Weekly Instrument-making Classes in Norwich
2016/17

There are two weekly evening classes in stringed instrument making held during term time in my workshop in Norwich.
Sundays 6 - 8pm and Mondays 7 - 9pm.
The current cost is £5.50 for each two hour session, payable termly in advance.

Autumn term: 23rd/24th October - 18th/19th December

Winter term: 8th/9thJanuary - 2nd/3rd April (Half-term 19th/20th February ) 12 weeks

Summer term: TBA

Workshop picture

The Workshop

I have run these classes in one venue or another in Norwich for over thirty years. During which time lots of first time and some more experienced students have made numerous stringed instruments very successfully. It has been particularly useful for music students at the university who have learned to play viol on the university's instruments and also been able to make their own instrument to take away for use after their course is over.

Among the instruments which have been made are: treble, tenor, bass, great dooble-bass and seven string viola-da-gambas, lutes of all sizes and types, violins, violas and cellos, hurdy-gurdies, medieval harp, dulcimers and renaissance guitars. However I specialise in early instruments and do not normally accept either modern or electric guitars.

Over the years, I have found that anyone who sticks at it can make a successful instrument, even without any previous woodworking experience.

At the moment both classes are full but do enquire if you are interested and I can let you know when there is a space.

Fees at the moment are £5.00 for each two hour session, payable by term or half-term in advance. For this I provide all the tools but the students have to buy their own wood and other materials.

Carl playing his newly finished tenor lute
Carl playing his newly finished tenor lute based on VVendelio Venere (Vienna C36).

Carl playing his newly finished tenor lute
Carl playing his newly finished tenor lute based on VVendelio Venere (Vienna C36). In the background, Anna working on the back of her second cello and Tim working on a rebec.

Derek fitting the pegbox panel
Derek fitting the decorative inlay panel on the pegbox back of his twelve course lute

Dereks dolphin
The dolphin treble rider on Derek’s twelve course lute

Derek playing the finished 12 course lute
Derek playing his finished twelve course lute

Fitting the neck to Annas violin
Fitting the neck to Annas violin based on Il Cannone by Guarnerius of 1743.

Tuning the back plate of Annas violin
Tuning the back plate of Annas violin based on Il Cannone by Guarnerius of 1743.

Instruments under way
Here is a group of instruments under way in January 2006 showing the almost finished bass viol, the cello , another 'Ud, a violin, a tenor viol and five different lutes.

Saber with his Ud
Saber discussing his newly finished Ud with Mike.


Viv working on the fingerboard of her tenor viol.


Toby carving the pegbox back for his baroque lute.


Anna carving the front of her cello.


Derek playing his newly finished renaissance lute.


Carving the pegbox for Derek’s bass viol.


Saber fitting the first rib of his new 'Ud.


Viv trimming the back of her tenor viol.


Testing the nodes on the cello back and front.


Tim sanding the back of his tenor viol.


Tim has just fitted the back to his tenor viol.


The front of Anna’s cello now with its bass-bar.


Danny veneering the pegbox sides of his lute.


Danny putting the final touches to his renaissance lute.


Tony gluing on the pegbox to his tenor lute.


David fretting his renaissance guitar.


Mike working on his renaissance lute.


James with his newly finished renaissance lute.


Viv gluing in the linen linings to her tenor viol.


The cello ready to be assembled.


Mike trimming the nut rebate for his lute.


James working on the front of his tenor viol.


Anna’s cello ready for its front.


Fergus trimming the linings of his Amati violin.


Derek’s bass viol in birds eye maple is coming on well.


Mike fitting the edging to his lute.


David playing his newly finished renaissance guitar.


Danny’s wonderful papiermaché lutecase covered with prints from Dennis the Menace comic strips in the Beano. Technically the case was light and strong and constructed in the same form as renaissance lute cases with a vertically opening lid, but given a contemporary twist! Eventually it was lined with a lascivious red velvet but alas I don’t have pictures of that. For comparison below is an engraving showing a typical contemporary lute case.

Pierre Woeiriot 1562
Pierre Woeiriot, 1562
Etching of lutemaker Gaspar Duiffopruchar 1514 - 1572


Tim drawing the first bow stroke across his newly finished tenor viol.

Copyright 2000 - 16 by David Van Edwards

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