Violin making topic of talk at the first autumn Brechin Probus club meeting

Brechin Probus club held their first meeting of the autumn session on Tuesday, September 3, at the Northern Hotel, where David Vernon was the speaker.

In the chair for the meeting was Bob Berry who, after welcoming members and dealing with club business, congratulated two members on their success. First was Iain Rae for achieving his BSc (Hons) degree and then Ian Mowatt for his recent hole in one on Brechin Golf course.

Members were then asked that anyone wishing to attend the Angus Minstrels Show should make their reservation for tickets with treasurer Brian Timuss.

David Vernon, gave a fascinating talk on the art of violin making, beginning by saying that he started by making guitars and then gravitated to his lifetime interest if violin making.

His spoke about the wood used in the making, which mostly comes from Germany. These are specially grained woods such as Sycamore and Maple and are sought worldwide, but interestingly some quality wood is available in Scotland.

He demonstrated how the wood is shaped and fitted together using traditional glues (pinning is never used). Shaping involves using water and heat treatment.

Inlaying embellishments on each violin is known as ‘purfling’ and David showed the audience how to use the equipment needed.

The importance of the correct wood thickness was discussed as this affects the vibrations and resonances of the instrument.

David said that each violin has 10 coats of varnish and the he himself can produce a violin from start to the finish in approximately three weeks. It was explained that a well produced violin’s value could be in excess of £1,000,000.

After David answered questions from the floor the meeting was concluded with the vote of thanks given by Ian Dickson, who said that the club had been uniquely honoured to have listened to such a gifted and talented speaker.