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Italian made Accordion...

Tom

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Given the discussion on Italian accordions made in China, I happened to come across an article today on Francesca Gallo, billed as the only artisan making the whole instrument in her studio.


Translated by Google:

"Francesca, the only artisan to produce accordions entirely by hand: "Italy starts again from us"

The only artisan in Italy, some even argue the only one in Europe, to build accordions entirely by hand. Francesca Gallo learned the art of using hands from her father. Growing up in a workshop in Treviso, she chooses her trees, painstakingly assembles her creations, sees a soul inside each of her instruments, every microscopic detail becomes for her a pillar for the creation of the entire accordion. "A craft is handed down through the hands", explains Francesca, "the intelligence of the hands allows a craftsman to create artistic artefacts and to produce living objects".
 
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Dingo40

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"A craft is handed down through the hands", explains Francesca, "the intelligence of the hands allows a craftsman to create artistic artefacts and to produce living objects."

Hear, hear!🙂👍
 
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Scuromondo

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Given the discussion on Italian accordions made in China, I happened to come across an article today on Francesca Gallo, billed as the only artisan making the whole instrument in her studio.


Translated by Google:

"Francesca, the only artisan to produce accordions entirely by hand: "Italy starts again from us"

The only artisan in Italy, some even argue the only one in Europe, to build accordions entirely by hand. Francesca Gallo learned the art of using hands from her father. Growing up in a workshop in Treviso, she chooses her trees, painstakingly assembles her creations, sees a soul inside each of her instruments, every microscopic detail becomes for her a pillar for the creation of the entire accordion. "A craft is handed down through the hands", explains Francesca, "the intelligence of the hands allows a craftsman to create artistic artefacts and to produce living objects".
In the article I read, I did not interpret it to mean that she was the only person/artisan crafting accordions In Italy, but rather that she was the only woman doing it.
 

Tom

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In the article I read, I did not interpret it to mean that she was the only person/artisan crafting accordions In Italy, but rather that she was the only woman doing it.
True enough! The original Italian uses the femmine form, which is lost in the English google translation. Good catch!
 

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nice woman and shop, education for kids and such goals

could be combined with a trip to Venice
 

debra

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The video is about restoring an accordion, not about making one from scratch, entirely by hand.
I don't know what the article says. (Did I miss the link?)
Although it is possible to make a complete accordion entirely by hand, as a single person, it is not realistic to do so and certainly not economically viable. There are large subassemblies that are very hard to make yourself, like the bellows. There are specialized companies that make them, for a fraction of the cost of trying to make your own new bellows from scratch. The same goes for the bass mechanism (and especially a convertor mechanism). When you look at recent accordions from different brands you will find that there are only a few really distinct bass mechanisms. There are a few parts that "define" an accordion and are really made by an accordion maker: the wooden case (treble and bass, including the grille) and the reed blocks. If you can make these parts you can build an accordion as everything else is made up with parts that you buy, from keys, buttons, bass pistons, register mechanisms, reeds, valves, pallets, screws and bellow pins, etc....
I can believe that she is the only woman building accordions because of the woodworking involved.
Because of the many different skills involved in the work most factories still building accordions "entirely" by hand have different workers for different parts, each worker specialized in a task, like building the keyboard, (cutting and) glueing leathers and waxing in reeds, and most certainly tuning the accordion. It is very rare to have all these specialized skills in a single person!
 

Tom

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The video is about restoring an accordion, not about making one from scratch, entirely by hand.
I don't know what the article says. (Did I miss the link?)
Although it is possible to make a complete accordion entirely by hand, as a single person, it is not realistic to do so and certainly not economically viable. There are large subassemblies that are very hard to make yourself, like the bellows. There are specialized companies that make them, for a fraction of the cost of trying to make your own new bellows from scratch. The same goes for the bass mechanism (and especially a convertor mechanism). When you look at recent accordions from different brands you will find that there are only a few really distinct bass mechanisms. There are a few parts that "define" an accordion and are really made by an accordion maker: the wooden case (treble and bass, including the grille) and the reed blocks. If you can make these parts you can build an accordion as everything else is made up with parts that you buy, from keys, buttons, bass pistons, register mechanisms, reeds, valves, pallets, screws and bellow pins, etc....
I can believe that she is the only woman building accordions because of the woodworking involved.
Because of the many different skills involved in the work most factories still building accordions "entirely" by hand have different workers for different parts, each worker specialized in a task, like building the keyboard, (cutting and) glueing leathers and waxing in reeds, and most certainly tuning the accordion. It is very rare to have all these specialized skills in a single person!
Hi Paul, here's the original article that started it off. If you can get beyond the ads, you'll see the content.


I'm sure Ventura can correct us, but I have the belief it's as you say: There do remain small shops that make all the parts, with specialized craftsmen. I believe Della Noce of Teramo may be on this category. Then there are the decent boutique builders who use pre built components, from Italy and elsewhere. Main thing for the prospective buyer is to find a good, trusted information source.
 

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Hi Paul, here's the original article that started it off. If you can get beyond the ads, you'll see the content.


I'm sure Ventura can correct us, but I have the belief it's as you say: There do remain small shops that make all the parts, with specialized craftsmen. I believe Della Noce of Teramo may be on this category. Then there are the decent boutique builders who use pre built components, from Italy and elsewhere. Main thing for the prospective buyer is to find a good, trusted information source.
Thanks for the link. The article isn't very informative beyond the translation in the original post. The article does not make it clear what exactly she makes by hand and which parts she gets from somewhere else (like keys, bellows, register mechanism, etc.). But if she were to make more than what I said earlier she would probably never finish any accordion as it's just too much work.
My eary repair teacher's father tried to make a lot himself, including making reeds from steel used for "support" bras (really!). That was not really successful. He was generally unsatisfied with his early work, and started making better accordions once he got more parts from Italy.
 
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ArtMustel

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She has a very good youtube channel:
Many interesting videos there, you can use CC option and then set it to "autotranslate" to English or any other language.
 

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