For many years I have wanted to attend the annual, two week,Violin Making Workshop at Oberlin, Ohio. It attracts makers from all over the world and this year was  attended this year by sixty violin makers and about a dozen bow makers. With so much talent and experience present you cannot help but learn and I left with long list new ideas to try.  It is incredibly valuable to see other makers at work in real time. I was familiar with the finished work of some of these makers but by seeing them at the bench,  and from asking a few questions,  I learned a lot about how they get some of the results that I have admired.  The biggest surprise to me was pacing, the speed at which most people work.  It turns out that the uniformly thicknessed edges, regular scroll volutes and evenly applied varnish that have eluded me for years, are largely a result of working  a lot more slowly than I do.    In the months since then I have changed some of my habits and have been able improve some things, such as evenness of varnish application. On the other hand I still prefer the dynamism of more loosely cut edges and purfling.

 

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