By Doug Cox
Last Wednesday at the Hatch was frustrating; not unknown in the world of work and art. Having forgotten key tools, I made a trip home, and still failed to have all I needed to work effectively and accurately. I left early, but did get the violin outline finished and the viola plates roughed and spot-glued on the ribs.
This week was better fitting the purling in the violin and taking the arching the next step. I would have progressed further on carving the scroll for the violin had I remembered the collared drill I use to open the peg box.
The energy at the Hatch was good with Mary Goderwis’s excellent presentation on tungoil based finishing. This was an excellent example of how we all benefit from sharing experience and expertise, and taking our work seriously enough to pay attention and invest in learning.
By Bruce Berg
HatchSpace continues to exceed my expectations in terms of the community of thoughtful and supportive woodworkers associated there. I am enjoying having access to the top-notch power tools here, but also, I’m getting insight into the work of the other woodworkers using the space.
This week, I was able to look over Doug Cox’s shoulder as he worked on the body of a violin. His level of skill and craftsmanship is astounding, of course, and he was happy to answer a myriad of questions I had about his process, and about the design and construction of his instruments. Since my focus is on building furniture, where the challenge is simply to control dimensions so things fit properly, I was interested in knowing more about the added complexities of working on a musical instrument where there are so many more variables that effect how the finished work will perform. Doug is lucid, and thorough in his explanations, and patient, too. Being in the presence of first-class woodworkers like Doug is both educational and inspiring.
Working at HatchSpace continues to be a pleasure this my 5th Wednesday in Residence. The violin and viola I am building move along, with the roughed plates being matched with the ribcages. Fitting purling may be part of my next residency on August 14. It is great when as today other hatch members delve into what I am doing, trying, but failing, to ask dumb questions. I also get a great deal out of seeing others’ work in the space and exploring their design and technique decisions. The work this week coresponds to this blog
Bob Audette described well some of my interest in this time at Hatch as exploring what it would be like to work in an urban studio and sharing space and tools with other woodworkers. What I have learned so far is how wonderful it is to have worked in the same space for 30 years and knowing where everything is and how everything works. I’ve also learned that I can find other ways to do things if I need to. and that I always forget to bring the most basic and essential tool to the work at hand. These are important lessons.
HatchSpace is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 35 Frost Street in Brattleboro VT