Jules Saint-Michel knows the violin. At 78, he plays it every day and continues to make it. His workshop-boutique, member of the Economuseum network, is a place of discovery and exchange.
While the luthiers work in the open workshop, musicians come to buy strings or instruments. Others entrust their violin, cello or contrabass to the luthier for repair. Still others come to restore an old instrument they sometimes inherited.
From the sketch on paper to the glowing violin, all the stages of the fabrication are clearly explained. The luthier chooses carefully the wood, cuts and prepares each of the 70 pieces which are then glued. The varnishing, polishing, editing and setting stages must be completed before the violin can sing. “It takes at least 125 hours of work for a violin,” says Jules Saint-Michel, whose fame is international.
In addition to making hundreds of violins and violas, Mr. Saint-Michel has also collected rare instruments. Among those exhibited are a ravanastron, an Arab rebab, a rebec, a viol of the Middle Ages, a porcelain violin and Monsieur Pointu’s violin. You can also see the instruments used in the movie The Red Violin. A very interesting showcase is devoted to Quebec luthiers, including Antoine Robichaud and Augustin Lavallée (father of Calixa Lavallée, author of the national anthem of Canada).
Owned In: Quebec
Made In Montréal, QC:
- Double Bass