Sunday, June 3, 2012

Times are Always changin'

Got the feeling I should write again, especially since I have moved once again and I know some people who want to know how things are going so.....things are good. I'm in Nashville now, working at a fiddle shop :-) I have lots to learn but am up to the challenge.
I ended my school year at the New World School on a pretty good note I think. I was working on my last scroll for my third fiddle body. Oh! Something else that's pretty exciting is I am going to be a guest artist at the Wisconsin Northwoods Art tour this fall. I will be at Your Arts Program gallery thanks to Frances. I am still preparing for it and hope to have some interesting things to show.

Scrolls: As my introduction, Brian talked about how there is asymmetry in sculptures and people and how this is often appreciated, so a little asymmetry in my scroll is okay. First time I've heard that! Up til now we've tried getting everything as symmetrical as possible, a little bit of a nice relief this was. Then I began making 5 basic shapes of scroll scrapers, learned how to orientate the scroll blank, and so on and so on. . . I learned how to cut out the rough shape of the scroll using a bow saw and then the bandsaw. Once again when taking the scroll down to the scribed line, squareness is important. I saw, then gouge when working on the turns of the scroll. And I was introduced to the sanding stick which is helpful  in the pegbox.

Nashville: I started work in the shop Thursday and worked on violins most of the day. Friday I worked up front getting familiar with all their stuff and got to play some pretty cool fiddles :) Looks like I will be working wherever they need me. Dave's son is also going to start working, he is just about to go into high school.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Success of a New Day

The best compliment I have received in my violin making career occured today, and it's even better because it was from Brian! So....I have been working on my first scroll and taking tons of notes! I have measurements for everything on a scroll you could imagine. And today I got to try out my new, custom scroll gouges, which Brian keeps saying are nice tools. Today, I primarily worked on the first turn of the scroll. Now how Brian goes about showing us is he basically demonstrates what he wants us to do on one side, in this instance one side of the scroll, and we copy what he did on the other. Well, today after I has finished another step in the process and brought it to Brian to look at, he looked at the scroll, touched it up a little, and said, "Are you sure you haven't done this before?" I just laughed. And he said, "I'm serious." I looked up at him and kept laughing. And he said, "This is not bad."
"Oh so you expect it to be bad."
"No, but it's your first one."
After that I just smiled. Earlier while I was working on the scroll he asked me if I felt like I knew what I was doing, or if I felt lost. I said I kinda felt like I knew what I was doing. I'm not sure to chalk it up to me enjoying scrolls, for the most part, or Brian's teaching skills.

That was my highlight of the day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nashville visit

So my last blog was right around's been awhile and as a result much has happened since. I have completed the bodies of fiddle two and three, the Amati and Strad models. And I have just started working on my first scroll. I was able to get some really nice custom built gouges that I am looking forward to use.
I also just got back from spring break in Nashville and boy was it great! Nashville Violins has been pursuing me to work in their shop, so when I went to Nashville this week I got to meet the owner and check out the shop. It 's a nice place. I'm thinking the profession I'm in allows me to get to know some good, down to earth people quite easily. So I had a good time in Nashville, checked out the city some, got to see some sights like the Art museum and the outside of the Grand Ole Opry and walked down Broadway to take in some music. My impression of Nashville so far is....well, people have a certain perception or expectation of it and it often is very different than you might have thought, especially after living there. But this is just a theory. Honestly, it's just another city. The difference is it has a big name.
It would be great if I could finish my three scrolls before school is done for the semester, but I don't know how realistic that is really. We will see. Anyway, I've been having a great time. Until next time.