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Considerations and techniques when making a replica violin. Workshop with Philip Ihle.


BELE.Basque School of Violin Making.

Bele. Conservatorio de Musica – Juan Crisostomo de Arriaga.

Plaza Ibarrekolanda 1, 48015 Bilbao. Spain.

Lecturer: Philip Ihle. www.ihleviolins.com

Date:  from 30th of may to 2nd June 2024. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Duration: 21 hours

Timetable: Friday and Saturday 9:00-13:00/ 14:00-18:00 and Sunday 10:00-15:00.

Registration requirements:
Short CV with the contact info from the applicant (name, email address…)
Please send the above to this address: lutheria@conservatoriobilbao.com
Selection of applicants will be based on the above required information.

Number of places: 15

Course fee: 400€

Languaje: English


In this course I want to share my considerations that help me to decide which instrument to copy and the techniques I use to get the best results including material choice, woodwork, varnish and set-up.

To bring:
a copy project including source material, can be in planning stages, in the making or a finished instrument to be discussed.

We will look at how to deal with details such as:

-tool language of the specific maker
-outline, including interpretation of wood wear
-f-holes, and the risks when taking them from a poster or rubbing
-varnish, understanding of different varnish looks

Each of the three days will start with a 1 hour presentation with time for questions. Then for the biggest part of the day the day we do practical work on the participants projects. Before wrapping up in the evenings we will convene in three random sub groups and collect our thoughts and expectations leading forward.

Over the three days we will be making a simple yet precise outline tracing tool for rib and back outline for everyone to take home. We will make a cast from a violin scroll and produce a copy for every participant. We will learn techniques that will help to copy f-holes precisely even only from a photo. We will learn about the characteristics of specific makers and how to capture their personality in our copies.


Day 1: Presentation of one of my bench copy projects: the finished instrument and the documentation that helped me making it.

Group discussion: Participants introduce the projects they brought and what they would like to improve.

Individual work: Making of circle templates, Production of a silicon mould, working on individual projects

Before the end of the day: 60 minutes “what techniques work for you?” “what would you like to improve?” questions in three random sub groups followed by 15 minutes reporting of the results to the group.

Day 2: Practical tools and considerations for copying outlines, f-holes and arching (both from posters or the original)

Group work: making of outline scribers and taking of outlines, arching templates and curves, corner templates, rib miter templates and practical one to one guidance on how to replicate an f-hole via a 2D image onto a 3D plate. Pouring of plaster scrolls in silicon mould to produce a copy for each participant.

Brief plenum in sub groups to exchange experience and prepare last day.

Day 3: Characteristics of specific makers: method, tool language, wood finish, varnish

Group work: Continue work on individual projects from day one and two.

For inquiries, our contact address is: lutheria@conservatoriobilbao.com