Newark School of Violin Making
RAB Award 2018: funding for Cambridge Bow Making Course
Work Placement at Stringers violin shop, London
Alicia writes of her work experience:
I arranged with Ian, the manager of the London shop of Stringers, to visit the workshop for a placement in November. He was keen not to disrupt my studies too much by having the placement too late in the academic year during the time of preparation for the test and I was grateful that he was so considerate before even meeting me!
When I arrived I got stuck in straight away with the set up of my first cello. I have begun making a cello at violin school but other than that I have had no previous experience working with this size of instrument. I was instantly put at ease by the friendly atmosphere in the workshop and quickly felt at home. In terms of skills and techniques, I didn’t learn anything new as such. But what I got from this placement was more of a consolidation of the skills I had already learned at violin making school.
Before my placement, I feared the fingerboard most of all but during my week at Stringers there was no time to be afraid which is exactly what I needed. Antoni especially was extremely helpful in guiding me through many of the processes and explaining when something differed from the way it is done on a violin. I did learn a few other tricks, of course, such as how to position the soundpost more easily and I have since tried the technique on a violin with success. And I learnt a slightly different method to fit pegs, using a scraper in addition to the peg shaper and reamer.
One of the most valuable parts of my placement was being able to watch a professional use their tools with a precision and confidence that was genuinely beautiful. Shooting the fingerboard was pretty difficult for me so I found it amazing to see Antoni direct the plane so intentionally, knowing exactly how much wood to remove and where to remove it.
I went away inspired to improve my own tool control so that I can not only work more efficiently but also more confidently and cleanly.
Thank you so much to the RAB Trust and Stringers in London for arranging this placement!”