The windows of the workshop were open, letting the hot summer air trickle in. It did not provide much relief from a July summer in Mirecourt, but the earthy smell of the River Madon helped to disperse the various oils and resins being mixed for varnish. Piles of wood for tops and backs balanced on tables while patterns and forms hung haphazardly on the walls.
The young man hunched over his work, hoping to escape the notice of the Maestro. The head of the workshop had a keen eye for the smallest of mistakes and the maker was determined to show his best work. The soft talking of his colleagues faded away and minuscule curls of wood peeled off his knife blade as he meticulously shaped the f-holes. He hummed softly to himself, lost in the work of creating two identical, beautiful openings on the face of the instrument. He looked up to see the Maestro standing at his side, quietly saying “Bien…bien…”