workbench

Fiddleworks Fiddle camp on Salt Spring Island

Fiddleworks Fiddle camp on Salt Spring Island Summer 2019   I had the pleasure of working at the 20th annual Fiddleworks Fiddle camp on Salt Spring Island. It was a lovely week on Saltspring with at whole bunch of great musicians. I repaired bows, fixed fiddles and rescued players with broken strings. I love being a part of the music and supporting musicians. And the final concert in Ganges was truly inspiring.

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PRISMA basses

PRISMA double bass set-up Spring 2019   PRISMA purchased 4 double basses, two of which required the installation of the C extension. It was quite a shift from my usual work on violins and cellos. I did have 3 basses in the shop at one point, but even one bass certainly took up a lot of space. These instruments were gorgeous and the set-ups worked out very well. I used 3 tree Despiau French bridges and Kaplan Orchestral Medium strings. I used the KC Strings C extension.  ...

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Custom 5-string violin

Custom 5-string violin Winter 2019   I completed a custom build for a violin player who wanted a slightly smaller 5-string violin. I used Big Leaf Maple, one piece, for the back and Sitka Spruce for the top. The style is a combination of whatever the client liked from various other violins- Amati style f holes and corners, but a fuller, less pinched arch. The varnish is very light and warm. One of the pleasures of commissioning an instrument is that your instrument is truly your own- you can decide the style and colour and what tonal palette you’re aiming for. I love building instruments that fit my clients. You can still have a big sound from a slightly smaller body- and it is so much easier to play....

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“Guarneri Plowden” varnish

“Guarneri Plowden” varnishing Fall 2018   After looking at lots of posters of old instruments, my client chose to have her Guarneri Plowden-inspired violin also have varnish inspired by the original. The original has a lot of wear and damage, as you could except from existing for 100s of years. I prefer not to inflict the same level of wear on a new instrument, but I do give it a bit of character and story. Having a little unevenness to the varnish and some worn areas and maybe a few dents can make the violin look more alive. There’s also that lovely benefit that when you inevitably accidentally injure it for the first time, your little dent or chip won’t glare at you accusingly. It will take it’s place amongst the others, adding to the story....

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Guarneri Fall 2018

A Violin Commission Inspired by the “Plowden” del Gesu Fall 2018   After a busy summer and a very busy September getting all the local violinist ready for their lessons, I am finally back at the bench with a violin to finish. This commission is another small violin- a 350mm violin inspired by the “Plowden” del Gesu. I am using local Big Leaf Maple for the ribs, back and scroll, and Alpine Spruce for the top. I chose to carve the scroll before completing the body. Now I am finalizing the back arch before doing the same to the top. I will then temporarily glue the top and back to the rib structure to finalize the outline before installing the purfling. I had the pleasure of a visit from the musician who has commissioned the instrument and we had a lovely time talking about the violin and we are both eager to hear it! We’re quite a few weeks away though- once the violin is done the varnish process takes many weeks.  ...

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Shop Windows!

Another Window in the Shop Summer 2018 Because you can never have too much natural light….the window to the far left is a new addition to my shop, and the one beside it was replaced. My main workbench windows face north, and my new wall of windows faces west. I love the natural light pouring in, and the view of Scout Mountain and my front garden. This all happened while I was away at the annual Fiddleworks Fiddle Camp, which I attend every year to connect with the fiddling community and support the musicians there with rehairs, strings and repairs.  ...

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