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 the instruments that I make are based on designs from Antonio Stradivari. Currently, all violins are made on the PG pattern, ca.1689, or the G pattern, ca, 1708. My violas are based on Stradivari’s CV (Contralto Viola) pattern from 1691. I currently use Stradivari designs for three reasons: First, the bulk of my research has been focused on Antonio Stradivari; thus, I understand Stradivari instruments better than those of the other great makers. Second, I have personally handled more Stradivari instruments than those of the other great makers: They are what I know best. Third, Stradivari instruments are still my favorite instruments to play. Not only do they have a wonderful sound, but they also do everything asked of them, and, often they reveal something new and amazing that the player did not previously consider or think would be possible. These are the attributes that I am endeavoring to achieve in my instruments.
All violins are hand made in my shop beginning with pieces of wood and carefully crafted until completion. Each instrument is made using an inside form. Inside forms were the choice of all the great Cremona 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 Maple from Bosnia or the Italian Alps.
The tops are made from Spruce from the Italian Alps.
The blocks and linings can vary but are currently made from European willow.
The fingerboard, nut and saddle are made from ebony that is legally imported.
Instruments are finished with 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.