An insight into Luiz Amorim, the maker
What inspired you to become an instrument maker?
When my children were in school, they played an instrument called the kantele. I was inspired by the sonority and simplicity of it and decided to craft one myself.
It was through my children that I began to play and study the cello, viola da gamba and violin in more detail, researching the instruments and their construction. I later started working in the restoration and building of violins, violas, cellos and bows in Curitiba.
A few years on, together with my wife, I opened my own studio and our two sons joined the team.
My professional training provided all the essential features needed to develop my skillset to what it is today. Now, the fascination of being in contact with the world of violin making is my daily inspiration!
What is your thought process when approaching a copy of a violin by a master maker?
Due to my training in fine arts, the aesthetics of an instrument are always the first thing I recognise, I always see the instruments’ beauty and expressiveness before anything else.
I find Guarneri’s “Del Gesù’s” work extremely expressive and spontaneous, which is what I am attracted to the most. When I choose the model for copying, I go after all the details, studying them thoroughly.
Daniel Müller-Schott, German cellist, says how he felt a real connection to a Luiz Amorim copy of the Sleeping Beauty Montagnana cello. How do you achieve such a sense of authenticity?
When I reproduce a copy, I try to be as accurate as possible in all the details of the original. Sometimes, I even imagine myself at that time, as a maker from that period.
I also believe that the choice of wood, varnish, colour, wear details and general shape are essential to the final result, as mentioned by Daniel Müller-Schott.
For me, the end goal is to produce an authentic old instrument with a sound that the musician expects to hear of a classic old instrument.
You are renowned for your creative flair and remarkable craftsmanship. What is it that inspires you during the making of a fine instrument?
Having the opportunity to observe the original instruments is a great inspiration: examining the wear caused by usage and time, and how it has printed an identity onto the instrument and turned it into a beautiful piece of art. The opportunity to live and work in Cremona inspires me more and more each day.
Do you think it is more important to include an ‘Amorim flair’ to your bench copies or to replicate the instrument as closely as possible? Why is this?
When I create a copy, I try to be as faithful as possible to the original; just like when I did portraits during my time training as an artist. But it is clear that it is possible to identify the author of a portrait; so, I believe it is possible to recognise ‘my hand’ in each instrument as well.
Originally from Brazil, how does your heritage affect the way you approach the violin making process?
Being in Brazil gave me freedom to be creative, even though I studied the traditional Italian construction technique. There, I was able to experiment with many materials and methods in the antiquing process.