1969 I finished a degree in music at the Lawrence
Wisconsin and two years later went to an eminent
instrument maker's workshop
to build a viola da gamba. It turned out to be the
perfect mixing of my lifelong
woodworking interests and musical skills. I spent a year
visiting collections of
historical viols, measuring and photographing examples of
the 17th and 18th
century viol builders, and gathering data from
established builders. In 1973 I
moved with my family to Iowa and set up my woodworking
shop. In the next five
years I built 60 viols and decided to expand my
repertoire to the violin family.
I did a number of workshops with Carleen Hutchins
learning her techniques of
plate tuning, and studying the great Italian instruments
of the 17th-18th century.
In 1979 we moved to Blacksburg, Virginia where I have been building
cellos and viols (and even a
spent considerable time
over the years studying the historical instruments,
measuring and photographing,
as well as consulting with established builders on
designs, building techniques, and acoustical theory & design. I expand my thinking with other builders at
summer workshops, at Oberlin College in Ohio.
A Strad pattern violin that I made was compared in the concert hall to a genuine Stradivarius in professional use as well as several violins made by modern makers and mine was the choice of the day.
Harding Ave. Blacksburg, Va. 24060