Ute Zahn ~ Violin Maker
It's almost time to pack up my measuring tools again -- next week, I'll accompany Bill Scott on a field trip to study old Italian masters in their natural habitat. Not Italy (I wish!!), but the next-best destination, which is the excellent National Music Museum in tiny Vermillion, South Dakota. I haven't been to the NMM in quite a few years -- they have a wonderful, thorough, eclectic collection of just about any kind of instrument, well deserving of more than the two half-days we can spare them. Bill's goal is to get an up-close and personal look at a Bergonzi viola. I'd love to be able to take an Andrea Amati or two out of its glass case. Half of my students chose to occupy their time with Andrea A's violins, and I feel they deserve a better-informed teacher. So inform myself I will. I only wish I had time to add a trip to the Badlands, too ....
... having fun meeting people at the Minne-Faire, where I'll have a table. I am not sure I would want to be known as the "DIY violin maker", though ... I am planning on carving a scroll while I'm there, by way of a "science and tech demo", and bring along fun things to look at (interesting moulds, castings, work-in-progress). If you're in the neighbourhood, stop by -- five bucks gets you in the door. You'll find more information at minnefaire.org
I was just sent a link to this blog by a young woman from Belize, who studies in Trinidad and whom I met there. She talks about Anna Huthmaker's, as well as my recent visit. Check it out here theartsinmotion.wordpress.com.
I am in The Strad again this month, this time in an article detailing a variety of injuries a luthier might encounter. Maybe some day, I will get to write about something other than biology in violin making .... (note to self: prepare a handout for my students on injury prevention, including suitable stretches, weight and resistance exercises, suggestions on how to sit and set up your workbench, when to take a breather etc).
Meanwhile, work on my Peter of Guarneri continues apace. I am ready to glue in a label, and then assemble the soundbox. Even though I have done this many times, I still get very excited each time I reach this point.