My Space: Lorenzo Frignani

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A look at the Italian luthier’s Modena workshop

I started working as a luthier in 1986. I’ve been based in towns including Gubbio, Bologna and Parma, but eventually returned to my home town of Modena in 1997, when my son was born. I’ve had three workshops here, and I’ve been based at this one for the past 15 years. It’s the largest shop I’ve had, and at 90 sq m, it has plenty of room for all my instruments and tools. There’s a section of the workshop dedicated to taking photos of instruments, and another for my UV drying cabinet.

I have three main workbenches, and generally use one for bowed instruments, one for guitars and one for restoration work. Nowadays I make up to six guitars and six bowed instruments per year, and repair a lot more. I use my own personal model for my violins, based on a Stradivari but incorporating a lot of the Emilia-Romagna style, which I think is important to retain. Makers such as Fiorini, Pollastri and Capicchioni embodied elements of this style, and given the large number of instruments being made in this day and age – and especially with so many coming from China – it’s essential for us to preserve the traditions of our forefathers, if only for the experts of tomorrow to be able to identify where our instruments came from…

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