I was showing off some old pics of my violin making journey and this one really stood out. I remember when these violins were keeping me super busy. In the picture, I have a neck being set and three violins being varnished. It was a super cool and learning time.
It’s amazing to think, “I made these“. I remember when I started my violin making journey I didn’t imagine having four violins on a table and working on them all at once. It just wasn’t in my vision. Fortunately, life didn’t care about my small vision and instead handed me a more memorable experience. This picture really is a reflection of the gratitude I feel for what I have the ability and resources to do with my life.
I reflect on my violin making journey routinely. In the evenings after I wrap up my work, I find myself examining what I did for the day and what I can do better. For me, it is a time to write some notes about what I did, what I did well, what I did poorly and what I want to do next time. Every so often, I open my notebook and read what I wrote and consider where I am and how far I have come. The process of documenting my successes and failures helps me know what to focus on next.
I find it comforting to know I don’t have to come back to every note I wrote for every violin. I consider myself a decent student who learns a lesson and then applies the lesson going forward. Sometimes my notes are facts like “finished 5th coat”, “cut purfling”. These little tidbits help me determine how fast or how much time I am spending on each step of the making process. Others are “go slower when doing corner purfling”, “set aside for the evening before gluing ______”. The one thing they have in common, is the notes are just for me. My wins, defeats, encouragements and facts. They may not tell the whole journey but they sure to remind me where I came from and where I’m going. Hope to see you here in my shop!
Luthier of Note: If you are interested in some great violin (almost ASMR style) makers, I suggest you check out Davide Sora. I can’t get enough. He writes his notes and info in both Italian and English. Happy watching. 🙂