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  • davesuth6

Aesthetic design

After a rant about math I find myself surrounded by it.

I'm laying out f-holes. I hate to be a copyist, which I inevitably am up to a point, so I'm looking for answers. I found an interesting article about laying out and positioning f-holes "in the Cremonese style" by Alvin Thomas King for the Strad magazine.

The system he explains is fascinating, using the Golden Section and "pin length", with a triangle based on the proportions of the instrument can be used to determine the upper and lower circle centres of the f-holes. Previously I have fixed the position using the body stop which relates to string length, then use measurements from the edge work and purfling to determine the position.

This is what really fascinates me. I was first introduced to the Golden Section through the Artist Rob Fairley. In Classical Golden Age Art it crops up all over the place, just think of Da Vinci and that's a starting point. I'm not saying I understand it fully, but having a formula which may lead to fine aesthetics, be it a painting ,sculpture or object, can be quite satisfying to produce. It all comes down to proportions, dividing a line and using that to create another point to work from.

I've used a Francois Denis method in a similar way to create a violin outline in the past. Some of these methods are reverse engineered up to a point but all have the principle that they could be used in a practical way in the workshop without the need for hard Geometry in the making.

For now I'm happy with the position and ultimately happier with the process rather than blindly copying a classical instrument. I still don't understand the Math or Geometry but I can at least appreciate the aesthetics which I am left with.

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