Exceptional personalized cases: from material selection to manufacturing
Straddling various areas of expertise : those of box-maker, craftsman, upholsterer, cabinet maker, luggage maker, even architect, Victor Vorko imbues his work with traditional know-how to create items of beauty and perfection.
Cutting, molding, planning, refining, gluing, fastening, sanding, polishing, assembling the finished product, decorating it, adding the last-minute touches…
Each step of the process is vital and demands nerves of steel at all times. The slightest mistake of even a millimeter or two is disastrous. Each facet of the work involves 100% concentration.
The crafting process is rigorous and intense, and the craftsman (or woman) must be at the top of their game throughout. It is important to have plenty of experience dealing with raw materials, the way that different types of wood should be handled, the various kinds of glues needed, the final coatings used and above all, the length of time each individual product takes to craft from start to finish. For these reasons, artisans who produce work of this quality are increasingly hard to find nowadays.
Wood, back paneling, velour, leather, PVC, imitation leather, padding, locks, hinges, feet, screws, rivets, fastenings, straps, handles, glue… Victor Vorko chooses all his raw materials (which come mail orfered from Germany or Italy) with the utmost care as they enable him to achieve a top quality finished product.
Victor Vorko uses no less than 6 different types of glue to make one of his bespoke cases : wood glue for wood, leather and padding, polystyrene glue for velour, wood glue for PVC… yet another type of glue is used solely for the case’s locking system, as this is of vital importance for the client.
As one can see, making a case of this quality is a very complex and precise process and so it should come as no surprise that it takes a full 40 hours to complete a violin case of this caliber.
One can appreciate the creative and personal expertise involved in the production of Victor Vorko’s cases, together with the attention to detail, the thought and the care that goes in to each unique piece.
Victor Vorko’s cases are certainly not a get-rich-quick type undertaking, rather a labor of love honed by his attention and perfectionism.
Far from the constraints of immediate profitability, Victor Vorko maintains and perfects his own manufacturing processes.
Custom case design: the steps
The first stage involves Victor Vorko drawing up a plan of the case, after having taken precise measurements of the instrument in question. He crafts the wood in order to create the desired shape and form, then uses glue, nails and clamps, which he makes himself, to fix it to the frame. The interior is usually velour or velvet and he crafts the outside of the case from leather, nubuck, imitation leather or whatever the customer has specified. Victor Vorko then uses PVC for the exterior protective coating, particularly for cases which will be taken on flights. He is the only craftsman in France, in fact, whose cases are entirely hand-made.
Victor Vorko dampens and heats the outer casing and works with it when it is still warm and malleable. In this way, he can mound the protective coating exactly to the shape of the case, sticking it down at room temperature onto the wooden paneling. In this way, the casing can adapt itself to the exact shape of the case as it hardens, wrapping itself around the case perfectly smoothly. You therefore have a case which combines practicality and beauty.
The art of detail, essential for a personalized case to your image
Details are a testament to the quality of Victor Vorko’s work. You can recognize the true mark of an artisan through their attention to detail, their vision, their dedication, their passion, intelligence, talent and craftsmanship. All these qualities are also present in the details, which can be almost imperceptible, but are nevertheless crucial to a true craftsman. For 25 years, Victor Vorko has perfected his simple approach, each piece of work embodying his craft.
The castor at the base of each case protect it from damage when it is put on the ground (Fig. 1)
A special closure with inner armatures made of wood ensures extreme durability and protection for the case contents. This wooden interior is custom made by hand and is extremely labor intensive ( Fig. 2)
When the case is shut, it is absolutely air tight.
Variations in temperature which affect all musical instruments on a daily basis are the main cause of damage.
Ordinary room temperatures, are the best possible ones to help preserve the instrument.
Wood is also a naturally protective material. Your guitar, violin, any musical instrument or wooden artefact is therefore doubly protected against extremes in temperature. (Fig.3)
« Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail. »
Leonardo da Vinci