On Sun, 05 Apr 2009 11:34:57 -0400, Kenneth wrote:
Know any turners in Idaho or Montana? That seems to be where it grows.
I've seen a few pieces show up once or twice at our monthly wood raffle
here, but small amounts - nothing of commercial sale size.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
On Sun, 05 Apr 2009 11:37:29 -0500, Larry Blanchard
Thanks for your suggestion, but no, I don't know any turners
in that part of the world.
But that said, there is indeed, a commercial market for the
It is used in lots of high end violin family "fittings",
that is, pegs, tailpieces, chinrests, etc.
And that is why I want to find a source. I am considering
carving a chinrest for my fiddle, and wanted it to match the
other parts on the instrument.
All the best,
I seem to remember I once (this year?) saw someone on aaw.org (American
Association of Woodturners) advertise having logs of the stuff and being
open to trade. However, now I can't find that. It probably wouldn't hurt
to ask there, woodturners have an uncanny nose for exotic woods.
I wasn't aware it was used commonly for the purpose having never built
instruments (and while played (loosely speaking :) ) violin thru HS
orchestra) but if so might try some of the luthiers/other
instrument-making suppliers/organizations as well...
I'm not sure what the pegs, tailpiece, etc. are on my violin -- it's a
blonde instrument w/ a contrasting brown for the ancillary parts. I
don't know I've ever tried to identify the specific woods; it's not
I won't bore you with the details, but I have a fiddle far
finer than my meager talents would ever warrant.
I'd always thought that its fittings were boxwood, but
recently spoke with its maker and he mentioned that though
he did not have records about the specifics of the additions
to each of his instruments, he thought that in 1988 (when it
was made) he might have used "Mountain Mahogany" (a material
I had never even heard of.)
This all came up because I had installed a new chinrest on
the fiddle and it was made of boxwood. I had stained it to
match the other parts, and though the overall color is fine,
the wood itself is not a match.
Given that, at that point, I had a chinrest of a shape that
I liked, I thought to carve a duplicate in the more
All the best,
When I moved to E TN after 10 years in Piedmont (VA) region I met
several fiddlers and decided I'd like to try to turn my "training" as a
violinist into fiddlin' -- needless to say, that was more difficult than
Mozart et al and my lack of talent meant I gave that idea up quickly...
The violin, unfortunately, has been neglected these last nearly 40 years
and is now in need of refurbishment -- unfortunate as it, too, is a very
fine instrument that is far beyond my abilities as well...
Good luck in your quest.
You are reminding me of something I saw about ten years
(As you understand, playing classical violin, and fiddling,
are two very different arts, but many folks seem not to know
I was channel surfing and came to a bunch of kids in a grade
school class room.
Up front, was a gentleman holding a violin.
In a moment, I realized it was Isaac Perlman, and I stayed
with that channel.
He played a classical piece for the kids, to their delight,
Then, he asked the kids if there might be something they
would like him to play.
A little boy got all excited, and tried to explain what he
wanted Perlman to play, but the kid didn't know the title.
Perlman suggested that the youngster might try to sing the
When he did, I realized that the tune was Arkansas Traveler
and I recoiled...
Every time I had heard one of these great classically
trained violinists try to fiddle something, it had, for me,
been a disaster.
Then, before I could get my hand on the remote, Perlman had
the violin under his chin and started to bang out the best
Arkansas Traveler I had ever heard!
I could not believe it...
(Move over Mark O'Connor.)
All the best,
[Itzhak Perlman story elided for brevity]...
Often true...we were blessed here w/ the group Spontaneous Combustion
(now on apparently permanent hiatus, unfortunately) of whom the
violinist was Marvin Gruenhbam (sp?) whose "day job" was viola-player
for the KC Philharmonic. His specialty w/ the group was to transform
Mozart, et al. into bluegrass-like performances. The group had one of
the best Orange Blossom Special versions going...
They/he did a gig (I think at the Walnut River Valley Festival altho I
wasn't there that year) some years ago w/ O'Connor.
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