Cremona per scoprire i segreti dei violini e dei liutai

In Cremona to discover the secrets of violins and luthiers

“After 14 years I can only say that I have learned how to do a violin, but now comes the fun of understanding why it works like this “. He has the gouge in his hands, the usual sore arms and a broad Ricardo Grisales smile. He, a civil engineer in Colombia, followed his uncle Giorgio who came from Medellin to Cremona already in the 80s and it is the person we meet a Cremona to discover the secrets of violins and luthiers. In the shop in via Sicardo it takes at least two hundred and twenty hours of work to make a violin and four months, working in two, for one contrabass. At least four i types of wood: spruce better if the red from the Fiemme valley, especially Balkan maple, poplar or willow and then ebony or mahogany. First, the board and bottom are drawn and roughed out with patience, smoothing with a gouge and scraper, creating the camber, essential for the sound. Among the most delicate things is the fillet, a tiny and continuous insert in black-stained pear that outlines the curves of the violin, a kind of “shock absorber”, “like the knots for a carpet”.

In Cremona to discover the secrets of violins and luthiers

Then the virtuosity of curly and the engraving of the “f-holes” on the table, a sort of “signature” of each luthier. From the youngest to the mythical Stradivarius. But the key pieces are often hidden from view: this is the case of the “chain”, a spruce rod that supports from inside the sound box the strings and all the weight of the performance. After assembling with keyboard and capos in ebonyhere is the phase of painting: twenty o are needed thirty hands. So with alcohol and resins you proceed more slowly: with this procedure you can only give one coat a day because it takes time to dry. On the other hand, just one week is enough if you choose oil and amber: the mixture dries first, in four or five hours and only fifteen coats are enough. “But you need specific chemistry skills,” Ricardo explains. So as not to inflame everything. A studio violin handmade, it has a market price of approx four thousand euros. But it would be worth at least twice as much for the type of manpower and hours worked.

  Cremona the secrets of violins and luthiers

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