After her first year at Newark, Kira was given a work experience placement in Juliet Barker’s workshop. Her main aim for that week was to discover a better idea of archings, in terms of construction as well as their influence on the sound. Starting with her two plates, back and front, cut out and roughly arched, over the course of the week she made the platforms for the purfling, cut the outlines, purfled the plates, worked on the back arching and finished the front arching. Kira writes:
“I enjoyed a lot to learn about the technique to glue the box together (temporarily) and after that work on the outline, in concrete relation to the rib structure. I'm also really happy that I was shown how to cut the outline with a knife. I enjoyed the talks about the outline and the archings.”
Kira’s second award was for wood for the cello she will make in her third year and a work experience placement. She writes:
“I am now in the second year. To date I have made four instruments, 3 are set up and varnished and one finished in the white. I also made two instruments as joint projects with Robert Stepp and one with Sam Brouwer. I am currently working on a viola. Another aspect I have really enjoyed have been my four work experience placements, focussing on a variety of areas including set ups, bow rehairs and new making. These have set the standard I am aiming for in my future professional development.
In my final year I plan to make a cello. It is also my goal to make as many violins based on a range of different models as possible, because my long term aim lies in achieving the best sound I can, and I want to have many instruments to experiment with. I also plan to continue the joint projects for the foreseeable future. This year I realised how important these are. Working with other makers not only pushes me to work at a higher standard, but also forces me to examine closely every aspect of the making process, as it must be discussed and agreed upon with all involved. The models we chose to make are not covered on the course, so a great deal of research and planning was involved with the new styles and techniques. I find this collaborative way of learning very effective.