nid_dabeille: bee (stephen cello)
[personal profile] nid_dabeille
I posted the violin a while ago, and I also recently got a cello.  But I decided they were both a bit wrong, so I redid them Dr. Frankenstein style.




This was before their reconstructive surgery:


And this was after:


What I did to them:

  • Removed the necks - they were both too thick
  • Removed the scrolls - they were both too big
  • Reshaped the cello's neck and fingerboard to accept the violin's scroll
  • Reshaped the back of the cello's neck - the curved part where it meets the body of the instrument - and adjusted the angle and painted it
  • Removed the neck and scroll from an old organ donor violin I had in my doll house (center left) to be used on the new violin, and painted it
  • Removed the varnish - they were both just too, too shiny!  They looked new and a bit plasticky, and the way they reflected the light was just too chunky.  They didn't look realistic, but looked like small fakes.  They didn't look real.
  • Applied new coatings of stain
  • The violin body was much too thick, so I shaved out a section from the middle (center right)
  • Made new bridges from card stock - the existing bridges were too thick and short
  • Filled the square hole in the cello between the f-holes which had been the connecting point for the previous bridge
  • Made new tuning pegs for the cello (to fit in what had been the violin's pegbox)
  • Restrung them - the cello with thin jewelry wire and the violin with clear polyester filament
  • Replaced the violin's tailpiece and anachronistic chinrest (thank you, Gunroom for that tip) with the tailpiece from the old violin
  • The cello had an endpin that could be inserted (not pictured), but thanks to the Gunroom I learned that that was also anachronistic for my period, so I discarded it.
Cello in progress with a newly shaped neck (and fingerboard removed for the interim).  Varnish has been removed and the wood has just been newly stained.




Waiting for strings, tuning pegs and tailpiece.


Tuning pegs made from jewelry headpins.  The stringing nearly did me in!  I can't imagine making a model ship where one would have to do endless amounts of rigging with tiny tiny ropes.


Again, violin before:




Another after shot.


Cello before:


After:


Cello before:


After:


linked at [profile] doll_houses and [profile] little_world.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] georgy-girl.livejournal.com
Those are great!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 05:13 pm (UTC)
ext_8695: Self portrait 2007 (Default)
From: [identity profile] jauncourt.livejournal.com
Tehy look great. The only thing I wold change (and only because the scale of the woodgrain is too coarse) is to polish them up a bit more, maybe with a wax, so the finish is not so shiny. And add use-wear?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thanks for the advice! Wouldn't polishing them with a wax make them MORE shiny? (I ask out of ignorance.)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 02:58 am (UTC)
ext_8695: Self portrait 2007 (Default)
From: [identity profile] jauncourt.livejournal.com
Sorry! I meant less shiny than the original, but less grainy than now. A wax formulated for woodfinishing can be selectively polished (or only polished to a soft satin) and layered on so as to create realistic wear.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Oh I see. Well, I might look into that! Thanks. ;D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elwenlj.livejournal.com
this was absolutely fascinating! So much work but oh so worth it when you see the finished articles.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flowerkim.livejournal.com
Amazing and beautiful!!!! Wonderful job!!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thanks! It was fun.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luisadeza.livejournal.com
Oh, they look much much better! Great work once again! :D
And I actually think changing strings on a normal sized violin is bad enough. XD

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Well at least mine don't have to be tuned. They just have to look straightish and not break.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rum-inspector.livejournal.com
Oh mine they are wonderful! I like the new finish, it looks as if they really have been in the seas with their owners :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thanks! Yes, they're the seagoing instruments, not the nice left-at-home-on-land instruments that I'm sure my lads have.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zed-pm.livejournal.com
I adore them! You never cease to amaze me. You have so much talent and put so much effort into everything. I wish I had that skill. ;D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you! Aww, well I suppose it's a good outlet for obsessive-compulsive tendencies or something.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zed-pm.livejournal.com
LOL I completely understand.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] obeliamedusa.livejournal.com
Oh gosh, what a difference! As a cellist, I appreciate how much more realistic your finished versions look. You did an amazing job. I wish I knew how to do stuff like that! :P

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Wow, thanks! That's very meaningful praise, and I'm pleased you're a cellist! But what do you mean, you wish you knew how to do stuff like that? Please, Ms. Hobbit Hole Made of Chicken Wire and Layers of Papier Mache' and daffodils and rabbits! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] latin-cat.livejournal.com
I am too stunned by your amazing miniaturist skillz to comment. I mean... wow.

And I will start calling you Dr. Frankenstein now. You know I will.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Aww, thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kosher51.livejournal.com
Wonderful work --Well done. You have a lot of patience!!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you! Yes, I guess it's patience and also stubborn determination to make it look RIGHT!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saibrrmen.livejournal.com
WOW that's freaking amazing. o______o (haha now that I think of it my own violin looks plasticky and ew. If only it were a miniature...)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Well thanks! Nah, real violins are supposed to look shiny like that. I'm sure yours is very pretty.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscbong.livejournal.com
Oh wow! They're simply gorgeous! I love the distressed look you gave them MUCH more than the pristine sheen they had before.

Beautiful work

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-27 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rvqavalon.livejournal.com
So wonderful! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 03:34 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soho-iced.livejournal.com
Amazing transformation - they look SO much better. You reminded me of watching a friend of mine playing Bach on her baroque cello, sure enough with it gripped between the knees due to no spike. (Looked pretty uncomfortable actually, but I suppose you get used to it.) Do you know the Bach solo violin piece Jack describes in one or other of the books - the bit where he talks about taking a jump during a splendid hunt and then realising he is riding not a horse but some other beast entirely? I am convinced it's the Chaconne from Partita no. 2 he is talking about, which is the most wonderful piece - so raw and passionate. I heard it once as the soundtrack for some French film or other and was convinced it was by Rachmanninov or someone like that because it was so extravagantly emotional. Not that Bach can't be emotional, just that it's not normally so direct.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you! Yeah, it does sound uncomfortable to play it that way, but maybe it just rests there comfortably like holding any instrument. My cellist friend [livejournal.com profile] diber has played the viola da gamba like that too.

I think I remember that piece that Jack talks about. I love the Chaconne! It's so very modern sounding. I'm not even a big Bach or baroque fan, but I really like it, especially after hearing this radio story a while ago:
Violin Dreams (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6888973). It's such a gripping piece, and so intimate - like a Hamlet soliloquy. It doesn't sound like taking a jump during a splendid hunt - but it does sound like finding yourself on a different beast entirely.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tealight-rookie.livejournal.com
Yay cello love!

Incidentally, you should check out this post (http://community.livejournal.com/the_polaroids/2067132.html#cutid1) in [livejournal.com profile] the_polaroids community. The miniatures are nothing like the quality of yours (not even 1/1000th) but I just love that they are taken by polaroid!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-28 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Yay cellos!

Those are cute pictures! And nice lighting and all. I always kind of wanted a Polaroid camera.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-29 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tealight-rookie.livejournal.com
You should get one (a Polaroid I mean! Though a cello would be fun too!) I absolutely love mine. Though since Polaroid announced that they're stopping making film it is almost impossible to get hold of any.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-29 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Well, though it seems silly, being a conservator makes me not want to use a Polaroid because I'm suspicious of the lasting-ness of the photos. I think they're rather chemically unstable (from what little I know about photograph conservation). But also, I just don't really do "real" photographs much anymore. I mostly just do digital, and even though it's perhaps not very stable either (from a conservation viewpoint) it doesn't bother me as much because it's not a physical artifact. I would feel irresponsible bringing into the world an artifact that I knew would self-destruct.

Hmm, I think I have issues. :D

One of my friends had a disposable Polaroid that only took little thumbnail sticker pictures, and that was really cute. I could probably handle that.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-29 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ldhenson.livejournal.com
Wow. Just looking at the "before" pic I could tell they weren't quite right, but it would be the sort of thing that would make me shake my head and say "Oh no way, too much work." So kudos to you for jumping in and doing it, and in such minute detail! They look so much finer now, and so much more real.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-29 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Well thank you! It was fun, really!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-30 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] intervain.livejournal.com
those are really nice!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-30 11:30 am (UTC)

Zing Went the Strings...

Date: 2008-06-01 01:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kindstar.livejournal.com
What a project you took on! And a great work of customizing the instruments to fit the needs of your theme. I'm impressed how close and in line with each other the strings are. I play guitar, and the original strings looked vastly disproportionate. And, I agree with jauncourt, a little paste wax would add depth to the new 'old' finish you put on. Not make it shiny unless you polish it a lot. You could experiment a bit with a scrap and see how you liked it.
About the Polaroid photos, yes, they fade very badly over the years. My father was a huge gadget freak (he was an electronic engineer), and my mother and brother gave him a Polaroid camera when they first came out. The only time I ever saw my father cry. The camera was quite expensive at the time, and he never expected to get it. Unfortunately, the photos taken back then have faded very badly. I need to take them to a photo restorer, before the disappear entirely.

Re: Zing Went the Strings...

Date: 2008-06-16 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grace-poppy.livejournal.com
Thank you very much! I'll have to check out the paste wax effect.

As for Polaroids, I don't think there's much that can be done to prevent them from fading. I'm a paper conservator and I haven't delved very deep into the photo conservation specialization, but it sounds like preserving is the only option, rather than restoring. But one good option is digital restoration where they scan the original and then manipulate the digital image. Anyway, good luck with your father's pictures!