Monday, February 23, 2009

"Caring more and more about less and less"

My wife gave me a copy of “The Violin Maker” for Christmas. It’s a beautifully produced book which tells to story of a violin commissioned from luthier Sam Zygmuntowicz by the violinist Eugene Drucker. Although there is not much to learn about the construction of a violin for a luthier, its description of the angst that I luthier can feel whist trying to fulfil a commission confirms the feelings that I often get and that I’m not entirely insane! There are other people in the world who endeavour to produce beautiful, hand crafted work. One phrase that has particular resonance (if you pardon the pun) with me at the moment is, “caring more and more about less and less.” I had hoped that by this stage of my career that I would be making instruments far quicker than I do. In fact, sometimes, I almost seem to be going slower; making sure ever minute detail, inside and out is as good as it can be; caring more and more about less and less. Talking of which........

Above you can see the Red Mandolin; it’s going through its “first fix”. One of the things that I like about building an instrument with a floating bridge and tailpiece is that you can get it set-up and playing before you finish it. Once it’s set-up, it can be stripped back down and the finish (French polish in this case) can be applied. That way you greatly reduce any chance of damaging the finishing whilst setting up. I’m really getting excited about applying the polish; I’ve done a few test pieces and the cocobolo is going to look stunning.

One of the other instruments currently on the bench is the African Blackwood ukulele and here you can see it complete with Pink Ivory bindings looking very pretty.

Still Life

As I was doing a bit of research about 10 string and alto classical guitars the other day, I came across this YouTube channel, Solo Guitarist Net; some fantastic stuff here!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Left-Handed Cutaway Guitar

Andy D’s guitar has now been completed; he picked it up earlier in the week and I’m glad to say that he is very pleased with it. I’ve made another demo video for YouTube so you can see me, making a fool of myself, trying to play left-handed.

I was very pleased with way the guitar turned out and one of my favourite features is the cutaway. When you look at many factory guitars, you can see where they get their standard bolt-on neck and use it on a cutaway body leaving an ugly step; there’s an example below (no names mentioned!).


Whereas building one-offs, as I do, you end up with something like this.


Labels: , , ,