, will be joining him.|
|Work underway today, roughing out the arching for the new back.|
|It's the same wood, from the same tree. But the flames slope upwards from the center joint, like the Betts.|
|A few hours later and Dr. Winter's GA204 is back on schedule.|
I'm off to Prague on Monday for a meeting of the Entente Internationale des Luthiers et Archetiers (EILA). I will be representing my American colleagues as the US delegate and presenting a talk about "Trends in Today's Violin Making". Stay tuned ... I'll send photos back to the shop to tell you about the trip next week!