Finn was awarded a grant of £300 for tools and fittings and a work placement. He writes:
Since enrolling at the Newark School Of Violin Making I have made a number of instruments, including three Golden period Stradivari violins, a viola based on the 1676 Andrea Guarneri ‘Conte Vitale’, the ‘Plowden’ Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ 1735 violin, A 1695 Francesco Ruggeri cello, the 1721 Kruse Stradivari, as well as three guitars, a bouzouki, and some joint projects with other students.
I have also completed basic and advanced repairs. Last summer I was professionally employed to overhaul and repair the instruments for a youth orchestra in Bergen, Norway.
Throughout my time at Newark I have been strongly drawn towards the classical Cremonese method of working, and what it is that makes these instruments so great. This interest has led me to research some of the methods they used, and to begin to apply them to my own work. One of the main techniques being finishing the outline and doing the purfling after closing the box. This feels like the best way to obtain the balanced asymmetrical harmony that the master Cremonese instruments possess, this way you are sculpting the different parts of the instrument as one, rather than a belly, a back, and a rib structure glued together. Using this method presents you with some challenges, such as getting used to seeing the arching without an outline, and positioning the Fholes. I am currently on my third instrument using this method, and am starting to feel more confident with the process.
After finishing at Newark I plan to continue to refine my skills as a maker, and carry on the lifelong learning process of becoming a master of your craft. For me, The magic is in making. And I am looking forward to opening my own workshop in Brittany.