I am looking much closer at the traditional scroll design., or more precisely the peg arrangement within the pegbox.
What is important here is that the layout of the pegs allow for adequate string clearances as the strings pass over successive pegs in the box. Secondly, the pegbox itself must be strong enough to support the peg arrangement, so often we see a split in the wood of the lowest placed treble peg, A for the violin, or D for viola. A heavily built box is not the answer, and attention to the whole feel of the box as the players hand encounters the cheeks where they join with the neck is important.
I have always made a more open box to help the fitting the strings, and with the prototype above have tried to make this even more accessible. Also, I feel it important that an aesthetic balance to the whole should be considered.
Approaching the design in this way, considering the practical needs from a workshop perspective, it is easy to see how the traditional scroll/pegbox of the violin family would have evolved as greater technical demands would have been placed on its function. All good design is a response to solving technical problems, and remnants of earlier pegbox forms from an earlier time are interesting to look at in this context.
This is the latest viola to leave the bench, a 16 ½ in model, now complete and already out on trial.