RAB Award 2020: Funding towards the purchase of a Tormek grinder.
Recently I was awarded £200 towards a Tormek Grinder and Japanese waterstone wheel. Whilst at college we have a Tormek, I felt the purchase of a Japanese waterstone wheel would be a phenomenal time saver – and thanks to the RAB Trust I got one recently, and it has been utterly fantastic. Originally I was hoping to use it to help at college as well, to hone all the tools to a fine polish! But due to the Coronavirus, sadly that’s having to wait. However, with working from home, this grant from the RAB Trust couldn’t have been better timed, nor more useful. When the Tormek and wheel first arrived, I couldn’t stop using it, even for tools I didn’t need to use! It just saved so much time! Combined with the award last year for a digital Hacklinger gauge, the RAB Trust have been a huge factor in my progress –from imagining what I’d like to do in the future, to getting there. A truly huge thank you from me, to all at the RAB Trust who make this all work.
RAB Award 2019:
Sam was awarded funds towards a Hacklinger thickness gauge.
In 2019 I was fortunate to discover the RAB Trust and their grant scheme. Upon investigation I was very surprised at how generous the grants are, especially considering how simple the paperwork is – which I think is something everyone appreciates!My particular fascination with bowed instruments revolves around English violets and violas d’amore; the latter is a usually 12, 13 or 14 string viola with 6 or 7 bowed strings, and likewise sympathetics. I tent to enjoy extremes of things, so when I discovered the former, the very rare ‘englische violet’ – a viola d’amore in essence, but larger, frequently with a festooned body (where the bouts meet inwardly, as opposed to on a violin where the corners meet via an outward curve, as pictured), and most importantly of all, very many more strings! ‘Usually’ 7 bowed and 14 sympathetic strings, hence the enormous peg boxes, I decided this is what I want to put my efforts towards.
Being such a rare instrument (a book I have lists only 58 known examples) there is little to no information available on such. One very famous name did give us a tiny clue of how the instrument was viewed historically – in 1787, Leopold Mozart wrote; ‘The English violet, chiefly distinguishable from the viola d’amore by having seven strings above and fourteen below, which therefore must be tuned differently. Owing to the number of lower sympathetic strings, the tone is stronger.So whilst there are millimetres of information around, there are no measurements! Hence my purchase from the RAB Trust’s wonderful grant. I have measured 3 English violets now, and using the software I purchased, I can look side by side at the different instruments’ thicknesses. I can check commonalities and differences between each, as well as having a guide of what to do, when I eventually begin my construction of these incredible instruments.
The RAB trust have been incredibly kind in giving this grant and I believe they’re an absolute force for good in the violin making world – helping people who are starting out have that bit extra to help them stay progressive, motivated and ultimately happy.