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Monday Morning Violin Maker
The real world of violinmaking
Imagine if you will, an enjoyable weekend with family and friends. It is now Monday morning. Somewhat forgotten from last week are today's tasks. The sun has been up for an hour, breakfast was nothing special - just enough to make it through the morning so the pangs of hunger don't distract. The solitary craftsman opens the door to the studio. The sun is shining in the lone window and the birds are busy at the feeder and the birdbath. There is a slight essence of the sweet smell of benzoin from Friday's polishing session. This day is unique in that the final details will be achieved. The bench is rightly placed in front of the window as shadows appear from that single source of light in the sky. The time is now to examine the smooth curves and flowing lines, taking advantage of the shadows. Small corrections are made. Think elegance. The piece of wood is tapped and flexed, using the senses of touch, sight, and hearing to make sure everything is right.
It is time to do the final assembly. It has been weeks of work that has led to this point. It's time to sign the inside of his creation. His mind drifts off to the future as he is putting in his mark. Perhaps 200 years from now there will be occasion to repair this one. That is the next time this signature will be seen. It will likely look as fresh as it does today. What will the future hold for this one? How many will enjoy it and be moved by it? Enough daydreaming - back to the task at hand . Heat the glue, clamp, and set aside. It will be about 10 days until the varnish is dry and this instrument is brought to life. This is my Monday morning as a violin maker.
Jonathan S. Franke - Violinmaker
Jonathan S. Franke began his career in violin making in 1985. After many years as a Master Tool and Die Maker, he started to focus his skills and experience on the task of building quality violin family instruments. His background as a skilled master craftsman has proven to be a great asset in the art of violin making. Each of his instruments is created with the goal of being true to the best of the Cremonese (Italian) tradition.
Jonathan has won numerous awards for workmanship and tone over the years.
He finds the competition a useful tool
to keep his skills honed.
In 1992, Jonathan moved to Monroe, Oregon, where he opened his present shop. He builds violin family instruments full time from a hill-top shop overlooking the Willamette Valley.
Carving a violin top.
Dry fitting the purfling before
gluing with hot hide glue.
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