May 2021

One of the pleasures of discovering the histories of great instruments is the people you meet along the way. Past owners and players of fine instruments are not ordinary people. The great and the good, the great and the not … Continue reading

March 2021

I have been distracted from this blog in this strangest of years by the very time-consuming ‘Catalogue of Stradivari’ which I am contributing to, for Beares Publishing. It will eventually be a six volume set, and it has been in the ‘final stages’ of editing for some time now. Whenever the end appears to be in sight, some new material appears, of course, but I hope it will be published soon, and I will get back to my usual workshop routine. Meanwhile, very best wishes to colleagues everywhere, and especially to all the musicians for whom the lockdown has been so difficult.

June 2017

I have been neglecting my blog. But all in a good cause. Busy in the workshop with two Guadagnini copies, a del Gesu copy and another Linarol viola model on the blocks, and a Strad model cello in the planning … Continue reading

November 2016

An old friend dropped by a few weeks ago. A Rugeri cello copy I made in 2000, and looking well and happy, I’m pleased to say. Last month I was in Cremona for the ‘Messie Study Day’, which was very … Continue reading

October 2016

I’ve just got back from Cremona where I participated in the study day devoted to the ‘Messie’, which is spending its 300th birthday in its home town for the first time since 1775. It has been CT scanned, inspected under … Continue reading

September 2016 Part 2

During restoration of the viola, I sent a small sample of the purfling to Kew for analysis, and it turned out to be walnut, possibly matching the Vienna violin. When the viola da braccia became obsolete in the seventeenth century, … Continue reading

September 2016

I’ve been neglecting this blog I’m afraid. Too many distractions. But the completion of my last commission for an American client has stimulated a few thoughts about the instrument from which it was copied. I restored the original viola many … Continue reading

April 2015

I see it’s six months since I updated this- lots of new projects have presented themselves, and some old ones at last completed. The restored Matteo Gofriller cello is back with it’s owner and in good voice again, and several … Continue reading

October 2014

A little deck clearing has been achieved; time to start new projects. A replacement scroll to be grafted onto a Gofriller cello, and scrolls for my new builds, a cello based on the Stradivari ‘A’ pattern, and a Maggini violin … Continue reading

August 2014

After several months when it seemed as if there was too much to do to keep up to date with posting here, it is very sad that the impetus for resuming is to make a tribute to Michael Byrd, my … Continue reading