I’m delighted to be hosting Harry Mairson for a workshop on the Digital Amati project to be held at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford as a BVMA study day in November 2018. Harry’s work follows on from the brilliant discoveries of François Denis, whose Traite de Luthierie revolutionised the way we perceive the design forms of Cremonese violins, by understanding the Euclidean Geometry with which they were first designed.
Harry realised that Euclidean Geometry of this sort could be expressed as a line of computer code that could enable the maker to render, adjust, and re-render variations of design over and over again without ever leaving the principles laid out by Andrea Amati and the later Cremonese masters, whereas drawing out variations of design takes hours, is prone to error, and has the continual risk that the outcome of each experimental drawing will require rethinking before coming up with an ideal set of measurements to draw from. Paradoxically, by automating the geometrical process, Harry’s work allows the violin maker to take back control of the Renaissance geometrical principles that guided the great Cremonese makers. For tickets and further information, visit www.bvma.org.uk
Lutherie will never again achieve the same grace of enlightenment, of genuine creativity, unless it can return to […] the lost principles that nourished the genius we now mindlessly, or rather, soullessly, seek to replicate
Kevin Coates, Geometry, Proportion and the Art of Lutherie (1985).