This morning, I was carving the little flowers on a renaissance lute bridge I patterned after the Georg Gerle in the Vienna Kunsthistoriches Museum. As I was carving I suddenly remembered a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "It is the time you have spent on your rose that makes her so important". Most things in our lives don't seem to last more than a decade or so these days. The fact that this lute has survived more than 4 centuries is beyond marvelous to me.
People often comment to me how tedious carving rosettes and lute bridges must be. I enjoy it greatly. I would even describe it as meditative. When I carve my flowers I use a Hock high carbon steel violin knife. Nothing fancy (it doesn't even have a handle), but I hone it really sharp. I can imagine Gerle and other builders using a similar knife.