singing violin - fine soloist violins in Kul Violins studio

Violin making

To make a violin, take the wood and carve away all that is not the violin

That's simple. That's true. The tricky thing is - how to know what is not the violin?

However, at least the main question remains:

What it is a violin?

It is really impossible to find a question to this so simple (from the first sight) question. Violin is really so multifaceted item. I was excited with so artistic and insightful violin (not a violin making) explanation:

That's not the simple, straightforward question it seems.

Just to say "a musical instrument" is to miss the beauty: the scroll carved like a curled fern; the flame-figured wood of the back and sides; fittings of ebony, bone and mahogany; inlay that traces the feminine shape like a fine, flush little river; the grain of the top as lustrous as a lover's hair. Call it "a beautiful object," though, and you'll miss the history: centuries of craft and experience, the hands through which it passed, the thickets of misadventure, intrigue and accident through which it had to last, and the continents it had to cross before reaching you. Call it "a piece of history" and you'll have missed the music of Bach and Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, Paganini and Debussy, Bartok and Scriabin, Copland and Thompson, not to mention Stephane Grappelli, Bill Monroe and Turlough O'Carolan -- all the love songs and battle cries and hymns wrung from it when a bow met its strings. Call it "art" and you've missed the science: the extraordinary balance of tensions, meeting in an acoustical object so finely tuned by centuries of rigorous study that it can push music to every corner of a cavernous concert hall, even shatter glass.

The violin is a moving target, a question that rounds on itself like a Mobius strip's figure 8: an artwork, a text, a vector of creation, a long experiment in physics -- all of it, but none of it. None, that is, without hands that know how to hold it, play it, read it -- even to crack it open if need be -- and know, too, how to conjure it new from planks of wood, from chemistry and numbers.

Is this explanation helpful? It really tells nothing about removing what is not the violin. Nothing about tools, molds, purflings, varnishing etc. However, everybody should realize well in advance, what he or she is going to make (create).

There are lots of violin making books, available even online. There are lots (well over ten) violin making schools worldwide.

Unfortunately, there is no one - best violin making - handbook, containing all the necessary information. Fortunately, some different details are described in different violin making manuals.

Unfortunately, learning at a violin making school takes three to four years. Anybody, to be accepted, must be at least 18 years old. Complete course price at such a school is $50,000 US or more. Fortunately, still there exists a small probability to learn at least some basic aspects of a craft without studying at the school.

These are dark and bright sides of learning violin making art and craft. Luckily, nothing is impossible, when a dedicated person has an overwhelming desire and permanent persistency. I can not overestimate, how important these personal characteristics are. Some basic features are shortly described in articles Violin maker's philosophy and Violin maker's thrusts.

Certainly, those characteristics certainly are not sufficient to become a good violin maker, but creates definitely good starting position. And nobody knows, how long that journey can last and where it will finish. Sometimes rewards can be significant and favourably changing whole life.

Site Map

At last I have my ideal violin. I turned down 14 instruments which came from all around the country, including an original cremonese violin, which I just couldn't convince myself to like. However I had no second thoughts about my new violin, made by Czes and Birute Kul, and instantly knew this was the one. The violin has very clean articulation and a sweet tone, also
projecting well. I have had many compliments about it. A lot of careful workmanship has obviously gone into the violin, which is very elegant and distinctive in looks. Before you look anywhere else, I strongly recomend Czes and Birute. It could save a lot of trouble, time and money.

Sarah K., Wellington

Something for violin lovers