About The Instruments
The Italians have a saying: Tra il dire e il fare c'è di mezzo il mare.
Roughly translated, this says: Between saying and doing, there is the sea. This maxim rings true for me each time I build a new violin or viola. Each of my instruments take hundreds of hours to construct. Additionally, I have invested thousands of hours researching the theory, design principles, methods and materials of Antonio Stradivari. People who play my instruments tell me that this investment has been worthwhile.
All of my instruments are based on designs from the Golden Period of Italian Violin Making. Currently, my violins are made on Stradivari's PG pattern, ca.1689, the G pattern, ca, 1708, or, on a pattern by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù, ca 1741. My violas are based on patterns from Stradivari’s 1672 and 1691 contralto violas , or from the contralto viola designs of Andrea Guarneri, and Giovanni Paolo Maggini. In the past I exclusively used Stradivari designs for my instruments as the bulk of my research has been focused on Antonio Stradivari and because I have personally handled more Stradivari instruments than those of the other great makers. I have now expanded my instrument designs to include those of Guarneri and Maggini due to demand from players. Each model offers its own unique characteristics; however, all are highly responsive, project well, and offer a rich pallet of tonal color.
All violins and violas are hand made in my shop beginning with pieces of wood that are carefully selected then crafted until completion. Each instrument is made using an inside form. Inside forms were the choice of all the great Cremonese makers as they offer a reliable means to insure a proper shape to the outline of the instrument, yet still allow each instrument to be unique in very subtle ways.
The backs, ribs and necks are made from European maple.
The tops are made from Alpine spruce.
The blocks and linings are made from willow or Alpine spruce.
The fingerboard, nut and saddle are made from ebony that is legally imported.
Instruments are finished with an oil varnish that I have formulated through years of research and make at my shop. This varnish offers the correct elasticity needed for a musical instrument while, at the same time, imparts beauty and protection to the instruments.
The fittings: pegs, tailpiece, and chinrests, can vary in materials; however, I most often use ebony or boxwood. The choice of what type of fittings to use often depends on how well the color of the fitting coordinates with the color of the violin. In any case, only very high quality fittings are put on one of my instruments.
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