Gregg – The start of 2012 at Alf Studios

It’s been a busy start to the new year here at Alf Studios. We’re currently working on several instruments, selling many of the great violins we’ve already produced, and we’ve been joined by two great apprentices.
I thought that a little introduction to our new guests would be a great post to have this week. I made a little questionnaire for them to fill out with several questions about their background, current plans, and future plans.
Name: Melina Polizzi
Age: 23
Years in violin making: 3 ½
Home: Venice, Italy
Previous experience: Stradivari I.P.I.A.L.L of Cremona
Do you play? No, but I did when I was a child.
What made you want to become a violin maker? I’ve liked to create things with my hands ever since I can remember. I like seeing the process of creating something knowing that the final product will be used to make music; that is very satisfying. I love music, and I love that I’m contributing to producing sound. I find wood a very fascinating material; the process of understanding it and molding it never gets old.
What are you currently working on? Two violins: A Guarneri del Gesu “Ole Bull” and a Guarneri del Gesu “Prince Doria.”
What are you most looking forward to learning here? Getting a feel for how a real shop works, learning new methods for new and replica instruments, understanding sound aspects, varnish, and discussing ideas with fellow makers.
What other hobbies do you have? Venetian rowing, cooking, and listening to music
What do you like most about Ann Arbor? I enjoy going to the market to pick up food from local sources. All the people I’ve met here have been really kind and interested in my story. I also like the cute houses, deer, and squirrels.
What are you plans after you leave here? Since I finished school a short time ago, I’ll probably search for more experience or work on little projects or ideas.
Melina at work
Melina at work
Name: Eddy Miller
Age: 30
Years in violin making: 6
Previous experience: BA in Music from the University of Northern Colorado
Do you play? Yes
What made you want to become a violin maker? I played the violin and had an interest in the historical and artistic side of the instrument.
What are you currently working on? A copy of a Guarneri del Gesu “Ole Bull” and a Strad model.
What are you most looking forward to learning here? Getting a fresh view on violin making, a new look at the construction and varnish, as well as a better understanding of what contributes to tonal characteristics of a violin.
What other hobbies do you have? I enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, but spend most of my free time on a bicycle – both mountain biking and road cycling.
What do you like most about Ann Arbor?  The downtown area is a social center with a lot of local shops and restaurants. The town also seems to have a progressive attitude in general.
What are your plans after you leave here? Long-term plans are to continue making violins, either here or at my own location.
Eddy at work

 

Eddy at work
I though I would leave you this week with the obligatory “violin in process” shot. This violin is a Strad model that will be ready for its new owner in just a couple of weeks.
GA209
I appreciate all of you who have taken the time to read my posts. If there is anything that you’d like to hear more about in future posts, please let me know so that I can keep all of us (writer and reader) engaged.