Maker of Violins and Violas
Student at the Royal College of Music. A.R.C.M.
Cambridge University. M.A.
Teacher of Music and English in secondary schools and College of Education
Training courses in cabinet making and violin making
Professional maker of instruments of the violin family since 1990
A combination of my lifelong love of the violin and skills in woodworking led me to a craft in which I determined to make instruments which have the best possible tonality. I have accordingly studied great instruments of the past as a means of finding outstanding qualities of projection and tonal colour. In my work I use all possible means to obtain similar qualities; and as a professionally-trained player, I have the ability to assess each instrument over a period of time.
I use only the finest materials for my work, having personally selected the spruce and sycamore (maple) from specialist suppliers in Germany, who have access to central European mountain timber of the kind used traditionally in violin-making over the past four centuries. During construction a careful record is kept of the details of each instrument, and I am afterwards able to weigh up the pros and cons of particular resonances of each violin plate (backs and bellies), the usefulness of 17th - 18th century plate-sealing methods used by the Italians, and above all the tiny variations in thickness-carving which make the difference between satisfactory and excellent.
I play each completed instrument over a period of several weeks to determine any necessary adjustments to obtain optimum playing satisfaction. In addition, I have sought out some of the finest players for assessment of my instruments.
My workshop is situated in Charlbury, near Oxford, U.K. Travel time from London about one and a quarter hours.
Telephone +44 (0)1608 810242