Talk given at Viola Day for Teachers at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester in January 2004. It includes a discussion of the issues of size and string length for viola players and includes a chart of sizes and suitable strings for child-sized violas. Transcript of talk to Chet's viola day Jan 04 … [Read more...]
Writing and Talks
Sharing information with players and other makers is an important part of my work. I’ve been invited to give talks at conferences, and written articles for specialised publications. In 2015 I published a book of the writings of the late Koen Padding, whose expertise about violin varnish was recognised worldwide.
Violin Varnish: notes and articles from the workshop of Koen Padding
Koen Padding was well-known through his company, Magister, which produced historically-informed varnish products for violins. After his death in 2012, I decided to collect and publish the information he had made available in his lifetime. This book contains the articles that Koen Padding wrote for specialist publications, the notes he provided with his products, information he gave to users of his products, details of materials left in his workshop on his death and the orders he made from specialist suppliers, and chemical analysis of some Magister products. The book is a nonprofit venture and proceeds from the sale have benefited musical and aid charities. The book was published in 2015.
Talk given at Lutherie 2006, an annual conference for violin makers held under the auspices of the Newark School of Violin Making. It covers aspects of making violas, with particular reference to the possibilities as regards size, string length and proportions, and some ideas about approaches to making good-sounding violas. Transcript of talk to Lutherie 2006 … [Read more...]
Article reproduced by permission from The Strad Magazine, October 2007 Trade Secrets Oct 07 high-res … [Read more...]
Transcript of lecture/demonstration given to the conference of the British Violin Making Association at Dartington, Devon in September 2008. It gives a detailed description of the theory and practice of steam-bending the spruce to make fronts for instruments. Dartington talk transcript with pics … [Read more...]
Part 1: Purfling the edges. Article reproduced by permission from the Strad Magazine, June 2010 StradArticle_ 1604-2010-7-27 … [Read more...]
Part 2: Decorative patterns on the back. Article reproduced by permission from the Strad Magazine, August 2010 TradeSecretsAug2010 … [Read more...]
Article written for the Autumn 2010 issue of the Newsletter of the British Violin Making Association with my colleague William Castle, describing a day working together on different models of scroll. Read here: A Tale of Two Scrolls … [Read more...]
Article written for the Autumn 2011 issue of the Newsletter of the British Violin Making Association describing a project to make cello modelled after Gasparo da Salo with a team of colleagues. Read here: Glasgow Gasparo Cello Project 2011 … [Read more...]
From the stable to the workshop: investigating the use of saltpetre in violin primers. Talk given at the 20th anniversary conference of the British Violin Making Association, September 2015 Read here: Saltpetre-BVMA_10.10 … [Read more...]
A feature of a number of classical cellos is that the fronts are wider than the backs, and the ribs flare outwards. The article examines this and suggests a way of achieving this when making a new instrument. Published in Issue 83 of the BVMA newsletter, spring 2016 Guadagnini cello ribs … [Read more...]