STRING INSTRUMENTS IN FOCUS:
condition assessment / reports
ConsultingWhether your interest is in sound adjustment, you’re seeking advice on the condition of your instrument, that instrument requires restoration or repair – or indeed you are considering buying a completely new instrument – my aim always is to give you the best possible advice and service, to help you source, build or restore the instrument that is just for you.
RestorationWhere restoration projects are concerned, the first discussion concerns the merits of the restoration itself: whether it is appropriate, cost effective or indeed feasible to restore the instrument to its former glory – and if so how extensive that restoration should be.
If we then decide to proceed, the next step is to define a detailed restoration plan, cost estimate and timings.
Once that plan and costing is approved, the actual restoration can begin – with additional consultations taking place when needed, as the project progresses.
Each project will conclude with a sound adjustment session (or sessions) with the musician.
Sound adjustmentThe first step in sound adjustment is always meeting, and getting to know, the musician and their instrument.
For me as a luthier it is important to find out what you like about the sound of your instrument, and where you may be experiencing difficulties.
Sound is, of course, the common language of luthiers and musicians. Listening to and playing the instrument enables us to work together to identify the source of any problems – and the steps that must be taken to resolve them.
Sometimes minor changes can make an immense difference; in other cases, a more profound intervention may be called for.
Either way, we will agree the most suitable approach, reflecting your unique preferences and playing style.
Condition assessment / reportsIt is imperative that you understand the condition of your instrument. To know exactly any damage and originality or otherwise of every part of your instrument is important for the pricing of your instrument and also for its maintenance. I offer full condition reports of your instrument or an instrument you are considering buying.
Instruments for saleLooking for an instrument to buy can be a complicated matter; how much do I have to invest for an instrument that suits me? Should it be an antique or a new instrument? Does the value reflect the sound quality and the playability of an instrument? Should the purchase of an instrument also be an investment?
Using my experience, contacts and knowledge of stringed instruments – in particular antique violins and cellos – I am happy to assist musicians in their search for the instrument that is absolutely right for them.
teachingTeaching is an essential part of my work, allowing me to meet younger, driven luthiers and to share my knowledge and experience.
In my workshops, students learn a range of techniques, such as restoration and retouching, which they may apply both in their studies and in their work.
I teach my students to apply the highest professional and ethical standards; training them to hone in on the minutest details (which, for the restorer, can spell the difference between ordinary and extraordinary), whilst cultivating a genuine appreciation for the instruments in their care.
My workshops are designed to provide a platform on which knowledge may be passed on, and ideas and creative solutions shared and discussed.