In violin-making, one is always faced with questions that are variations on "How did they do _____ in Cremona?"
Cremona, Italy, of course, was the town of the Amatis, Stradivari, the Guarneris, and others -- THE violin-making focus of the Universe. That was 300 years ago, though, and Cremona has changed. There are plenty of violin-makers there now, but since the time of the classical makers until fairly recently, it had forgotten its violin-making heritage in large part.
Still, we violin makers are always striving to find that 'sound' and 'look' -- although there is no single definition of either.
So today, my wife and I decided that we'd get a little Christmas shopping done. Went to the World Market store here in Nampa, Idaho. I found this in the stocking-stuffer section.
For two bucks, I bought it. Tried some -- actually fairly good, though I'd say not a great value at $2 for the 4 pieces. Still, I now have a little bit of Cremona here in my shop, and think that it will only help my violin-making. It may be the secret of Stradivari!
Actually, I really am amazed and tickled to find anything to do with Cremona in Nampa. It just goes to show how connected the world has become.