Ciresa and the secrets of wood for lutherie

For those looking for the best raw material for lutherie, Ciresa is a safe haven. For decades the Ciresa family has been working in the production of boards, ideal for luthiers who intend to manufacture string instruments, classical and acoustic guitars, lutes, mandolins, ukuleles and ancient instruments, but also for producers of pianos and harpsichords in search of the best soundboards. To find out their secrets, we interviewed Piera Ciresa.


Which are the peculiarities of the Val di Fiemme spruce that make this wood so optimal for musical instruments?

Selected from rare trees grown in a particular way, in high altitudes and on north-facing slopes, this wood has extremely regular and thin annual rings, is very light (low density) with a high elastic modulus and very high sound transmission speeds, features that are not common in other types of woods.


What are the processing phases that are particularly fundamental to transform a great raw material into a great product?

The skills and care with which each wooden board is observed and interpreted by the operator who takes care of the selection and transformation into a soundboard, or by the luthier who carves it appropriately to make it into a sound membrane.


Climate change and the environment affects the state of the forests and therefore the raw materials, has it affected in some way your work and the way you work and choose wood?

If the climatic changes underway are such as to modify the mountain microclimate and the growing conditions of this special wood, we will read it through the no longer regular growth of the rings, that we will find in the cuts of the trees in the coming years. Considering that today we use trees grown for at least 150/200 years, the problem could be highlighted in our work, but it will mainly concern those who will select and still work the resonant wood in 50 or 100 years’ time.


How do you help a luthier or a customer in choosing the best products?

We can help him by better understanding his requests and needs and his professional level, guiding him with our skills to use wood with the most suitable characteristics for the instrument he wishes to make.