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Jonathan Hai

Violin Maker's Wife: From Violin Maker to Carpenter - - and Back Again

September 15, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Post No. 21
Almost two-and-a-half months. That's how long I didn’t write. That's how long I haven't posted a new entry in this Violin Maker's Wife blog. Where should I start now? I guess some explaining is in order, but also – it feels like I am starting to blog all over again. Is such a hiatus even allowed in the blog world?

Anyway – what happened was this – we moved to a new house, finally our very own, at the beginning of August. That's all. It's really as mundane and as boring as that… Only it didn’t feel mundane nor boring. It felt like one of the most stressful and hectic periods of our life. And my blog is what fell through the cracks. Actually that's not even true. What fell through the cracks was Yonatan's poor quartet, which was put on hold for almost three months, while Yonatan used all his considerable talent and experience to oversee the construction of the house, and if that's not enough, he also decided to do much of the woodwork himself. So instead of using the saws, scrapers and varnishes in his workshop for violin making purposes, he used them to restore, renovate and build some major wood-elements of our new home. Here you can see two of the six (!!) doors that he renovated, but he also prepared the butcher block that makes up half of our kitchen, built our son Itamar a new bed etc. etc.

DSC_0361

DSC_0377

It all came out extremely beautiful, and obviously much more exact and refined than doors or beds were ever intended to be, but I guess now you understand why there was basically no time to advance the quartet, and thus basically nothing for me to write about.

So – now our life has finally calmed down, the new house feels like a home, kids are all back to school and kindergartens, and work on the quartet has resumed, as has my blog…. I hope some of you have missed it at least half as much as I missed writing it :)

So as a teaser for next week's post, (which will deal with tanning, if you can believe it), here's a picture from this week of the four instruments together. Looking at this picture I see that what I wrote was too pessimistic since Yonatan has actually managed to make quite a lot of progress during these past weeks: three of the instruments are closed and ready, while the last violin will be closed in the coming few days.

DSC_0357 (2)

But now, we will begin the really hectic period: we have exactly one month to finish the entire quartet, so that it will be ready in time. The four necks have still to be prepared and fitted, all instruments need to be varnished, and all four setups need to be fitted as well. It's true that most of the work is behind us, but wow – doing all that in a single month will be one hell of a challenge!!

As a side remark, tomorrow is the Hebrew New Year. So keep your fingers crossed and continue to follow us as we embark on the final stage of what is now already a 10-month process of Yonatan turning blocks of wood into four beautifully-hand-made, playing instruments, while I turn this amazing process of creativity into …well… words!


From Kathryn Woodby
Posted on September 16, 2012 at 2:17 AM
So glad you are back! And glad your move went well! You and your husband are both very gifted and it's a pleasure to hear from you again :)
From Jonathan Hai
Posted on September 16, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Thanks Kathryn!
it's very rewarding to know you are following us...

From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on September 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM
Shanah tovah!

I too have missed you. Looking for your blogs from time to time, in case I missed them.

You will look at your house from time to time for years to come and talk about the work that YOU did to make it so beautiful. It will have been worth it.

I'll look forward to the instrument progress in the coming month--especially the varnish!

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM
Congratulations on your new home! You are always welcome back in the blogosphere, so don't worry on that account. :)
From Jonathan Hai
Posted on September 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM
thanks so much to you all! it was really hard writing after so long and now it feels great to be back! Hope we all have a good, creative, satisfying year.
From marjory lange
Posted on September 16, 2012 at 9:13 PM
A joyous time for you and your family.

May the quartet be as successful as the house so clearly is.

From Paul Deck
Posted on September 17, 2012 at 3:00 AM
I'll bet the miters on your doorway trim are really tight. Anyone who can set purfling into the top of a violin ought to be able to cut colonial molding at a 45-degree angle without too much trouble.

Still hoping for that coffee-table book. :)

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