One Very Weird Commerical

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By By Liz Barry The Lynchburg News AdvanceFor the past 14 years, Smith has been making professional violins from the basement of his home off Oxford Furnace Road. He took up the craft after a back injury forced him to retire early from his 20 year career as a firefighter for the city of Lynchburg.With extra time on his hands, the avid fiddle player decided to try his hand at violin construction. It took Smith four years of trial and error before he made a violin that satisfied him.can learn to build a fiddle, but Converse Chuck Taylor Grey

he says.Now his violins sell for up to $10,000 at speciality music shops. They are played by members of orchestras in Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke and Charlotte, and the National Youth Orchestra.Strings and strangsSmith makes violins, but he uses the words violin and fiddle interchangeably when explaining the craft.What exactly is the difference between a fiddle and a violin? Smith pulls out an old joke.difference between a violin and Converse Sneakers White Price

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´╗┐From firefighter to violin maker

a fiddle is a violin has strings and a fiddle has strangs, he says with a chuckle.Historically, fiddles have been associated with smoky bars and saloons, whereas violins are played in more refined settings like churches and concert halls. Nomenclature aside, Smith says they are, at heart, the same instrument.Even so, Smith considers himself a maker of violins.His high end instruments take six weeks to create. Last year he built five. If he can sleep, he come down to his studio and work.kind of an obsession, he says.Smith current goal is to make a violin suitable for a solo violinist. The challenge is to create an instrument so powerful that it will project to every corner of a concert hall without electronic amplification. Factory fiddles are not nearly as good as Converse White Mens Shoes handmade ones, he says, because machines cut out the instruments. A machine cannot consider the unique characteristics of each piece of wood.Smith makes every detail, fromthe body where the sound resonates to the hand carved scroll to the varnish. The only thing he doesn make is the strings.He views violin making as an art he will never completely master. That what keeps it interesting.Smith spends most of his time and energy on what he calls the essence of the violin: the top and back plates. The wood must be perfectly matched and calibrated to produce the best sound.if you do everything right, he says, the wood is going to speak for itself. He grabs a piece of ivory off of his desk, one of many materials he uses to make his violins unique. He bought it from a museum and uses it for the fittings. He also commissions his cousin, Lisa Tomlin, to do scrimshaw engraving for an extra artistic touch.brings me a lot of pleasure to see something go out of here that beautiful. Trial and errorSo how did a firefighter become a professional violin maker? Smith is mostly self taught, but has had mentors along the way. He learned how to make varnish from Oded Kishony, a maker from Virginia who studied in Italy.His friend Russel Burford was the person most instrumental in teaching him the craft. Smith brought his knowledge of fiddle music and Burford brought his knowledge of construction, and together they made about 15 instruments.it wasn for Russel, it probably wouldn have happened, Smith says.Even with the help of mentors, learning the craft wasn easy. It was years before Smith sold his first batch of fiddles. He tweaked them in his studio until he got them right.

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