January 2014

Happy new year to everyone! A busy Christmas here in the workshop. I should be used to it by now, but musicians like to take a break too, and the time while they’re away with friends and families is obviously … Continue reading

December 2013

Christmas is in sight, one more cello to complete. The final one for this year, an impression of the wonderful Gore Booth Stradivari of 1710 which I have had the good fortune to study. I’ve spent most of this year … Continue reading

November 20013

Where to start? It’s been a very hectic month. I’ve seen more Stradivari cellos over the last weeks than anyone has a right to. Wonderful, wonderful things. Inspirational, but also terrifying. The Amati Auctions exhibition at the Lansdown Club in … Continue reading

October 2013

The highlight of this last month was a trip to Madrid to meet Jorge Pozas, violin maker and cellist extraordinaire, to examine a wonderful collection of Spanish violins. Some marvellous and sadly underestimated makers- Contreras, Ortega, Assenzio, Bofill. Beautiful Italianate … Continue reading

September 2013

The fourth cello of the year is off the mould and ready for assembly; a Strad model this time, as is the next one, for Judith. So the fresh blocks go straight back onto the mould after a little cleaning … Continue reading

August 2013

Getting to know more luthiers via Facebook lately- I am catching up with the 21st century. Another cello is in the sun lounge getting a nice tan. This one is a copy of Paul Watkins’ glorious sounding (or perhaps it … Continue reading

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July 2013

A bit late with July. It must be the hot weather; everything is on hold until the next thunderstorm. Nevertheless, another couple of cellos have reached workshop escape velocity, and another is already on the mould and ready for purfling. Still managing to find time here and there to see the magnificent Stradivari exhibition in Oxford, taking notes for the grand British Violin Makers Association outing this coming Saturday. Luthiers from all over the place falling on the Ashmolean museum to wrench as much knowledge as they can from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. SuperHubert has already accompanied me round the gallery, with eyes popping and a big happy dog expression on his face.
We have thorough restorations in hand on two cellos and a viola, all interesting classical instruments. Roll on the calmer weather, when we can start to concentrate properly. No rest ’til 2014 now. More tea and biscuits please.

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Order emerging from chaos in the workshop here. A visitor recently described the place as ‘a mess’, hastily correcting it to ‘a very creative mess’. Well, I know where everything is. But at odd times something emerges that I consider … Continue reading

May 2013

Nose, knives and gouges to the grindstone this month. Super Hubert is suffering from exposure to Kryptonite and is on sick leave, Magic Eleanor has moved on to better things (at Christies. Hah. What have they got that I don’t?) … Continue reading

Spring

April, come she will. The workshop is still packed tight with cellos; made, half-made, restored, half restored. A highlight this month has been a particularly beautiful Vuillaume, which loyal ‘Strad’ readers will find more about in the next issue. Having … Continue reading