My friend Marty.
While I was in New York I spent a few hours with my friend Marty who makes violins and mandolins. Very beautiful instruments. We talked about his work mostly, and other aspects of woodworking generally. He and I have a lot in common as do many of my friends there. Our children work with wood, we strive to live simply from home workshops and are willing to share our knowledge whenever we can.
Marty making binding for a mandolin
It takes courage to go against the flow and find work with your hands. We compete for the same dollar yet what we make to realise a $1000 may take two or thee weeks of long 12 hour days where we answer the phone, develop a website, pay bills and of course wear a dozen hats to ensure we can live this alternative lifestyle. It’s funny really, when others boast $30 an hour, we boast $10 and work twice as long to make it, otherwise the beautiful hand made violins and mandolins wouldn’t exist.
But the rewards are great. When you polish that last coat of varnish, inlay the abalone and stretch the strings over the fret. When the first notes come and the keys search for the right, tight spot. How do you buy that?