West Dean College
RAB Trust Award 2022:
Jacob received funding for a jointer plane and bending iron. He was also awarded a work placement with Helen Michetschläger.
“After my week with Helen, I feel very inspired. I have gained much more of an understanding of how the outlines of violins are geometrically built up, and feel that my eye has developed hugely, to be able to see the underlying lines that make a good outline, as well as how the placements of different parts work together harmoniously.
Helen also showed me her working methods at the beginning of the process and I followed these during the week I spent with her. Her methods differ in some respects to those I had been taught at West Dean so broadened my understanding of differing approaches to violin-making. I feel that after this week I will set myself higher standards for the work that I produce and push myself to work with greater accuracy.
Helen was extremely generous with her time and knowledge. She has pointed me towards sources that she has used in the past and continues to use that I can learn from independently as I develop.”
RAB Trust Award 2021:
Jacob was awarded funding for calipers and a straight edge, and received sharpening stones from the Bernard Wawman bequest.
As Jacob writes, the awards came in useful during his first year studies:
“Many thanks to the RAB Trust for funding my purchase of a straight edge and thickness calipers as well as the gifting of some Japanese waterstones. The straight edge is an invaluable tool helping me produce accurate, high quality work as well as helping with tool maintenance, proving especially useful in the jointing of the back of my violin. The thickness calipers I have been using in many parts of the process of construction of the instruments I have been working on and these also help me produce accurate work. Both of these tools will serve me throughout my career as a maker.
The first picture shows ribs thicknessed and on the mould, having used the thickness calipers, and the back being flat having used the straight edge.
Below are pictures of the treble viol I am working on, showing the back thicknessed with the soundpost plate ready to be glued, and the bent front thicknessed whilst the rosette is being fitted. I used the straight edge and thickness calipers throughout the process for these.”