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Julian J. Ludwig


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Pensei em criar este tópico para abordar a linda arte de fazer Rosetas.

Existem vários estilos, do tradicional ao rebuscado.

Abaixo uma matéria muito legal mostrando a criação.


The Art of the Rosette

by William Nesse

The amount of decoration on classical guitars is constrained by convention and acoustical priorities. In most cases, decoration consists of a rosette around the soundhole and purfling at the periphery of the top and back. The headstock and the tie block on the bridge also may be decorated. Of all the decorative elements on a classical guitar, however, the rosette typically receives the most attention.

While rosettes of standard design are available from commercial vendors or can be manufactured by specialty shops in Europe and Asia, I prefer the artistic freedom and challenge of creating my own rosettes. In addition to satisfying some of my creative urges, this measure assures that the guitars that I build are uniquely mine.

What is now the traditional form for classical guitar rosettes developed in the second half of the 19th century. The distinctive character of these rosettes was inherent in the use of mosaic elements. Mosaics had been used before, but their use by Antonio de Torres (who established the basic geometry and dimensions of the modern classical guitar) and his contemporaries set the style that has been followed for more than a century. The fact that Torres and his contemporaries made some strikingly beautiful rosettes certainly didn't hurt their acceptance.


Traditional rosettes generally contain three design elements: The central mosaic carries a repeating pattern around the soundhole. Bordering the central mosaic on both sides are fields consisting of rings of various colors. At the inner and outer edges of the rosette are narrow decorative bands of a mosaic, herringbone or braid pattern bordered by additional rings of color. The width of the rosette can vary depending on the whim and design capability of the maker, but is typically in the range of 18 to 22 mm wide.

02-Mosaic-Design.jpg While a rosette is certainly decorative, it also has a practical function. The rosette, with its numerous rings of wood, tends to prevent cracks from developing at the soundhole, or if they do develop, it will inhibit their propagation into the rest of the top.

Ideas for rosette design can be found in mosaic patterns in ancient Roman, Greek, and Arab architecture and in a wide variety of textiles. The work of other luthiers provides additional inspiration. I particularly like the work of Manuel Ramirez, Manuel Velasquez, Francisco Simplício, and Ignacio Fleta.

The central mosaic is first laid out on graph paper (a) and is designed so that it forms a repeating pattern. In this case, the repeating unit (heavy lines) is 10 columns wide and 10 rows high. This pattern is broken into its constituent columns (B) and each column of 10 small strips of wood is made up separately (see below). The columns are then glued together to form a mosaic loaf © from which tiles (d) are cut so that they can be fit together side-to-side (e) to form the central mosaic.


The raw materials used for the rosette are different woods of various colors. While it is possible to dye wood to get desired colors, I prefer to use only the palette of colors found in natural wood. The glue that I use in my rosettes is fish glue, which is similar to hide glue but does not need to be heated.


All of the wood for the rosette must be carefully prepared to precise thicknesses. Thin slices of wood can be cut with a band saw (left) and then thinned with a scraping tool, known as a filière à filets, made from a sharp plane blade (right). Veneer is also thinned to the required thickness with the same tool. Similar tools have been used by luthiers and other artisans for centuries.


Left Photo: Each of the columns in the rosette design starts with strips of thin wood about 10-15 mm wide (a) that are glued together in the correct order (B) to form slabs. A thin slice © is cut from the edge of the slab on a band saw. Right Photo: The thin slice is carefully thinned with the scraper so that the individual pieces of wood have a square cross section. This process is repeated for each of the columns in the design.


The ten different columns that comprise the mosaic design have been glued together to form the mosaic loaf. In this design, each of the individual pieces of wood has a cross section of 0.5 x 0.5 mm. Individual tiles are then cut from the loaf to be used in making the rosette.


The diagonal or braid pattern that forms the inner and outer decorative bands is made from additional pieces of veneer. These are glued together in a repeating sequence (a). A thin slice is cut on the diagonal from the edge (B). A backing strip of veneer is glued to one side © to provide stability and becomes part of the rosette design. This braid may also be used as part of the purfling around the edge of the top and on the bridge's tie block so that together the decorations form a coherent whole.


Additional strips of veneer are prepared to make up the various rings in the design and a trial section of rosette is assembled to allow the design to be evaluated. The rosette is installed in three steps: the inner rings first, then the mosaic tiles, and finally the outer rings. The veneer strips and associated sections of braid pattern are organized into these groups. The soundboard, which forms the background for this photo, is prepared for the rosette by sanding both sides smooth and drilling a half-inch hole in the center of the soundhole location. The hole is mounted on a bushing protruding from a work board.


The rosette must be let into a 2 mm deep channel cut into the soundboard. To cut the boundaries of the channel I use the circle cutter shown here. It consists of a sharp blade mounted in an arm that can be moved in or out to change the radius of the cut. The circle cutter pivots on the bushing at the center of the area where the rosette will be installed. This is yet another tool that would be found in a 17th century shop.


The channel for the inner rings of the rosette is prepared by cutting the outlines with the circle cutter (left) and then using a sharp chisel to remove the wood between cuts (right). Note that the rosette does not form a complete circle. The missing section will be beneath the fingerboard and therefore hidden when the guitar is completed.


The pieces that make up the inner rings of the rosette are first organized in the proper order and then glued into the channel.


After the first section of the rosette has dried, it is planed down close to the surface of the soundboard and then the channel for the mosaic tiles is cut. Tiles are then cut from the mosaic loaf and are glued in place between bordering rings of wood.


The channel for the outer section of the rosette is cut next and those pieces are glued in place.

The finished rosette has been sanded down flush with the soundboard. The soundhole will not be cut out until after the top has been cut to shape and worked down to the final thickness.

I like my rosettes to have a clean, uncluttered look. The mosaic utilizes a white field with a pattern executed in two different dark woods that I expect will age differently to yield some interesting subtleties in future years. Bordering the mosaic are rings of a dark red wood that tend to pull the eye to the mosaic and define that design element. To provide coherence to the design, woods used in the central mosaic are also used elsewhere. A braid pattern is used for the inner and outer decorative elements. This braid and its bordering strips are made from three different woods, including one from the central mosaic. The braids converge to the center of the rosette to give it a sense of movement and to lead the eye into the mosaic. The rings of the field are made from lighter colored woods and are intentionally fairly bland to avoid making the design too busy.


This rosette was completed for a guitar shown at the Guitar Foundation of America convention in Columbus, Georgia, in October 2006. The mosaic uses three different woods to produce a sinuous curve on a white field with small accents in the convex parts of the curve. A herringbone pattern forms the outer decorative bands that are arranged to produce a counterclockwise sense of movement.

While inlaying the rosette into the top is one of the first steps in building a guitar, it establishes the pattern for decoration on the instrument as construction progresses. Inlaying the rosette also gives me a very tactile and direct sense of the top wood's properties. This helps me to get a better sense for the quality of sound that the top wood is capable of providing, and guides me in the critical task of graduating the top thickness to achieve the sonority that I want the guitar to have.

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One of the areas on a guitar where a maker can truly express their artistic talent, is the decoration surrounding the sound hole. The time consuming and meticulous intarsia found on the guitars of the great masters like Romanillos and Torres offer us a slight glimpse into the creativeness and spirit put imbued in their instruments. Rarely are two examples exactly the same, yet often the work is readily recognizable and even copied.

Rosettes are created from thousands of tiny pieces of wood, arranged in a specific pattern to achieve a design that is both aesthetically pleasing and unique. The uniqueness of the hand made rosette far exceeds the mass produced, and the designs can manipulated according to the feelings and judgement of the maker for each individual instrument. I feel that guitar making is a contemplative and deeply personal craft - and I seek to imbue my guitars with spirit and life. A guitar maker presents them self to the world through the quality and creativeness of their work. I take a personal interest in every guitar I make on every level, and it stays with me. Every guitar I've made reiterates to me who I was and what I felt at the time in a very specific way when I'm able to see it again. The small details though they may go unnoticed upon a cusory glance, truly have a connection to the personality of the maker.

For these reasons I have spent the past two years experimenting with and refining rosette designs until I finally had a design that fulfilled my vision for my guitars. I've worked at length with an extremely talented sculptor in developing a sense of aesthetics that is refined and complicated, yet appears simple and effective.

Most rosettes are made from a mosaic of veneers of various colors glued together to create an attractive pattern. While in most cases I prefer the traditional approach I have given a lot of thought to the construction of the classic Romanillos rosette, and chose a method inspired by it. The difference is that instead of gluing veneers together to create a design made up of tiny squares of the same shape, this method requires different pieces of wood to be different sizes and shapes to execute the design.

This rosette is new for 2004 and is the standard for my latest guitars. It is an interwoven design made of only natural woods - nothing dyed. It is achieved by creating a log from which the pieces of the central motif are sawn from and inlaid in a circle just slightly larger then the circumference of the sound hole. Later, decorative borders are added to complete the design. When finished the rosette contains more than 3300 individual pieces of wood.


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Esta é uma roseta muito interessante. Estes modelos são muito usados em violões de época.


O Luthier Húngaro Ervin Somogyi faz um trabalho muito legal incorporando este visual em seus violões.




Interessante também são estas "naturais"


Ao meu ver as rosetas do Luthier alemão Hauser são os modelos mais populares entre construtores.



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O artigo que você usou sobre mosaicos é de um amigo meu que mora aqui em Colorado. O nome dele é Bill Nesse. Vamos dar crédito para ele sobre esse artigo maravilhoso. Bill estudou duas vezes com Romanillos na Espanha no curso que ele fazia lá. Os violões dele são obras de arte. Cada violão dele tem um mosaico e filetes feito sob medida para aquele violão. Outro detalhe, ele não usa tupia. É tudo feito a mão mesmo!

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Bill e Will normalmente são apelidos de William...

Bob, Robbie e Bobby normalmente são apelidos de Robert...

Joe normalmente é apelido Joseph...

Jack normalmente é apelido de John ou Jacob...


Zeca costuma ser apelido de José Carlos...

Juca e Joca costuma ser apelido de João Carlos...

Zé nem precisa dizer...

Beto costuma ser apelido de Roberto, Adalberto, Dagoberto, Alberto, Humberto, Felisberto...


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