Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mea Culpa

 (November 2017)
Mea Culpa.

As said earlier, everything presented so far has been in its nature a hypothesis, reaching toward an understanding of classical Italian violin family design and making methods.   I started looking seriously at violin making around 2009, and this research began in earnest two years later.   It’s now been about a year since I started making the results public.  The research has of course continued, and the ideas have developed and changed to some degree.  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Constructing a Bergonzi violin mold from scratch

Here's a very detailed example of classical violin geometry in application.   Here, the shapes are all created by simple compass arcs and straight lines.  And every part is sized with simple ratios from other parts. 

It's a rather dense presentation to wade through.  But it shows the complete design process behind a violin form by Stradivari's apprentice Bergonzi.   This gives the shape for a form that Bergonzi cut in a walnut board, approximately 14mm thick.  Using this inner form, Bergonzi bent the ribs for many of his wonderful violins.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Breaking the Stradivari Code.


A System of Geometry and Simple Ratios.

As it turns out, there is a system of geometry and simple ratios behind the shapes of classical violin making.

This geometry can be cracked and deciphered -- once we find a few starting keys into the code.  And, like the DNA codes that shape life, classical violin making's codes of geometry and proportion not only determine the form of single instruments, but also play the central role governing changes and development of instruments across the generations of classical making.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Designing and Making a Violin From Scratch, 17th Century Italian Style


How can we make what is seen in the old Italian violins?

From scratch so to say, rather than copying. And how can we proceed avoiding any methods inconsistent with the time of classical violin making?

To sketch the broad strokes of an answer, we'll lay aside all modern approaches and the now standard common practices that mostly arose out of 19th the century commercialization of violin making.  Using only resources appropriate to the time and  place of 16th and 17th century Northern  Italy, we will re-imagine designing and making a violin from start to finish.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A three centuries old mystery: The Secret of Stradivari

It's a favorite media story: The Secret of Stradivari Discovered!   It seems every six months or so for the last hundred years we get a round of stories about the secret of Stradivari.  It's romantic and fun.  Seems it never ends.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How Was the Old Making Different?

It's one thing to revere the great old instruments, but if we want to revive the old methods of making we need to understand their culture of making in greater detail.  How can we begin?  Perhaps it will help to bring out some contrasts between modern and old approaches to making things.