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Antoni Jassogne - artisan luthier

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Antoni Jassogne, artisan luthier

THE VIOLINS

The choice of wood

We use wood which has been naturally dried for between 20 and 45 years, this allows:

The spruce comes from Rougemont, Switzerland, Poland and French Jura. For maple, we search in Poland, in Tyrol and Metten in Germany close to the Czech Republic and some from former Yugoslavia.

The design

We do not make copies. The principles behind the violin design are absolutely geometric: the design of the instrument uses the golden ratio, including the soundhole and the scroll.
We only mark out the shapes using rulers and compasses (in the era of Cathedrals, all building trades, architects, joiners, carpenters and painters used the 'art of the line’).

The production

We personally create all our instruments, from the design and finding the wood to the varnishing and assembly, without using machines. All production stages are carried out in a workshop with no outsourcing.

The varnish

The natural varnish we produce is made from natural resins, essential oils and fixed oils.

THE ARTISAN, ANTONI JASSOGNE

Watch the extract of the film "The song of wood"
Directed by Patrick Dhaussy & Isabelle Françaix
@copy; Comic Strip Production/Dragons Films/RTBF/Images Plus

What was your apprenticeship path?

First of all, I studied 3 years of woodworking at day school.
After my studies at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Mons, I went to Poland to see Master Luthier Franciszek Mardula for construction technique. I then continued my apprenticeship with Jean-Frédéric Schmitt in Lyon for restoring antique instruments. And finally, I did a placement with Joël Mentec and Jacques Fustier in Firminy.

Do you prefer restoration or construction?
What motivates you?

I like both: restoration allows me to see instruments which are sometimes very beautiful. It is always very moving to encounter the work of the luthier who lived decades or sometimes several centuries ago.
Construction is another passionate facet of the profession because you create an instrument from start to finish, each time seeking to improve the tone, as well as its external beauty through its shape and varnish.

In fact, what motivates me most is, quite simply, beauty.

What instruments have left a mark on you?

There are many. However, I think the one that has left the largest mark on me is the violin of Arthur Gramiaux, a Guarnerius Del Gesu from 1744, which I worked on for 10 years. It was a magnificent violin, its varnish was like a sun. It had a very high arch, which made it extremely sensitive to the slightest variation. Arthur Grumiaux came to the workshop almost daily for me to adjust his violin. There was nothing symmetrical in this violin; it was "brilliantly clumsy".

Have you trained other luthiers?

Only a few. It requires a lot of time and my workshop is also too small to allow this. However, I trained my partner, Christiane Kooij, who works solely on the construction of violins and violas.

THE WORKSHOP

Services offered:

  1. Construction: aside from my own creations, we also construct custom designs.
  2. Adjustment of all string instruments: violins, violas, cellos and double basses.
  3. Restoration of all string instruments (Benoît Boussu Cello from 1753-5 restored in the workshop).
  4. Restoration to baroque form comprising:
    • inlaid ebony veneered fingerboard and tailpiece
    • baroque pegs and bridge
    • a graft with a period neck
  5. Rehairing and repair of bows.

VIOLINS FOR SALE

The violins below are available for sale. Simply contact us to arrange a trial appointment.
Click on a violin for more details pictures:

'Je m’envole' - 352mm
'Laon' - 352mm
'Motif Cistercien II' - 352mm
'Sablon' - 353mm
'Motif Cistercien I' - 351mm
Violon baroque - 354mm
'L’initié' - 353mm
'Lapins' - 353mm
'Capricorne' (alto) - 415mm
'Trinacria' (alto) - 413mm
'Saint-Jacques' (alto) - 403mm

REFERENCES

“I love opening the door of this workshop, where the smell of wood and varnish always accompany a warm welcome. Coming here for me, in addition to the guarantee of the most skilful assistance, each time is the pleasure of discovering one or another aspect of the magnificent art of the luthier.”
ERIC ROBBERECHT
1st Soloist with the Orchestre Symphonique au Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels
Professor of Chamber Music at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels

“Such a bright tone and exceptionally beautiful.”
BENCE ABRAHAM
Chamber violinist

“A velvet sound, easy to play, very open. You can allow yourself anything.”
TIGRAN MAYTESIAN
Soloist, professor at the Lemmens Institut in Leuven

Le Soir - 28 December 1994
Le VIF l'Express - 11 August 1995
Consonances Dissonances - January/March 1997
Le Soir - 22 March 2000
La Tribune de Bruxelles - 31 December 2003
Le Soir - 8 July 2008

Contact

Please contact us if you are interested in one of our instruments. Also come and visit us if you want an adjustment, restoration or any other reconditioning of your instrument or bow.

Rue des Renards, 21
1000 Brussels
Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)2 511 85 14
Mob.: +32 (0)472 33 68 86
E-mail: contact@luthier-jassogne.com

Opening hours
• From Tuesday to Friday from 14.00 to 18.00 (appointments preferred)
• Saturday: from 14.00 to 18.00 (appointments only)