RE: Faster traditional rosette (Full Version)

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NorCalluthier -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 28 2017 15:26:32)

Hello Guys,

Lets calm down and not let this thread devolve into a pissing contest. I had that happen on the DelCamp forum, and it was so depressing that I quit the place altogether. That other builders choose a path that is different from mine, is just fine by me.

I love doing everything myself. I even make my own purfling, as I like holly veneer for the white lines. I certainly gave up on French polishing reluctantly, as I enjoyed gradually developing my skill at it. But, having passed that on, I'm freed up to do the woodworking which is my "do best". I read somewhere that you can never do anything great until you recognize your limitations.

I'll always make my own rosettes, as I really enjoy that. In looking for ways to get more guitars made, speeding up the rosette making just seems like a likely place to save some time. I've got a bunch of things I want to try out, and they all take making an instrument---or several---to try them.

As for still building at age 77, you have brought up my favorite topic---personal health! I'm in excellent health thanks to the low-carb (high fat) diet. It cured my Type II diabetes, and protects me against all of the usual modern diseases that kill us.

The word "diet" means "hunger" to most everybody. On this diet I never get hungry! I have a collection of links to information on the subject that I'm happy to forward. Email me at:

brian@lessonsinlutherie.com

If you send me a private message through the forum, it doesn't show your email address, and I can't send you anything.

Cheers,

Brian




NorCalluthier -> RE: Faster traditional rosette---afterthoughts (Jun. 28 2017 16:49:04)

Hello All,

Gene Clark used to say that the reason that he fussed so much over the appearance of his instruments was that part of a player's performance was taking the guitar out of its case. If it was inspiring to look at, it helped the player to perform his best.

Frank Ford, the co-owner of Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto for some 40 years says:

"The builder builds first of all for tone, second for playability, and third for appearance. The buyer buys first of all for appearance, second for playability, and third for tone. Nobody ever brings a guitar back because it doesn't sound good. They want the action "as low as possible, without buzzing", or there is some cosmetic damage that needs fixing".

Cheers,

Brian




Dudnote -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 28 2017 23:36:40)

quote:

ORIGINAL: NorCalluthier
"The builder builds first of all for tone, second for playability, and third for appearance. The buyer buys first of all for appearance, second for playability, and third for tone. Nobody ever brings a guitar back because it doesn't sound good. They want the action "as low as possible, without buzzing", or there is some cosmetic damage that needs fixing".

I must be some oddball then, 'cause my first flamenco I bought chiefly for the sound, despite a relatively high action and somewhat indifferent appearance.

@edguerin - Nice shot of your rosette. I'm also a big fan of Ander's approach to rosettes - that you can see the grain of the wood in their irregular patterns is a lovely touch IMO. That they use relatively large irregular pieces of wood and not minuscule square pieces in some complex fiddly mosaic is surely a time saver too.




Leñador -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 28 2017 23:40:57)

quote:

"The builder builds first of all for tone, second for playability, and third for appearance. The buyer buys first of all for appearance, second for playability, and third for tone. Nobody ever brings a guitar back because it doesn't sound good. They want the action "as low as possible, without buzzing", or there is some cosmetic damage that needs fixing".

I'd say this would be true of newbies and collectors. Anyone who plays a lot would never buy a guitar like that. Sound and playability is everything, looks are a bonus.
To be fair, in a guitar shop, likely MOST of the sales they make are to newbies and collectors.




Richard Jernigan -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 29 2017 0:11:48)

A luthier introduced me to a new acquaintance as "a collector and world traveler." I objected that I was not really a collector.

"How many guitars do you have?"

"Umm...six."

"You're a collector."

"But I play all of them."

"You're still a collector."

I have to admit: I was showing a couple of guitars to a grand-nephew, aged 19. His grandmother, my sister-in-law asked, "Why do you need two guitars?"

"Well, flamenco and classical are different."

"Why do you need more than two?"

"You don't need more than two."

RNJ




estebanana -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 29 2017 0:33:16)

quote:

This video has been on my blog for some time so some of you may have seen it already, sorry. I think it adds something to this conversation. I too will always make my own rosettes. It is very satisfying although time-consuming and finicky. http://www.granadaexpert.com/johnray/about-rosettes/



This is a good video and thanks for sharing Rolf's work, he seems like a genius. I understand Anders also had a connection to him. I think he and Gene Clark, my teacher have a lot in common in that they utilized skillful means and great integrity to accomplish faster tighter work. It's very inspiring to see.

When I made the three part rosette video in 2012 I was working out how to go faster by attaining more skill and using very basic tile and line elements. I wanted to have a guitar that had a handmade rosette, but I wanted it to be minimal enough that I could turn out the guitar top with a rosette implanted in it fairly fast. I think previous to that I spent many years wringing my hands and worrying for half the time it took to make a rosette. Then by using the most pared down line and tile elements I had confidence to push the process faster, I pushed too fast and the process got out of control I would just do what Gene had said many years ago: Pull the lines out, wipe the glue off of them, clean the channel in the top, take a few breaths, compose yourself and begin over again. - Gene said the difference between good work and great work, is rework.

He like Rolf was probably a significant behind the scene teacher for many makers. The great steel string maker Linda Manzer was has said in interviews that Gene's work she saw early on was a big influence and inspiration for her.

I think one of the problems is fear. Too many makers operate from a basis of fear in that they create a working process that addresses their fears of failure instead of practicing skills with basic hand tools or making small specialty tools and fixtures to move things faster. In the late 1990's when I was learning from Gene the trust of the small luthiers movement and garage hobby guitar making was to figure out how to make a shop full of power tools to do all the operations in such a way that it removed fear from the process. That was the opposite of what I set out to do under Gene's umbrella. He was highly critical of that idea of replacing skill with the craftsmanship of certainty because it diluted the Spanish traditional art of guitar making. He did have a fear, and that was that people who lacked skill would in the future teach the Spanish art without going through the process of attainment of skill in workmanship of risk. He saw failure and dealing with fear as an intrinsic part of the teaching and leaning process. He knew that skill would be more important and could be used by the maker to overcome fear. His teaching, and the subsequent work I did in Stewart Port's shop, who is a Matt Umanov alum, was much the same philosophy.

In a greater sense guitar making for some of us is not a transactional process first, it's a wholistic process where the way a guitar looks, sounds and feels is not rated one, two, three in importance, but all aspects come together through skill and process to create a cohesive whole. The challenge Gene set up is, can you build them fast enough and keep eye-hand skill and cleverness as your confidants in the process? This imprinted deeply on me and I turned away from the very American attitude of gadget making and making a factory in my garage. I sat down with hand tools and figured it all out that way, and then asked Gene and Stewart for criticism of the work. And that was successful, because operating from a place of fear is not where I work.

I just took a job teaching Jr. High English to Japanese kids in the Akune school system- the lessons I learned about process, skill and fear in guitar making have a place in teaching English. Japanese kids are usually not confident about speaking aloud. They come from a long learning process that is based on written test taking. What they need, the teachers and school districts recognize, is skill and confidence imprinted by a native speaker. Having gone through a process of dealing with fear of failure in rosette making by pushing hard, failing and then gaining raw skill to succeed, I've got something to latch onto to draw from to help the kids gain confidence. I see over the top of their fears to the other side, and knowing that I can identify the fearful looks and scoop up a kid and move them forward.

Teaching part time also ensures we have money coming in when guitar sales are slow. This means I can continue to honor the teaching I received and continue to develop myself in the Spanish tradition of skillful means. I don't have to cut corners or make compromises to the work - the work and my understanding of this tradition remains intact and that is more important to me than overstepping skill to create a faster made guitar to sell cheaper.

My first teacher Mr. Tenney, the violin bow maker and architect I worked for in high school said: You make something, it's going to last four or five hundred years if someone takes care of it; so think about making an object that will be fascinating to look at for 400 years.

I was doomed from the beginning, I was told at age 17 to train myself to make masterpieces in what ever art I finally do. And now I can, so should I throw 40 years of work away and cut corners? If Mr. Tenney were still around he would be pleased. So would Gene.




Piwin -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 29 2017 8:05:13)

quote:

I was doomed from the beginning, I was told at age 17 to make train myself to make masterpieces in what ever art I finally do. And now I can, so should I throw 40 years of work away and cut corners?


You're such an elitist.

That tiny shadow in the distance is me running away.[8D]

@NorCalluthier
I have to plead guilty as being one of those for whom playability just might be more important than tone. But that's probably because I'm not a pro and I don't sound all that good on any guitar really. [&:] Appearance really isn't a factor for me. Short from a rosette with a motif of tiny swastikas, there's no much I'd object to.




estebanana -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 29 2017 8:36:59)

quote:

You're such an elitist.


You, you, Trollitist!




Tom Blackshear -> RE: Faster traditional rosette---afterthoughts (Jun. 29 2017 12:47:12)

quote:

Frank Ford, the co-owner of Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto for some 40 years says:

"The builder builds first of all for tone, second for playability, and third for appearance. The buyer buys first of all for appearance, second for playability, and third for tone. Nobody ever brings a guitar back because it doesn't sound good. They want the action "as low as possible, without buzzing", or there is some cosmetic damage that needs fixing".


I totally agree with Franks assessment. Normally, the guitar on the shelf will not be played unless its appearance attracts the player to take it down and try it out. And then play-ability and tone are the final mix.

I wish you well in the rosette making. Seems like you have the stamina to continue a lovely pursuit.




NorCalluthier -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 29 2017 16:00:26)

Hello All,

Frank Ford's "Gryphon Stringed Instruments" is primarily a steel string shop. His partner Richard Johnston wrote that lovely big book on the history of Martin Guitars. I only quoted his observation as a note about one person's experience in selling to the public.

My French polishing is done by Eric Reid's partner Haiying. They do mostly high end work---Ervin Somogyi's for example. Eric says that players say that they don't care about how a guitar looks, but in the end they do.

It's not well known that Ervin is a really good flamenco guitarist, though he builds primarily steel string acoustics.

I went to a lot of trouble to get my first good guitar---an Arcangel---and did it entirely because of the sound. It would have been a nice added attraction if it had looked better.

My dad ran an auto paint and body shop. He used to tell me that I was going to have to make a living with my brains, as "you sure as hell won't do it with your hands"!

Though I'm not talented at acquiring hand skills, I have learned some, and certainly do use hand tools a lot, particularly the hand plane. But, I use power tools, and jigs and fixtures, a lot also. I think that we all have to find a balance that fits us, and the quality of the resulting work is what's important.

Cheers,

Brian




Andy Culpepper -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 29 2017 19:15:40)

I might be in the minority in that I make my own rosettes 90-95% of the time but I will occasionally use a premade one and I don't feel that bad about it either.
It might sound cheesy but to me it's all about the player/client and creating a guitar that they will love and value. Sometimes I will spend 20 hours on a complicated mosaic, sometimes 20 minutes to glue in a premade one if the client really likes a particular design or wants to shave the cost down a little.
I think it's good business to try to make the perfect guitar for each person who orders one: if fewer of your guitars come up for sale in the used market it increases demand for your new instruments. And some degree of personalized aesthetics seem to matter to almost everyone I work with.




NorCalluthier -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 29 2017 20:22:25)

Good for you Andy!

I decided to stop taking orders. I'm always late filling an order, and am always anxious about whether I can make an instrument that pleases the customer. Now I'm just trying to make guitars that please me, and then advertise them for sale. That way delivery is immediate, and the customer knows what he is getting.

I'm keeping a waiting list with notes about what prospective customers are looking for, and paying some attention to those notes. But in the end I'm making what interests me, and that keeps me inspired to work all the time.

Mind you this is an experiment, and I'm counting on my new website to sell instruments for me. It should be "on the air" about mid August.

Cheers,

Brian




SEden -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 30 2017 7:20:30)

In the U.K I can't think of one professional guitar builder that doesn't make their own rosettes. I think having your own touch helps you stand out on a crowded island such as as ours.

I find most of my customers are more concerned with sound and playability over aesthetics. That's why I developed an aesthetically cut down guitar. Tone and playability are the number one concerns for this guitar. With this, players with a smaller budget can enjoy the sound and playability of a hand made guitar. I still make most of the rosettes for this guitar they take about 30 minutes to make and install from scratch. I have farmed some out to another guitar builder friend of mine but I think that still counts as hand made though.

On the other side I have just spent a week making one rosette. I can't say that I have enjoyed every minute of it but it is satisfying having the end product.




Andy Culpepper -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jul. 1 2017 1:14:14)

quote:

On the other side I have just spent a week making one rosette.


Can you show it? I would like to see.




SEden -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jul. 3 2017 9:22:13)

quote:

quote:

quote:

On the other side I have just spent a week making one rosette.




Can you show it? I would like to see.


Yeah sure I shall put something up later. Don't get too excited though, it was more of a learning experience than some super elaborate design that I came up with. So it's one of those looks more simple than it is to make.




SEden -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jul. 4 2017 10:54:54)

Here you go. I'm pretty pleased with it for a first attempt. Annoyingly some of the lines don't quite link up as nicely as would have liked, however it has been interesting having a go at making something like this. Perhaps next time I will be a little more adventurous.



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estebanana -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jul. 4 2017 12:47:48)

Cool, it's very European heraldic, and very medieval Japanese at the same time.




Andy Culpepper -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 13 2019 1:55:32)

My take on one of the Santos rosettes on the previous page. 2-3 hours total working time. The diagonal line strips can be made in larger batches for multiple rosettes, purflings etc. Being faster does not mean that it's necessarily easier to execute though. It was actually harder to inlay than something with a large mosaic tile because the small tiles can be fussy and harder to defuzz from cutting.



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JasonM -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 13 2019 19:15:55)

I thought that center “square wave” motif was made like a purfling rather than tiles. sandwiched between two black banners and then bent around.




Andy Culpepper -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 13 2019 21:15:06)

quote:

I thought that center “square wave” motif was made like a purfling rather than tiles. sandwiched between two black banners and then bent around.


I suppose that is possible but seems quite a bit harder. I don't really know how it's "normally" done.




JasonM -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 14 2019 14:12:46)

I don’t really either [:D] Looks great as usual btw




RobF -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 16 2019 1:42:09)

quote:

My take on one of the Santos rosettes on the previous page.

Nice rosette Andy. The green works nicely with the oranges. I like the subtle use of green a lot.




Andy Culpepper -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 16 2019 2:07:26)

Thanks, Jason and Rob! I still use this design as my "standard" rosette but sometimes you get in the mood to play a different falseta as it were.



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David LaPlante -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 28 2019 18:30:25)

I really like the "puzzle" method where a log is made up of pieces which are not smaller mosaic sticks but fit together to form a design once it is tiled out.



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Echi -> RE: Faster traditional rosette (Jun. 30 2019 15:53:01)

Lovely rosette, David.
If I’m not wrong that is a motive used already by Torres.
I also like a lot the simplicity of the Santos Rosette replicated by Andy.




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