Gerles, Gerles, Gerles

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.

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