Archive for September, 2013
The Lion-head Viola is Finished!
As always, I am sure there are things I may do differently next time, particularly with the hand-carved lion-head, but, overall, I am satisfied with the results on this viola. It plays easily, has a big, deep voice, and is becoming more responsive day by day. Here are some photos:
The style is closely related to the Andrea Guarneri “Conte Vitale”, but has been changed significantly enough that it is simply my own design, hence the “Oliver” model designation. It definitely qualifies as a large viola, so only players who are comfortable with a big viola will like it, but, that being said, it is a relatively easy-playing viola, too.
I realize that lion-head scrolls are not terribly conventional, but I also remind myself that Jacob Stainer made a few lion-head instruments, and a whole bunch of German copyists followed his lead…still they are maybe one in a thousand. I changed one last thing and attempted a little more realism. Perhaps it will be difficult to sell; I don’t know. But it is one of the best violas I have made, and I trust someone will eventually see it as the one they have been waiting for. 🙂
Thanks for looking. Feel free to contact me.
Varnish is complete on the Lion-head viola.
I will still have to complete the rubbing out of the varnish and the final setup of the instrument, but I expect to have it playing by Friday. Here are some current photos:
I am sure there will be minor retouches to do after everything is complete, but this is pretty much what it is going to look like. I like the way the big leaf maple is glowing under the varnish, and even the hard rock maple scroll seems to glow a little. I hope it plays well. 🙂
Lion-head viola looking good, with three coats of varnish, but far from finished.
|Here are a few pictures of the viola with three coats varnish. I definitely intend to go darker, but it is looking sorta nice. I especially like the way the heavily flamed one-piece Oregon Maple back is beginning to show its inner glow.
I may not get much done on it tomorrow. I need to clean the chimney and move firewood.
Lion-Head Viola Progress:
OK, here are some photos of the way things ended up tonight: The color is due to a fresh coat of strong coffee…I had intended to take the pictures before I soaked the whole thing in coffee, but slipped a cog, there, somewhere, so this is what you get.
You can tell I got my peg holes a little off– I will have to move them, or my strings will definitely end up rubbing on the adjacent pegs.
I hope to be varnishing by this weekend. I will keep you posted.