Campanella Strings

I make violins and mandolins by hand. When I'm not working on instruments, I play them, draw them, and write about them. Here are some of my recent works and work in progress. Enjoy! Joe C.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Blah, blah, blog...It's been a while, and in the next few days I'll be posting pics and notes from my work
and travels and the places where they meet...
Tree, Juni and I spent part of April in Italy, including Firenze, Venezia, and Cremona, where I enjoyed learning Italian, meeting some friendly violinmakers, collectors and experts, as well as food, wine etc. Oh yes, and art, inspiration, architecture, lines, design, aesthetic and friendly people all combined to form an irresistable spell.

Grazie tanto a tutti nuove amici Italiano. Era un molto buon viaggio en la sua paese--bella, vero.
Salve a tutti liutai che me ha aiuto, e bravo per buon lavoro--Winifred Meyer, la familigia Vettori di Firenze, Artemio Versari, Bernard Neumann, Boutrous Bishara, Bruce Carlson, Bernabeu Borja, Alessandra Pedota e anche tutti che me ha dimenticare. Pace!

Also, I recently visited Lawrence Smart and many old friends in McCall, Idaho. I'm always impressed with Lawrence's prolific and clean workmanship, and appreciate his willingness (still) to put up with my
questions. Lawrence recently completed his second matched quartet for which he ought be roundly
congratulated. He sent me off with a piece of Englemann Spruce from a tree that I had helped cut up when
working with him. A bit of a puzzle, this piece (may) contain two tops and has a both a pitch pocket and a knot to be dodged deep in it's beautiful grain and straight split. Am I to take example and heart from the 300 year
old violins with knots in their tops, or try to come up with one perfectly clear top? Can an instrument
contain both beauty and imperfection and be served by both? For now, the wood takes its place in the pile, keeping its secrets to itself.

Shop news: I've completed a run of Due models (2 points) and another of A's with more A's in the works. Violins are also on the burner as I assimilate some of what I learned in Italy. I'm also working on several custom variations on my main models as well as the next generation of La Campanella--my F-5/Violin inspired model. I'm also turning some of my thoughts to a possible archtop guitar model based on these construction techinques and visions of 'dolas and 'cellos are still making their way from the drawing board out into the light. I'll drag the camera out to the shop one of these days and give a little tour soon, and hope to post some more
pictures when I get the chance.