Steffen Nowak, Maker of fine Violins, Violas and Cellos in baroque and modern style

Baroque Viola after Grancino

A baroque viola, inspired by the Grancino family, Milano. I have made this model several times before as a modern viola.
A recent client's request for a baroque style viola around 16'' - 406mm, made me decide for this model. The general proportions are wide without hindering the playability. I also make this loosely inspired model on a 'skeleton' mould, which allows me to alter the bout widths, as well as the body length and stop length for different sizes.

The maple back (my favourite Viola sycamore tree from 1994) is a 2 piece, cut on the 'half-slab' showing some broad and 'wilder' figure - quite common to see with Milanese instruments. The hand split spruce front from the Italian Dolomites, showing some nice hazel markings to add interest.

This Viola is now finished and sold - photos of the finished viola can be seen here.


skeleton mould with rib structure...
...and jointed back, front and neck block


oversize plates ready for arching...
...and the neck block with pilot peg holes ready for carving


the front rough arching...
the scroll block transformed


the front arched, scraper finished and f-holes drawn
the back arched with partial fluting channel....
....and both plates lined up.


the back hollowed...
...and cleaned with scrapers
ribs and back glued, showing the previously nailed baroque neck attached to the top block


a bed of spruce shavings
and underneath the front
....and the inside front is scraper finished


the back glued to the ribs

showing baroque style neck attachment with forged nails
shaping the bass bar


the front glued to the ribs

bass f-hole

front-neck alignment


the front with finished outline...
the back outline, ready for purfling inlay
scroll view


getting ready with the purfling strips...
the purfling channel on the back
inlaying the C-bout


cutting back the fluting channel
the back again
C-bout details with corners


making the veneered fingerboard, spruce core, maple sides

the ebony veneer prepared


and the varnish ground coat...

...on the scroll


some more varnish colour applied


and the back


...treble side...

...and the front...not quite finished yet - to be continued

This Viola is now finished and sold - photos of the finished viola can be seen here.
Do you want to have a similar viola made  or have any questions?     e-mail me here

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