Steffen Nowak 
Maker of fine Violins, Violas and Cellos in baroque and modern style
75 Sylvia Avenue, Bristol, BS3 5BU, UK  tel +44 (0) 117 9777141





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See my available cellos here: Cello after Stradivari 1712 'Davidov' (756mm)

and here: Cello after Stradivari B-form (740mm)

Cello project 2007 - scroll down to see all the pictures

This page is now completed - latest thumbnail images at bottom - or click straight through to the  Cello picture gallery.

You may also like to see some photos showing the making of a smaller Stradivari cello model here (2010/2011).

This new Cello is based on the B-form of Stradivari. They are the 'golden period' Celli of this master and includes famous instruments like the Gore-Booth of 1710, the 1711 Duport ( Mstivlav Rostropovich), and the 1712 Davidov ( ex. Jacqueline du Pre and now played by Yo-Yo Ma).
This model combines grace and elegance with a wonderful acoustic platform which has served as an inspiration for many Cello makers. Quite a few of my previous modern as well as baroque Cellos are based on this model.

For this instrument I have selected well seasoned material from my wood store: For the back deeply flamed native maple (acer pseudo platanus; Engl.: sycamore) seasoned since 1994. I have some choice pieces from this large tree, most my Viola slab cuts come from it, but this is the first Cello I make from it. It comes from near the Suffolk coast, and though it it has grown in the 'lowlands', the growth rings are surprisingly narrow because of the shell compacted soil.
The broad flames descend from the join and with its especially deep flame in the treble lower bout it mirrors the back of the Davidov Cello.

The belly wood is from  the Italian Alps, cut and seasoned sometime before 1993. In common with the cello wood of many Cremonese makers and Strad Cellos of that period it has medium to wide growth rings, is cut well on the quarter and has the acoustic properties and that special look  about it which we makers always search for.


Jointed and sawn out plates, and  ribs on the inside mould.

The back arching nearly done....(it really is hard work!)

....reflection time... and shavings of the trade.

Starting the hollowing of the back - hard work again....

The first layer is cut.

Quality wood shavings

Marking the graduations

Careful measuring

The linings on the ribs get trimmed

Checking the alignment of ribs and back...

...and finally the back is glued on!

Ribs with linen strips glued to inside for crack prevention ( see F.Sacconi: 'Secrets' of Stradivari)

Starting to carve the belly.

Belly arching completed - to medium height of 25.5mm

Hollowing out of the belly with the large gouge

Still some way to go and the shavings are piling up

Now its time to use the large thumb plane before the final scraping and thicknessing

The bass f-hole cut - and comparison with the Strad original

A pair of Strad f-holes with flutings in the lower wings

The completed belly with ffs - the purfling inlay still to come of course.

The bassbar position before its fitting

First coarse cuts to trim the bass bar

The bass bar is acurately  fitted and glued

A slight angle of the bar across the bellies grain, supporting it against the string pressure.

A 'big' moment:  gluing the label in.

The belly is glued to the ribs - sometimes not needing opening again for some hundred years.


The cello scroll being marked out on the block, sawn out and outlined
( click on pictures to see them enlarged)

The peg box and volutes carved....

The volutes & flutings are finished and now the back is carved.

Cutting the purfling channel

Inlay in back corner....

....and a  Strad style purfling mitre with 'bee sting' in a front corner.

Carving the neck.

The neck mortice cut....

....and fitting the neck.

The varnish ground coat has been applied giving a warm golden colour.

Grinding transparent lake pigments into the oil varnish.

The varnishing almost done.


The finished Cello - click on photos to go to the Cello picture gallery.

See my available cellos here: Cello after Stradivari 1712 'Davidov' (756mm)

and here: Cello after Stradivari B-form (740mm)


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