Posts by Laura

Guarneri Fall 2018

A Violin Commission Inspired by the “Plowden” del Gesu Fall 2018   After a busy summer and a very busy September getting all the local violinist ready for their lessons, I am finally back at the bench with a violin to finish. This commission is another small violin- a 350mm violin inspired by the “Plowden” del Gesu. I am using local Big Leaf Maple for the ribs, back and scroll, and Alpine Spruce for the top. I chose to carve the scroll before completing the body. Now I am finalizing the back arch before doing the same to the top. I will then temporarily glue the top and back to the rib structure to finalize the outline before installing the purfling. I had the pleasure of a visit from the musician who has commissioned the instrument and we had a lovely time talking about the violin and we are both eager to hear it! We’re quite a few weeks away though- once the violin is done the varnish process takes many weeks.  ...

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Shop Windows!

Another Window in the Shop Summer 2018 Because you can never have too much natural light….the window to the far left is a new addition to my shop, and the one beside it was replaced. My main workbench windows face north, and my new wall of windows faces west. I love the natural light pouring in, and the view of Scout Mountain and my front garden. This all happened while I was away at the annual Fiddleworks Fiddle Camp, which I attend every year to connect with the fiddling community and support the musicians there with rehairs, strings and repairs.  ...

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Alard 2018

A Petite 4/4 Violin Inspired by the “Alard” Amati Summer 2018   I was commissioned to build this violin for a lovely violinist who wanted an instrument that was more comfortable to play, and had a beautiful rich sound. After discussing different models and wood choices, we settled on the “Alard” Amati as a starting point. It is on the small side for a full size violin at 350mm rather than the more common 355mm. Yes, that half a centimeter can make a big difference! After trying instruments I had made using European wood and using the local stuff, my client chose a fully local violin- Sitka Spruce and Big Leaf Maple. The Sitka is higher in density and gives a gorgeous warmth. Both woods are more colourful than their European cousins, and make a great base colour to start the varnish process. I completed the violin in July. It is beautiful and delicate looking, with a rich warmth. And it is just the right size!...

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Spring 2018 Kelowna

A Fascinating, Mystery Repair Spring 2018   I’ve had this violin in my collection for several years, waiting for the chance to bring it back to life. I finally started last year, after consulting with the lovely violin maker Brian Hoover, of Bowen Island, on how to tackle the disaster that was the broken button and a poorly executed, messy repair. We decided that the cleanest repair was to remove  the poorly repaired button and the area below it and place a matching piece of wood there. On the inside I then did a patch to stabilize everything. There was a lot of other fun stuff too- patches to the top and bottom block area on the front and a soundpost patch. The original neck and scroll was long gone by the time the violin arrived in my shop, so I salvaged a scroll from among my collection and varnished it to match the beautiful golden varnish of the original. It was a complex project and I am very pleased with how it turned out. It’s a gorgeous little...

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Spring 2018 Violinmaking

Violin making Spring 2018 It’s been a busy time in the shop with lots of building. I started three instruments- a petite full size, inspired by the Alard Amati, another small full size, inspired by the Plowden Guarneri del Gesu, and a small 5-string, inspired by various lovely makers of the past, but my own model. I like to start a few projects at the same time, but then I complete them one by one as time permits. I like the focus of completing one instrument, fully immersed in the process. I try to complete a bunch of repair work and then set aside many weeks to build....

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