The Great Contemporary Bowmakers of the 21st Century.-Vol.One

Posted in Books, Contemporary bow makers, Contemporary bow making on September 25th, 2011 by Robert Morrow

 

Andy Lim of Darling Publications will be releasing the first volume of his new book, “The Great Contemporary Bowmakers of the 21st Century” at Mondomusica 2011, Cremona Music Fair from 30 September until 2 October.  In the photo we see Mr. Hendricks from Kleve, Germany who is the artisan chosen to bind the massive book.  Each volume will be about the size of a viola case.

If you look closely the top page shows photos of four bows from the French bow maker or archetier Arthur Dubroca.  The bow photos in this book are unprecedented in that the bows are full size, to scale, and the entire bow is in perspective.  What do I mean by in perspective?  The entire bow is represented so that no matter what part of the bow you are looking at it will be seen as if you are looking squarely at it.  To achieve this perspective Andy had a special digital camera created just for photographing bows.  The bow is placed on a track that slowly passes under a digital camera.  The camera photographs the bow many times over nearly an hour while the bow passes underneath.  The photographs are then stitched together producing an image that is seen from directly in front throughout the whole image.  Andy’s work will help preserve for posterity not only the makers craftsmanship but also the dimensions of the bow as seen from the side and the shape of the camber.  It is very rare to find an old bow that still has it’s original camber and makers would dearly love to have this information.  If a book such as this one of the work of great makers of the past existed it would certainly be found in every contemporary maker’s shop.  Andy’s intention is to chronicle the work of each bow maker.  As such he has asked us to send him bows spanning our careers, from early work through the present.  Andy intends to publish a second volume in which he has been kind enough to include my work.

The list of makers for volume I include:

Morgan Andersen

Alexandre Aumont

Sylvain Bigot

Christophe Collinet

Franck Daguin

Arthur Dubroca

Pierre-Yves Fuchs

Josef P. Gabriel

Eric Grandchamp

Klaus Grünke

Tibor Kovacs

Yannick Le Canu

Tino Joh. Lucke

Johannes Miething

Mitsuaki Sasano

In producing these books Andy Lim has done a great service for bow making and more broadly the world of classical music.  There will be a very limited number of copies of this book produced.  These and Andy’s other fine publications will be available through Darling Publications  www.darlingpublications.com

Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cello Frog Series #3

Posted in Cello Frog, Cello frog making, Frog Making on September 10th, 2011 by Robert Morrow


In this photo the recesses for the pearl eyes are being created.  The tool that is being used is a bow drill or foret.  Just below the photo my right hand is operating the bow causing the foret to spin.  The drill bit or cutter that is making the recess is one that I made from a piece of round drill stock.  Bow makers usually make their own cutters so that they can create the exact dimensions for their own particular eyes.

The pearl eye is now in place and filed to the shape of the flank of the frog.  I will outline the process of making pearl eyes in another post when I have the photos.  To make the eye you first cut out a piece of shell with a jeweler’s saw roughly to size.  The piece is filed square and to the size of the recess.  Afterwards, the piece is made first octagonal, then 16 sided, then 32 sided, and finally round.  When Charles Espey first taught me this technique I found it very difficult and tedious.  I began to make eyes with a lathe.  While in France I didn’t have my lathe and noticed that my friend Yannick Le Canu was making them by hand.  When in France as the saying goes…  I now make all my pearl eyes by hand and enjoy the process.  Not only is it a joy but I’m sure that it is faster than using the lathe and less shell is wasted.  Working with hand tools really can be faster than machines once you hone your skills.

The channel (coulisse) for the pearl slide (recouvrement) and the heel plate (talon) have been created with files and specialized chisels.  You can see photos on my website of this work being done.

The last two photos show the frog with the talon fit and the mortise completely carved.  Ultimately the hair hank will fit into the back of the mortise and be secured with a wooden wedge.  It would be difficult to describe how to fit the talon.  Basically, cut out and bend a piece of silver that is the shape of the coulisse and heel of the frog.  It is just something that the maker learns to do.  The frog is now ready to have the pearl slide fit and that is where the next post will begin.

Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin
Tags: , , , , , ,