Last week I was in Germany and North Italy buying spruce and maple for the next few years of violin making. A colleague and I first visited the wood dealer Bachmann in Italy, where we bought spruce. In their store room they had hundreds of pieces of spruce which was carefully organized. Every piece of [...]
The violin shown below was made by Michael Kun in 1984 and is available now in our workshop. Michael is the son of the late Joseph Kun, a violin and bow maker who worked in Ottawa Canada from 1968 to 1996. Joseph Kun also developed the ‘Kun’ shoulder rest which is still used by [...]
A new CD by the Montreal-based trio ‘Bolero‘ was released in the fall last year and we’ve enjoyed listening to it many times in the workshop. Titled ‘Prochaine Station’ , it ranges from arrangements of contemporary music to tango, klezmer and jazz genres.
The group features Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh on violin, Sonya Matoussova on cello and [...]
The workshop is now closed for 2012 and opens again on January 2nd 2013
We’ve had a great year, with wonderful instruments and clients coming into our workshop. A few of the interesting instruments we saw surprisingly came out of storage from the Canadian government. My assistant is now restoring a French violin and English [...]
The superb ensemble Norteño have released their third CD ~ Cato’s Life. This album features music composed by Pierre-Paul Provencher, who also performs on the bandonéon (accordion) with the group. Norteño works within the world of “tango nuevo” (new tango), a genre created by the great Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.
Violinist Christian Vachon is a member [...]
The photo below is from an Italian violin made in Milan during the middle of the 18th Century. It’s in our workshop for some major restoration work. On the back the varnish had worn away to show two distinct layers of varnish. I took this close up photo showing some of the worn and chipped [...]
In May our workshop will be closed for one week from May 8th and opening again on May 15th.
During that week, I’ll be in New Orleans for the biennial meeting of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers. Together with interesting lectures on various aspects of violin expertise, the meeting will include an instrument [...]
This week I finished an instrument modeled after a viola by G.P. Maggini. The original was made in Brescia, Italy, during the early part of the 17th Century. The construction methods I used were similar to the methods my assistant used on her Brescian viola.
The back is carved from one piece of maple. (cut on [...]
Last year a local music organization gave me a cello as a thank you for volunteer work I had done over the past few years. This small size cello was made by Canadian violin maker, Pierre Martel in 1879. He worked in L’Assomption, Quebec, about 40 km north of Montreal.
The cello needs some restoration and [...]
We’re enjoying a break over the holiday period and the workshop opens again January 3rd.
Just before Christmas I took the photo below of my assistant, Charline Dequincey, doing the finishing touches on her next viola. The viola is based on a 17th Century instrument by Maggini. I found several pieces of great maple that were [...]