Thursday, July 30, 2009


A violin I made with a fist for a scroll.

It's a pun. A scroll looks like a fist but without fingers.

Yesterday I got a notice that Jennifer Thomas had become my first fan on my Reverbnation site. I met Jennifer while I was volunteering at Soundbridge. She played violin on a piece I wrote for the composers salon. I gave her this violin.
What's strange about it aside from the fist is that I just tossed it together from all the wrong woods. I just used some scraps lying about the basement. The workmanship is not very good. Tony Stradivarius would have tossed me out in the street for trying to build such a thing in his shop, but there you go.

Here's what Jennifer says about it in her bio on her website.

I also had the opportunity to be a performer for the Seattle Composer... Read More’s Salon which is held at Benaroya Hall. As a gift for participating in a string quartet that performed one of his compositions at this event, I was given a violin as a gift from composer and violin maker, Doug Palmer. You may notice the violin in my photo shoot for my album, as it is a very unique instrument. Instead of a scroll at the head of the fingerboard, there is a fist. Let me tell you, I’ve been an instant hit with the elementary aged kids with that instrument. Especially the boys, as I usually hear “Whoa – that is the coolest violin ever!!” It also draws quite the crowd when I take it into violin shops for adjustments. And the sound on this violin is incredibly rich and deep. I loved it so much that I actually ended up selling my original violin to a guy in Austria, and keeping my Palmer violin instead. It is also the violin I used for the recording of my album.

Further news on the instrument building front.

Unbent strips of basswood and red oak.

Clamping and steaming with an iron and a wet T-shirt

Bent strips of basswood and red oak

Now I will glue all this together and carve the neck.

The Blue Angels are out hot-rodding around the lake in their little noisemakers, it must be almost time for the hydro races.


Blogger Glenn Buttkus said...

Your violin project, that
turned out to have sound
that "is rich and deep",
seems to be one of those
happy accidents that can
come along in our lives.
How many other violins
have you constructed, and
do they have equally good
tones? Like Warner Brothers
when they filmed CASABLANCA.
They just threw together
some mish-mash script, that
seemed to change every
day, none of the stars
had any faith that the
film would even be cohesive,
let alone become a classic.
Yet later, when more careful
planning and storyboarding
was done, and everything was
tightened up and controlled
on other films, they came
out as stinkeroos. Go
figure. Maybe the Universe
gets a good laugh regarding
our antics on this plane,
enit? I do like the looks
and sound of the term,
"Palmer Violin". Maybe you
are missing the chance here
to build a wooden boy, and
have him do chores for you
around the Red Wing Plantation.
Those pics are fascinating.
Gives we novices, amateurs,
and lesser talented folks
a peek into the process.
Thanks. Today is the big
day here at Blind Rehab,
the Annual Reunion Picnic
for our former students, and
their families. They fly,
drive, and crawl in from
five different states, including
Alaska. This year we are
expecting like 225 of them.
We let them play golf, go on
a boat ride on American Lake,
do some fishing off our
dock, with well stocked pens
of fish to dunk into, and
then we feed them all the
burgers, hot dogs, and Costco
potato salad they can consume.
It is usually a very hectic
day that wears my ass out to
a frazzle. But we all look
forward to it, cuz it's a
"play day" for pay. Melva
and I have to go to a Wedding
reception (it was a civil
wedding with family only)
for our youngest daughter's
best friend; not looking
forward to that, but it is
one of those mandatory deals
you find yourself embracing
regardless, to keep peace in
the family. The hydroplane
races are right there in
your front yard. That must be
coolish, though your trees
keep you from getting a great
view, and if you were
interested in the event, sitting
a hundred yards from it, you
would have to watch it on
TV anyway. Didn't the Blue
Angels lose a pilot and plane
here a couple years ago?
Keep your head down and
your powder dry, big boy.


5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the successful creation of a violin that has a rich sound and is so loved by its owner that she sold her former one to an Österreicher and uses your violin on her recordings!!
Allerachtung!!!! -- und

2:27 AM  

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