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Violinshop: Tools, Tips & Tricks


I’ve been distracted by other projects, but the Turing Fiddle is finally done! #turing #violin #fiddler #whatsonyourbench #luthier
I always like getting the first coat of varnish on. Suddenly you can see shadows AND reflected highlights, and the form and texture of the instrument become more apparent.
Now I think the extra day and a half I spent chamfering the rays was worth the effort. 
(Can anyone tell me where to get straight-cut back wood?, I’m sick of this!)

#sunrays☀️ #turing #woodcarving #violin #fiddle #whatsonyourbench #luthier #luthiery
Carving at last! #turingpattern #woodcarving #violin #fiddle
There’s a great feature on @miapixley and her Ripple cello in this months Strings Magazine. This project was so much fun…..and it’s still making waves!  #cello #offbeat #cellist
Stradivari’s Blue Jeans
Did Strad know that his varnish would wear off quick and look awesome…. or was it a fortunate mistake? 

What makes an antiqued finish the most enduring and acceptable form of violin decoration? 

Is “Antiquing”  a violin  the equivalent of  stone washing jeans?

Could there be a violin finish that has similar attractive qualities to an antiqued finish…. but that isn’t pretending to be something it isn’t? ….

…..I think there could be.  What do you think?

Read my rambling musings on this topic.

#violinvarnish #blueviolin #fiddle #lutherie #violiinmaking
Imagine you could see waves and vibrations passing through an object, the way that we can see waves and ripples on water.
#violin #fiddle #sculpture #waves #ripples #violinmaking
The varnish is on. I’m about to start texturing and antiquing the Tabolin.
#texture #offbeatfiddles #experimentalviolin
Decorating the Tabolin plates. Its another cell pattern, this one has a sea urchin and lobster look, with some reptile overtones. #experimentalviolin #fiddle #sculpture #woodcarvingart #woodcarving
Very happy to have the Redwood Violin covered by Strings. 

Thanks to everyone who has been involved in the project!

#madelocal #farmtotablefiddle
Since January 1st I’ve been building a violin from scratch, using only materials from within 25 miles of my house. 

the Redwood Violin is a community project in two parts: In phase 1 MADE LOCAL, I collected materials such as local sheep's intestine for a tailgut,  beef tendons to make glue, walnuts to make oil for varnish, even some wildfire ash to make lye. 

For woods I picked materials that made sense tonally, but also had some local cultural social significance The main woods I’m using are Redwood and Applewood and Manzanita.

I did  most of the violinmaking myself but, wherever possible, I enlisted the help of other local artisans with greater knowledge than me.  I’ve had contributions from a papermaker, a woodturner, a mobile slaughterer, a calligrapher, a grape grower a peddle steel guitarmaker. 

I’ve documented collecting and preparing  the materials, and making the violin. I also interviewed all the contributors to the project.  on a YouTube channel: The Redwood Violin Project  UCNLXc5u1RBaCkJ_8Jeb6bJA. 

The violin will be debuting in mid April at a concert of a local youth orchestra which will feature a concertina for violin and strings composed by one of the students. 

After the April concert, we enter Phase 2: PLAYED LOCAL.  The violin will be made available to anyone in the community who would like to include it in a concert or to make a home video.  We hope to attract the interest of musicians and composers, regardless of age, musical genre,  or ability.  The hope is to stimulate artistic collaborations and to showcase the talent that we have to enjoy right here at home in Sonoma County, CA.

At the end of the year the violn will be donated to the Santa Rosa Youth Orchestra

The best way to  follow the Redwood Violin Project is to go to our website  website, and sign up for our almost-weekly newsletter.  #violinist #violin #fiddle #whatsonmybench #madelocally #madelocal #theredviolin #theredwoodviolin
I finally got the X and O fiddles done . There’s a sound-test video which probably does more to add to the mysteries of violin sound rather than shedding any light. 

See more details about this project on my website blog
The woodwork is done on the X and O-fiddles. 
The last two pictures are of the Cladni patterns overlaid on a picture of the outsides of the backs.  The O-mode on the O-fiddle was weak and at a higher frequency.  Apparently my carving pattern was an interference. 

My sense, from the feel of the wood and the plates is that the X-fiddle will be the brighter and livelier of the two.
Done carving the outside of the X and O-Fiddles. Next comes the interesting bit: hollowing and tuning the plates. I’ll start to get a sense of whether the carved patterns will affect the tone of the fiddles. #violin #violinistas #pattern #texture #fiddles
Getting into the carving on the X Fiddle.  It´s fun making up the chip patterns as I go.  It reminds me a lot of carving wood blocks for print making.  The possible patterns are dictated by the wood grain and they vary between cell in the design. 
I dont yet know how Ím going to treat the central ¨corset¨ area. It needs some texture.

 I really want the fiddle to have an organic look, like something you might find washed up on a beach somewhere.
The fun begins. A pair of violins patterned after the X and O vibrational modes. #violinist🎻 #violinistas #fiddler #chladni
Flown into my yard from the fires. Mostly bay laurel (or eucalyptus?), but also live oak, maple and some building material(?!). I guess that it is incinerated without oxygen, turns to charcoal and gets caught in the updraft. The big piece weighs 0.8 grams and came at least 5 miles. 

Check out the blisters on the bay laurel where the volatile oils evaporated before it charred. 

@peter_goodfellow Does this look familiar?
Im starting a pair of fiddles with contrasting structures to see what the effect on sound will be.  The first two drawings are the designs that I will use, they are based on the X and O-vibrational modes. 

This is a little bit science but mostly a good excuse to indulge my interest in nature, geometry and architecture.

More on the ideas behind this:

#violinist🎻 #fiddler  #violinistas  #cellpattern  #celli
Turtle Fiddle Arrived! Its been a slow but  interesting ride.  Read about the ideas behind the turtle  on my blog. #violinist🎻 #violinistas #fiddler #texture #rust #sculpture
The Turtle Fiddle is coming along......slow and steady!
I’m these unusual times I’d like to suggest that we all grab a handful of mud and take a few minutes to make a dorodango.  This great video will show you how.  #showmeyourdorodango #dorodango
Met Davey Jones.  Or was it La Catrina?
Encountering other worlds. At point arena, California.
Parts of the viola looked quite reptilian to me.  I decided to make a fiddle with strong turtle and tortoise overtones.  I made the dimples into larger cells and structured their layout. #cellularfiddles #unusualviolin
The finished viola, with some extreme patina. #celluarfiddles
I haven’t been on Instagram for sometime. Here’s a project from a couple of months back. I always wanted to make a fiddle that featured some of the gouge work that gets lost when we finish an instrument. #cellularfiddles