Reduced workshop service

Posted on | March 16, 2020 | No Comments|

For my customers regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19): 

Out of concern for our clients, my family and employee, we are suspending all repairs, bow rehairs, and sales of strings and accessories until further notice. Hopefully this precaution will only be required for a few weeks.

Any other services and instrument sales we provide will be by appointment as usual. To answer any inquires please call 613-569-4803 or email at

We wish our clients all the best, especially the freelance musicians who have been hit hard by this pandemic.

Strad magazine Jan. 2020

Posted on | February 17, 2020 | No Comments|

In the Strad Magazine January 2020 edition, my colleague Hugh Withycombe and I published an article on madder lake pigments. These types of colour pigments were used by the great violin makers of the past to add additional colour to their instruments. They continue to be used by many modern makers.

Above is the first page of the article

The article resulted from our work at the Oberlin College Violin Making summer program in the US. With special thanks to violin makers, Charlie Dequincey, Ute Zahn, Garth Lee and Kae Sato-Goodsell  for their help along the way as well.

Many recipes on pigment making have been published in the past. Our work compared different recipes types. Our aim was to understand the effects of the different methods on the colour, transparency and intensity in our finished coloured pigments.


Posted on | January 5, 2019 | No Comments|

In December arts journalist Peter Robb visited my workshop and we gave him a workshop tour. We talked about what goes into making a good string instrument and about being a violin maker in Ottawa. The article just came out online.

ARTSFILE article is here – click. 

Myself and my assistant Charline Dequincey in the workshop entrance. Photo by Peter Robb.


VSA awards!

Posted on | December 22, 2018 | No Comments|

In November I took part in the 23rd Violin Society of America Violin Making Competition.

I’m pleased to say I won two awards.  An award for workmanship for my latest violin and an award for workmanship for my cello. There were 224 violins and 66 cellos entered in this major international biannual competition. 

The cello is now owned by Wolf Tormann, Principal Cellist of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra.
























Photo of the 2018 cello.  Photography by Jean Fitzgerald.

Closed in early November

Posted on | November 1, 2018 | No Comments|

Our workshop shall be closed from Friday November 2nd to Monday November 12th. My assistant and I will be at the Violin Society of America conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

I will be available in Cleveland to meet clients on November 9th at the Renaissance Hotel.

We are available again for appointments in Ottawa from Tuesday November 13th at our usual schedule.

Please feel free to email to setup an appointment ~





Workshop closed until July

Posted on | June 16, 2018 | No Comments|

We will be closed for the rest of June and opening again on July 3rd, 2018.

My assistant and I will be in Ohio at Oberlin College for their annual violin makers workshop.  This year the focus will be on making a copy of a late period Guarneri Del Gesu violin. At my bench I will be making a copy of a Guarneri violin and making varnish pigments with my colleague, Hugh Withycombe.

We wish our customers a happy summer!

Oberlin College –  Department of Art and Allen Memorial Art Museum

Violin Makers in Oberlin from the previous year!


Exhibition in New York

Posted on | March 16, 2018 | No Comments|

In New York at the Lincoln Centre in the Bruno Walter Auditorium there will be an exhibition of contemporary violins, violas, cellos and bows.

Sunday, March 18th, from 1pm to 5:30pm.

I look forward to show a violin copy of the ‘Dushkin’ Guarneri Del Gesu.

Cello Endpins

Posted on | February 16, 2018 | No Comments|

Over the past 25 years I have tried a number of different endpin and endpin spikes while making cellos.  Mostly carbon fibre and steel spikes. We also see clients using a range of different endpins on their cellos. Most of these are made in Germany, Japan and the US.

In the workshop we have a range of endpin spikes from different materials, including:

~ Carbon fibre solid rod  or a hollow carbon fibre tube

~ Hollow aluminum tube

~ Solid steel rod

~ Titanium hollow tube and solid Titanium rod

~ Composite rods of brass, titanium and tungsten and a further variation of a composite rod of brass, titanium, tungsten and carbon fibre!

They are all standard 10mm diameter and will fit most standard endpins.

The cello endpin spike serves the obvious function to support the cello while the cellist plays. But the type of material these long spikes are made from also effects the sound of the cello. It forms a contact between the cello and the floor and absorbs some vibrations from the cello itself. Some endpins spikes are quite flexible and others are very strong and stiff.  The lightest weighs in at 57 grams. While the heaviest can weigh seven times more, at nearly 400 grams. (nearly a pound!)

Trying a different endpin spike requires a certain amount of trial and error but is one of the easiest adjustments for cello. You simply change the endpin to a new type and if you like the sound change – great!  If not, you can just put your original endpin spike back. No harm done.

If you’re a cellist and would like to try some of these endpin spikes in our workshop,  you are welcome to visit!






Workshop holiday – closing for Christmas.

Posted on | December 24, 2017 | No Comments|

The workshop will be closed from December 23rd and will open again on Tuesday January 2nd.

Thank you to all our customers.

We look forward to see you again in the New Year!


Toronto Symphony Orchestra and cello soloist

Posted on | December 10, 2017 | No Comments|

This Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure to listen to Dale Yoonho Jeong perform as soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Roy Thompson Hall. He was the 2017 winner of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition.

He performed a selection from Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Dale performs on a Stradivari model cello I made in 2016 that won a silver medal for workmanship in the International VSA competition in the US.

Dale Yoonho Jeong had been offered an 18th Century Italian cello for this concert, but decided to use his own Harrison cello. This summer I visited Dale for a check up on his cello.  We tried some different endpin spikes and I checked the soundpost but in the end we made no changes since the current set-up was working very well.

It was great to hear the cello in such a large hall with the orchestra!

Below is a quick photo of the Dale Yoonho Jeong’s cello.

keep looking »


    Guy Harrison Violin Maker
    792 Gladstone Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1R 6X9
    Tel: 613 569 4803

    1997 Silver medal for viola in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2010 Bronze medal for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2014 Workmanship award for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2016 Silver Workmanship medal for cello in the VSA Violin Making Competition, USA.

    Member of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers and Violin Society of America.

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