No form of art can subsist without the firm foundation of a broad layer of dedicated and knowledgeable amateurs. I have the strong feeling that this goes for violinmaking as well. I gave my first course, a series of three one-day talks and demonstrations ten years ago, and I enjoyed it. So did the participants, I guess, for they expressed their wish for a really practical course, with workbenches, and chipped wood flying around. Why, this year's Summer Weeks will be the 13th edition.
Since we moved to Makkum , I teach regularly three days a week, plus twelve weekends a year. That is actually a lot of teaching, so much so that I saw emerging the outlines of the Dutch School of Violin Making, the first of its kind in The Netherlands.
The more so because I developed over the past ten years a nice way to "tune" or "voice" a stringed instrument in the white. "Voicing the violin" makes every pupil see his or her exertions rewarded with a musical instrument playing and sounding way above average. Voicing in the white also takes a lot of stress out of the process of making. Over the years it appeared that many parameters, up to now almost universally considered as most important, can actually be treated with a lot of freedom. Makes violin making much more creative an surely more fun, not to have to worry about the 1001 imponderabilia that have cluttered the craft since the beginning of the 19th century.
As for the looks, I have adopted a straightforward system of grounding, sealing, coloring and varnishing, that will permit a wide range of colours, and can be applicated without special abilities or prior exercise. A stylish and historically informed finish.
Might come in handy: my German is, if not impeccable, quite fluent, my French is available, but will need some gentle awakening as it is not subject to daily routine.
Application and other questions:
Dirk Jacob Hamoen and Margo Konings
8754 GD Makkum (Fr)
phone: 0031 515 859055 / 0031 6 41210590