By Megan Westberg

A display of abalone at the AFVBM.

A display of abalone

The American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers (AFVBM) met in Berkeley last week to talk about all things technical and trade related. Speakers were drawn from the organization’s membership, and the meeting’s sessions ran the gamut from an interactive presentation from Boston-based luthier Kevin Kelly on the intricacies of soundhole design, and Northern California–based luthier Andrew Carruthers’ talk on cello-rib repair to larger issues that concern the stringed-instrument and bow-making trade, such as new rules with regard to ivory and other regulated materials, ethical business practices, and legal issues that may arise for members of the trade handling or repairing historic instruments.

AFVBM member looks at a display of Pajeot bows.

AFVBM member examines Pajeot bows

The sessions were lively and well attended, seasoned with a warm sense of camaraderie—it was scene of intense, but friendly discourse on the subjects that absorb instrument and bow makers every day. Love for their work, and the desire to do it well and responsibly, defined the spirit of the proceedings.

On display at AFVBM: A quartet of instruments made by French luthier Christophe Landon, which were hand painted by artist Jean-Patrick Guilbert.

On display at “Players Meet Makers”: A quartet of instruments made by French luthier Christophe Landon, which were hand painted by artist Jean-Patrick Guilbert.

The meeting also included the opportunity for the public to meet with AFVBM members and learn about their instruments in the “Players Meet Makers” pavilion.

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