It is only fitting that I build my largest viola now since I recently finished my smallest viola build. This viola measures 17” and is based off of the massive 18” Brothers Amati viola from 1592. High arching and a tall rib structure should make for an interesting large sounding viola. I had to scale the original viola down over an inch to meet my 17” viola requirement for this build. Stay tuned to see the finished product! This McDevitt viola will be off to its new home in Florida shortly to be played in the Sarasota Orchestra.
We have a wide selection of violas for trial at Fegley Instruments and Bows. The latest feature is the Cracovia Workshop violas. These are great instruments for a reasonable rate. This Cracovia workshop viola is available at a discounted rate of $2,500. They are made in a modern workshop in Poland. This particular viola feature is a 17” and was built in 2004, it is difficult to find nice bigger violas lately and I am happy to have a few of these Cracovia Workshop instruments available for trial. Schedule an appointment today to try our selection of violas under $3,000. Call the shop today!
We have a few selections of the Cracovia Workshop violas in different sizes; this particular Cracovia Workshop viola is a 16” and was made in 2003.
This is a full sized Paul Lorange violin made in Marseille in 1934. It shows fine workmanship and is made on a classical model. It bears his red varnish, which varies in shades from model to model and is typical of the maker. He worked in Marseilles with Diter and continued his craft on his on there from 1933 on. He was the son of Paul Lorange. It has a very clear, strong sound making it great for players. It has a great one piece back.
4/4 Calin Wultur Motagnana Cello
Serial Number 108942
Model # 294A
Made in Reghin, Romania in 2013
The Calin Wultur workshop was established over 20 years ago and they now have a team of over 35 violin craftsmen who collaborate to make classical instruments for the average player. All materials are of Romanian-Carpathian origin, carefully selected by the staff of the Cailin Wultur workshop. This Calin Wultur cello is a Montagnana model, shorter then a typical Stradivari model cello and slightly broader it makes it very easy to play. Similar Calin Wultur cellos sell for over $6,000.
As I work on this current violin build I will continue to give updates on my progress! Or at least I will try to force myself to sit down and write a blog every week or two…
This build has been quite challenging, it is hard to match perfection that was built so long ago. This instrument is just a few months shy of being 300 years old! So take that into consideration when seeing pictures of the original!
Attached are photos of the f-holes being carved, I always have an extra sharp knife when planning my attack on the f-holes. Stradivarius f-holes are extremely precisely cut and lay on the instrument beautifully. I draw on one f-hole at a time letting them lay just right before finalizing both f-holes to make sure that they are straight and I have all of my proper measurements according to the original.
I always carve about 95% and make myself walk away from the work. This allows me to return with a fresh set of eyes, seeing things that I would have never saw if I continued to stare at the f-holes trying to finish in one sitting… Enjoy!
As I continue with the 7/8 Guadagnini cello, I like to update my clients about the progress that has been made. I am very interested to see how this small Guadagnini cello model will throw the sound. I am use to making Stradivarius model cellos so it should be an interesting experiment to say the very least. Since the last blog about the 7/8th Guadagnini cello I have been moving right along.
I plan to update the blog with one final post after I varnish the cello and set it up!
I have to be honest when I say that this Guadagnini cello build has been quite different from what I am use to. I normally focus my handmade cellos on Stradivarius models. Stradivarius instruments were made with a precision that left his instruments quite remarkable and refined. Guadagnini instruments dance on the boarder of a rough build, making his instruments with haste, leaving behind many signs of tool marks, heavy outlines and edges.
Most musicians aren’t familiar with the Guadagnini name, they mostly hear of the Stradivarius and Guarneri instruments. But as players become more educated, the Guadagnini name has grown tremendously in collectability and with players around the world!
Over the years I have slowly started to organize the workshop at Fegley Violin Shop. I will admit it wasn’t one of my easier tasks, but it was however extremely rewarding.
I can imagine Jim looking down and saying, “Where is all of my stuff! I had everything exactly where I wanted it!” But I know he would be proud of how far I have come and where I want to take it in the future.
I still have quite a bit of work to do to get the shop exactly where I want it, but I can say that I put a huge dent in the organizing aspect and I look forward to tackling more projects as the years go by.
Most people don’t realize that I never had the opportunity to meet Jim Fegley, when he passed away I was only in the 8th grade! And needless to say back then I didn’t even know there was a life outside of a Jr. High classroom!
I wish we could have spent some time together, I am sure we would have shared many laughs and violin making stories! I look forward to carrying on his Legacy well into the future and passing along the Fegley name.
I know, I know… lately all I have been writing about are modern instrument makers, but I can’t help myself. Being a modern maker myself I cannot help but admire newer instruments. This Stopka violin is no exception, made in 1991 it is a great violin for the value and very hard to compete with.
I have seen Stopka violins sell for over $10,000! And even at that price I believe that they are a bargain. Stopka is well known for his tone and has won many awards.
Wladek Stopka specializes in Stradivari copies, don’t we all copy Stradivari and follow in the masters footsteps! This Stopka violin is very fairly priced at $6,500 and I do not see it lasting very long!
“Clyde” a nice Del Gesu’ violin copy that I recently made found it’s new home with a nice teenage boy. He is a very talented and humble young man. I can honestly say I feel very thankful I get to watch the partnership grow with time. Here are a few photos of the finished product.
I don’t blog nearly enough… I hate to admit that it is hard for me to sit in front of my computer when I see my workbench and tools right next to it waiting for the next project! I will try to be better about taking the time to write about some of the fine instruments I have collected so far, key word there is try! So don’t be too hard on me.
Although I am a great fan of fine older instruments I am a realist, not all of us can afford the luxury of a million dollar Stradivari so most of us start with fine copies by modern makers.
One of the better modern Violas I have come across is a Stanley Kiernoziak made in Chicago in 2005. Kiernoziak studied in Poland.
He is known for being very successful with his violas making for the William Harris Lee Company; his number of violas made far exceeds violins and cellos, smart man! Everyone loves a modern viola! Kiernoziak’s instruments are known for their strong projection and warm tonal qualities.
So much so that he was awarded a VSA certificate for tone in the quartet competition. I have seen Kiernoiak’s viola sell for over $17,000. This particular Stanley Kiernoziak viola is a 16” and is one of my favorite modern violas I have in the shop right now, as a maker it is refreshing to find inspiration in a modern instrument.
Make an appointment to stop in and play it!