A unique experience - by Hanna Stumpfl

A few months ago I was asked by the team of Helen Michetschläger, Kai-Thomas Roth, William Castle and Marc Soubeyran if I wanted to support them in their viola making project at the RNCM in Manchester between 9th-13th January 2017 by making sure they were never hungry nor thirsty, and to take photographs of their work.

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It took minutes to reply to their request as I was very eager to be able to watch and learn from such experienced makers!

During the five days in which they completed a Bellosio viola of 1792 I learned a lot, from seeing how they use tools, and which tools, hearing their discussions on different parts of the making process and even got to ask trickier questions concerning thicknessing and archings. I feel very lucky to have been part of this project. The amount of information and inspiration I have gained from this is immense and I am really eager to get my hands on wood again to try all the different things I have learned in this days – starting today with carving my cello scroll!

Carving the peg box

Carving the peg box

William Castle bending the ribs

William Castle bending the ribs

Mark Soubeyran cutting the purfling channel

Mark Soubeyran cutting the purfling channel

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