Newark School of Violin Making
RAB Award 2018: funding for tools and varnish materials, work experience placement with Helen Michetschläger
Ludivine undertook her week’s work experience in February 2019. This is her account of the visit:
Going to Helen Michetschläger’s workshop was an intense work experience. It did open my eyes to the
expectations and the skills required to set up an instrument and to have a job in a professional workshop.
To begin with I made some changes to my fingerboard to make it will be very accurate and
comfortable for the player. We then worked on the nut. Helen showed me a very good and efficient way to make the right shape through a Strad magazine Trade Secrets article, which did help me a lot.
Then I fitted the pegs and the end pin. I learnt how to use an adjustable peg shaper. I really appreciate the way it does work well and quickly on the pegs. She helped me to feel and hear how well the pegs should turn so it will be easier for the player to tune his instrument.
After those, we fitted the sound post inside the instrument. Helen showed me a very accurate way to prepare the sound post so it fits quickly inside the instrument. I found the use of a LED light inside the instrument and a bigger hole for the end pin very helpful to see exactly what we are doing.
When the sound post was in we fitted the feet of the bridge. I found this part really difficult because it was tricky for me to get the angle right by eye or using a ruler. Nevertheless I did understand Helen’s method and will try to use it again. Then she showed me how the to the curve on the top of the bridge and her
own way to trim her bridge.
When my instrument was set up, I had to do the same again with an instrument from her workshop. Unfortunately,
we were running out of time so I managed only to change the shape of the fingerboard and the nut.