Gerard's Strings - first baroque violin
This instrument sold in 2001
A baroque violin, completed in 1999
I made a start on this violin a number of years ago at a request from a collegue. A player needed a period instrument for the concert series in New York in only a couple of months, and I was asked if I might try to get one ready. Alas, I am not that fast. Even my varnish takes longer than that. But she had a backup plan, so I undertook to see what could be done.
The violin body was almost finished in 5 weeks, but as the deadline approached I apologized and moved on to more pressing projects.
I decided in 1999 to finish the violin, and carved the neck and scroll and set it up. A good summer for varnishing that year.
The sitka spruce of the violin belly is from a coastal BC mountainside, and the maple from a valley on northern Vancouver Island. The fingerboard and tailpiece are of a local boxwood tree, which I'd helped a neighbor cut down in 1991. The fingerboard is actually in several pieces, with a light and stable poplar core for reduced weight. The inlay is a simple pattern of purfling, sketched on and carved out freehand, the pattern echoed in the bridge; a tulip.
My inspiration came from various instruments from the Northern Italian school, most obviously the early Amatese of 340 - 400 years ago. Though lacking such supreme elegance, the violin is still satisfying. I've added a little for the sake of modern requirements, most notably in the depth of the ribs. The enclosed volume of air is significantly larger what those ancient instruments contain, with a mind to filling today's larger halls with a richer sound. In the spring of 2002 this fiddle found a happy home with a Washington player of early music.