Newark School of Violin Making
RAB Award 2019:
Miranda was awarded a work placement for restoration with Iris Carr
“I want to thank the Rowan Armour-Brown Trust for providing me with the incredible opportunity to undertake an invaluable week of work experience with Iris Carr.
My nerves instantly disappeared the moment I was greeted by Iris. She was very supportive and generous, not only with her time but her knowledge and resources. She wanted me to get the most out of the week, so the time was full of hands-on instruction and thoughtful guidance.
One of my particular interests and one of Iris’ specialities is retouching. At the time of my placement, she was undertaking a substantial cosmetic makeover of a Testore Cello. Not only did Iris show me her approach to the retouching but allowed me the opportunity to work on this valuable instrument under her careful observation. What an absolute treat!
I learnt how important it is to imitate the texture of the surface of the varnish, through mimicking the existing surface, in particular the soft and hard grain lines in the Spruce. Iris showed me how to do this with the use of deft effectively; this is something that will be invaluable through my continued work in the years to come. We went through the step by step process of retouching and the importance of using thin layers with a dry brush. Iris helped me modify my technique allowing me to have more control over the application of the retouch.
I also had the opportunity to work on a Cello Bass Bar. Bass bars have always been a struggle of mine. Iris showed me the step by step process from the beginning. We started by marking out the position and then removed material from the bar effectively to avoid getting a twist when fitting it. She also showed me how to apply studs either side of the bar to make the bar fitting as foolproof as possible. The bar was glued in within the day. I could not believe how quick and easy it was with the right technique and guides. No longer will I suffer from the bass bar blues!
The opportunity of work experience with Iris Carr has ignited my passion for Violin restoration and repair to the next level. She has inspired me to work at a much higher and professional standard through keen observation and taking time to work effectively and efficiently. Her warm, generous and careful instruction has shown me the importance of sharing knowledge with others. I want to sincerely thank Iris for the incredible week of work experience, as well the RAB Trust for arranging this excellent opportunity for me”.