Saving the pernambuco tree

Charlotte Smith28th Mar 2012

Fundraising efforts to save Brazilian tree used to create fine bows for stringed instruments

For over 250 years the wood from Brazil's pernambuco tree has been used to creat
The tree is now endangered, so bow-makers have founded the International Pernamb
The IPCI's new fundraising enterprise is a three-volume, definitive guide to the
The guide is an invaluable resource for luthiers, with contributions from 120 le
All proceeds from the £925 guide will go towards the IPCI's research, education
Parisian artisan Stéphane Bigot examines the curve and straightness of the bow,

For more than 250 years, the dense and flexible wood of Brazil's pernambuco tree has been used to create fine bows for violins, violas, cellos and basses. However, the tree is now under threat due to farming and urban development. In response, bow-makers from around the world have created the International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative (IPCI) to fund research, educational outreach and replanting programmes.

The IPCI's latest initiative is the publication of an enormous new reference book: The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and Their Bows. The three-volume, definitive guide edited by author Tom Wilder has taken 10 years to compile. Comprising 1600 pages, 900 photos, 300 technical drawings and a CD-ROM, the book includes contributions from 120 leading artisans. Co-published by Archetype Publications and IPCI-Canada, it is priced at £925 with all profits going to the IPCI and its work. For more information click here.

Doing their bit for the IPCI are students at the Newark School of Violin Making at Lincoln College in the UK. They have been raising funds to buy the book for their library by making a violin that will be donated to a needy musician.

Click the first image to launch the gallery

All photos credited to IPCI

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