News, reports and archived information.
September 25th – 27th 2015
Cuveé Darling 2015 in Cremona
An exhibition organized by Andy Lim took place in September once again and parallel to the Mondo Musica in Cremona: Cuveé Darling 2015, Cremona Exhibition
The serial " The Great Bowmakers from the 19th and 20th Century", was extended by a new Leporello about Ludwig Bausch and Heinrich Knopf. The research on life and work of the bowmakers is of great interest for me as I consider them both as one of the most important bowmakers from the 19th century. Photos and detail pictures of the bows likewise come from me.
New bow model – model Tan
The ivory- Cites problem currently causes lots of alarm and irritation amongst musicians. With my new model Tan I avoid all Cites- relevant materials and by that I offer a bow that gives the musicians the possibility for problem-free traveling. The model Tan has tip of titan and renounce mother of pearl. The shape of this model is inspired by the bows of the German bow maker Ludwig Bausch who I appreciate a lot.
Planting project - development
By now the IBAMA has inspected the area for planting and conferred right to use. Now the land has to be prepared for the planting and enough seedlings have to be bought. We found 14 participants. In the first project year every participant contributes 1200 € which are used to plant ¼ ha. The Instituto Preservarte which looks after the project on site receives 20 % for administrative tasks.
International Contemporary Cello Bow Making Competition
The contest was hosted by the L'Association Française du Violoncelle and by the Paris Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional and was excellently organized by Fabienne Ringenbach. Also here I worked as a juror and have enjoyed the good cooperation with the other jurors and the musicians very much.
7. International violin making competition in Mittenwald
In this competition not only violin makers take part but of course also bow makers. This time I was no participant but a member in the jury. 56 bows were submitted and had to be examined and be valued. It was a long way, until in the end all winners of a medallion were certain.
Voyage to Brazil- Preparation
for the planting project
Our aim is that smaller farmers cultivate trees for commercial purposes and by that have an additional opportunity to earn money with the support of the planting. For a start it is necessary to find out which formalities and laws have to follow and which authority is competent for the different steps. Therefore it is planned to firstly plant at the Casara's and at Floriano Schäffer's ground - 2 ha each - and pass on the know-how. Floriano is bowmaker and land owner who has planted a lot on his ground and by that gained experience in cultivation farming already.
The land will then be appraised by the IBAMA - the state environmental agency in Brazil.
Obligation is amongst others that no further deforestation will be conducted. It is important for us to comply with all formalities as we are dependent on support by authorities. To not create monocultures a combination of Fernambuk, Rio Palisander, Ipe and Cedro is planned. All of these trees are used for building instruments. Fernambuk- and Rio Paliander- seedlings need the shadow of bigger trees at the beginning – the faster growing coconut for instance- to orientate themselves towards the light and grow straight. Also it must be cleared where we get enough seedlings whose origin is provable.
August 25th - September 3rd 2013
Bow building workshop in Brazil
at the Casara family`s
Sustainability and conscious handling of natural resources are crucial topics for me as we have been wasting raw materials on account of future generations for a long time now. I am convinced that sustainability towards Fernambuk use is possible. Fernambuk (caesalpina echinata) – Brazil`s national tree – is the wood with the best characteristics for bow making. The tree exclusively grows in the Mata Atlantika- the most fertile growing area in Brazil. So big areas were cleared for agricultural purposes and to protect the remnant forests the tree was listed in attachment II of the CITES agreement (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) in 2001. Manufacture and trade are allowed if a legal purchase of the wood can be stated. But at the moment it is hardly possible to legally purchase the wood. I as a bow maker feel the responsibility to take care that there is not only taking but also new planting.
Family Casara is very engaged in youth work and has founded the Instituto Preservarte in 1999. Meanwhile their music school is well-known for its very good and successful youth work in Brazil. Lately there is also an own Violin Making School. In collaboration with Renato Casara and his sisters Ana and Estela I organized a workshop in Joao Neiva. The goal was to bring European and Brazilian bow makers together. To commonly work, plant and reduce prejudices but also to make contact with government representatives to present the project. Our goal is that a group of European bowmakers will be allowed to commercially cultivate wood in Brazil in collaboration with Renato Casara and his family respectively the Instituto Preservate. Two established bow makers Eric Grandchamp and Mitsuaki Sasano accompanied me to that workshop.
Group picture (From the Left):
Carlos Ambrosini, Igor Fomin, Jose Carlos Rosonni, Ruy Renato Casara, Carlos Brasil, Eric Granchamp, Sidney Sabbag, Pierre Peloux, Mitsuaki Sasano, Renato Casara, Fabricio Ambrosini , Manoel Francisco, Josef Gabriel
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Leporello showing bows by
Eugène Mikolai Sartory- June 2013
Darling Publications starts editing the first Leporello with the title ´The Great Bowmakers from the 19th and 20th Century´. The first tome shows 18 bows of the great french bowmaker Eugène Nikolas Sartory (1871-1946) in its original scale plus a series of detailed images.
I took part in selecting the bows- the detailed images come from me.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Travel to Denmark into the
Royal Danish Theatre -
8th to 11th of June 2013
The orchestra of the Royal Danish Theatre – Det Kongelige Teater- is said to be one of the oldest orchestras in Europe and was first mentioned in records in 1448. It is also among the few orchestras that provides the instruments for its musicians. This explains how there is an unknown Stradivari in its fund.
Andy Lim from Darling Publications and PhaseOne - one of the leading producer of midformat camera systems – used that occasion to travel to Denmark and photograph this amazing instrument for a publication... an opportunity for me to watch a master of photography at work.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Moscow- Photographing Kittel bows at
Glinka Museum – Mai 2013-10-18
In 2011 the book about Nikolai Kittel and his bows was published. Therefore it was possible to see and photograph the collection of Kittel bows preserved at the Glinka Museum in Moscow.
The preparation for travel was quite complex due to obtaining approval for photographing at the museum, application for visa and building a mobile camera construction. Our days at the museum have been exhausting but luckily there was time left for a wander through the city!
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Participation in the
Pau Brasil wokshop- March 2013
I took part in the Pau Brasil workshop in Reclife as representative from I.P.C.I Germany- an international initiative for the conservation of the Pernambuco tree. The conference was about the progress of the project we supported.
Issues such as cultivation techniques, wood quality and forestry policy were discussed and of course the prosecution of the project. We from I.C.P.I are happy about having found a reliable and good partner in APNE. You will find information on the work of our association on www.ipci-deutschland.org
Additionally I visited my friend Renato Casara. Years ago Mr. Casara started growing Pernambuco trees on his own initiative.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Meeting with French musicians in Paris
Participation in an exhibition of violin and bow makers in Paris from March 7 to 10, 2012, organized by the AELA on the premises of the Fondation Singer-Polignac. AELA stands for Atelier Européen de Luthiers et Archetiers, an organization of largely French violin and bow makers.
The premises of the Fondation are impressive and the exhibition well organized.
The visitors, for the most part interested musicians and teachers, could only enter the exhibition area by previously registering and were able to try out the instruments and bows of their choice. This was not a sales event but an opportunity for craftspeople to present their instruments and bows to French musicians and publicize their work. The response to my bows was very good; they were frequently tried out by the musicians and feedback was positive.
Thursday, November 11, 2011
Exempla 2009, Munich
This special show of the 61st Craft Fair Munich adopted the motto: Music instruments – Masterpieces of arts and crafts.
Bow makers who showed at the fair were Morgan Andersen - U.S.A., Josef P. Gabriel - Germany, Eric Grandchamp - France, and Christophe Collinet- also from Germany.
These four craftsmen took on the task of building two cello bows, the proceeds of their sale being donated to the I.P.C.I
www.ipci-deutschland.org / www.ipci-usa.org This association supports the cultivation of the pernambuco tree in Brazil by local farmers. The project was the idea of Dr. Andy Lim of Darling Publications.
Co-author of the publication:
The Bows of Nikolai Kittel
This is the first comprehensive publication about the bows of Nikolai Kittel of St. Petersburg. Authors: Klaus Grünke, Josef P. Gabriel and Yung Chin. All photographs that appear in the book were taken by Josef P. Gabriel. Published in October 2011. For more information, go to: www.nikolai-kittel.com.
MondoMusica in Cremona
Publication of the fanfold brochure "Exceptional German Bows of the Violin Family from the 19th and 20th Century" in collaboration with Andy Lim of Darling Publications. It features illustrations of bows made by old German bow makers as well as images of Josef P. Gabriel's bows.
Supervision of degree thesis
Supervision of Sebastian Valtl's degree thesis at Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences, department of Wood Technology. The thesis addressed determining the properties of pernambuco and alternative woods for string instrument bows.
Founding member of I.P.C.I. Deutschland, the German section of the International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative. The association is dedicated to the protection and conservation in Brazil of the pernambuco tree or Caesalphiniaechinata. Full information about the work of the German section can be found at www.ipci-usa.org.
Member of the master craftsman's
Member of the master craftsman's examination board for the craft of bow making at the Chamber of Craft Trades of the administrative region of Mittelfranken, Germany.