Violin Craftsmanship Institute – Year 4

This marks my fourth year at the Violin Craftsmanship Institute. Last year, I spent most of my two weeks refining the corners on my violin, so it really didn’t feel like I had made much progress. This year was different. I was able to complete the purfling, get the arching on both plates done, and voice the top. I had hoped to get the ff-Holes cut, but all I managed to do was to mung up a couple of practice pieces with wide grain… I guess they will have to wait until next year.

For the first week, the mood of the class was a bit more somber than usual, but then Bill showed up from Chicago, and things started to perk up. I swear, that guy could have fun in a rock fight! Most of the regular group was there, and as usual, Jim and Zoran were both a lot of fun, and a huge help to all the students.

I also had the opportunity to visit Jim Robinson’s studio, and Renaissance Strings. It’s truly a first-class establishment all the way around, and it really makes me wish that I had a nice workshop instead of the kitchen table that I’ve been using. Jim’s meticulous attention to detail has always been evident in his violins and cellos, but you can also see it in his shop and business.

As always, the class was great, but the 10 hour days do get tiring after a while. With luck, and a little work on the side, I should be able to complete the white work on my violin next year. I’ll just have to make sure I’ve shaped and sharpened all my scroll gouges first, so I don’t have to spend the entire first week working on that.

Click any of the pictures to visit the entire 2006 Violin Making School gallery.

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