This series manifests the spaces women have created for themselves around the globe to work, create, and develop their ideas. It pays homage to Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” the book that taught us to find a room, enter it, close the door, and become.
Yael Rosenblum, violin maker and violist
My home is located in the beautiful city of Turin in the northern part of Italy. I live in San Salvario, the most animated quarter of the city center, where most artistic events take place. Due to Covid-19, I decided, for practical reasons, to move my workshop to my home. The building dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and has high ceilings. It also has a big window facing the main street, which is covered with trees. My workshop room is the first room you see upon entering the house.
In my workshop, I create instruments: violins, violas, and cellos. For the past twenty years, I have used a mini plane to make the arched curving of the top and bottom of my instruments. The plane is made of brass. A maker’s tools are extremely important because the maker is accustomed to working with their personalized collection. Furthermore, the success of the work depends on the maker’s tools.
I hadn’t consciously noticed the presence of this jewelry box until taking photos for this interview, and in a sense, it always seemed to belong there, despite the fact that it’s not very practical or work related. Its connection to women in my family and its blueness bring about a feeling of warmth. They are bittersweet reminders of me being close––to my mother, sister, and cousins––from a distance.
Bringing the workshop back to my house and into a specific room was a challenging decision. On the one hand, it allowed me to work more often and at any time of day. Eliminating the time spent travelling from one place to another was an obvious advantage. On the other hand, constantly cleaning the wood pieces that fly around the house required more housework.
During the pandemic, as I said, moving my workshop to my room has permitted me to work from home. Working is therapy for me. It is a way to use my hands and create violins as an interior journey. I can escape the outside world and continue doing what I love most, no matter what is going on out there. I also try to make the work as welcoming and poetic as I can, giving back a sense of beauty to myself in this socially difficult time.
My room has very high ceilings since it is an old building. The acoustics hold a very warm sound. The room has a wooden floor, which helps the acoustics as well. I can hear people walking on the street and talking in Italian. It is nice for someone who works alone most of the day to hear the passersby. When I try my instruments, the acoustics are very balanced and the sound of the instrument overpowers all other noises from outside.
My workshop room faces east, so it is very inviting to enter in the morning. The room is flooded with light that shines in through the big window located right in front of the entrance door. From the window, I can see huge, wonderful trees and some antique buildings. I don’t see people walking around, but I do see the front of the street, which houses small cafés and boutique shops.
Over the past weeks, I’ve become acquainted with the daily routines of my neighbours on the balconies across the courtyard. I’m particularly fond of the deck on the ground floor, the home of a slightly overweight and very sleepy ginger cat, as well as the balcony right across from my window, which cannot be missed with its colourful tipi and two little girls often dressed in costume.
I dedicate this room to all artist moms who create wonderful work and, at the same time, find the energy and total attention to raise their children.
Yael Rosenblum, August 2020
// Follow Yael Rosenblum at www.rosenblumviolins.com