News : Wood-turner

 Formerly a "wood turner" was a polyvalent craftsman. Mostly a poet and resourceful person, his trade often developed around a regional activity (Sheffield tools handlers. Vercors place settings, or Lorraine's violin pegs).
Throughout history, he turned fashion to his advantage (ivory pearls, boxwood game parts, or serinette, a music box imitating bird songs.)
In opposition to today's art turners, their production was essentially utilitarian, and often associated with other industries: cabinet making, table makers, ivory workers or layetiers (sewing kits, tobacco and glasses cases).
       
This art is not only about creating pretty items, but also about tools making or any ingenious invention.
This is why the use of rare materials is no secret to him. He works with horn, tortoise shell, elephant ivory, gold or rare woods. He must, of course be able to work with special tools, and understand the requirements of the orders he receives, should it be the precision of a tool or the beauty of a unique master work.

The turning industry has come to a stop for the past 25 years, since moulded plastics, modern production and the giving up of the old way of decorating -plating, marquetry, metallic engraving-. The ban on rare material (ivory, shell, some exotic woods) came into picture. Due to automated turning, the trade is slowly becoming obsolete.

Its recent return, first in Anglo-Saxon countries, is spreading as an art or a creative hobby.



News: Wood

While the violin is made of flamed maple for the back and spruce for the top for 300 years, different kinds of woods were used for accessories. Their mechanical function requires a good resistance to traction (for tailpieces), to twisting (for pegs), or to wear (for fingerboards).
Before the industrial and colonial era, hard and fine grain european woods were used (apple tree,  plum tree). Some of them are naturally « greasy », and thank to their fine grain, it's easy to obtain an admirable polish.


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News : Fittings for strings instruments  

Many of the respectable 200 years old cellos circulating in the auction sales have attracted my attention. Looking at them, I got a feeling of incongruity, like looking at a beautiful piece of furniture with a wood-grained Formica top.
It's that shiny plastic tailpiece. I was upset to see that this sparkling eyesore was hiding the instrument ! Something had to be made about this, at least for aesthetic reasons.
I am a also a violin maker and my knowledge of the setup and adjustment of instruments is a useful skill. However, some questions arise regarding the evolution of the fittings of the instruments of the classical quartet. 

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