On the Workbench

As a Period Instrument maker and specialty viola maker, I am usually working on several instruments at a time; often no less than ten or more will be in various stages of building. Whether violas, baroque violoncellos, or violins, pure joy and inspiration guide each working day forward. The result is a beautiful chaos in the workshop, with many choices for the muses to come, many paths to take. Below some of the current instruments being made. One may reserve any instrument below with a fully refundable 25% deposit payment; it will then be marked hence as SOLD.

Viola in Modern Setup after Giovanni Baptista Rogeri.

Giovanni Baptista Rogeri was one of the finer makers in Cremona and Brescia to revive violinmaking after the devastating plague of 1630. His work often reflects the finer traits of these two quite differnt schools of lutherie. His models, as is this viola below, often resembled those of Nicola Amati, however with a recognizable personal style.This modern setup viola is patterned after the 1696 Brescian Viola in Fridolin Hamma’s wonderful and extensive book, Meister Italienischer Geigenbaukunst

Rogeri ViolaG.B Rogeri Viola 16

Violin in modern setup after Lorenzo Storioni.

Lorenzo Storioni (1751-1799) is often considered to be the last of the great makers in Cremona. His violins tend to have lower arching and thus well-suited as concert instruments, and coveted as such in recent times. Storioni brought his own unique style to the interpretation of Del Gesu outlines; the corners and forms are often very beautiful and unique. This instrument has a beautiful one-piece back of strongly flamed maple, top also of one piece aged for over 20 years in Vienna. Currently available in Spain.

Storioni violin back plateLorenzo Storioni violin top plate

Lorenzo Storioni violin scrollStorioni violin scroll

Baroque Violin after Louis Guersan with female head.

Parisian maker Louis Guersan ( circa. 1713, – 1781) came from a family which had been practicing luthiers for over a century. He often made violins with smallish dimensions with employed reasonable, medium-high arching to achieve very fine tone, though one does see occasionally Tyrollean-influenced outlines with higher arching. A prolific maker of Quintons and Gambas , many which survive today. The violin below is shown as a rough sketch for a possible outline and will have higher arching which seeks a dark, melancholy tone. (SOLD)

Violin after Roman/Venetian maker David Tecchler

David Tecchler (1666-1747) is commonly known as a Roman maker and one of the finest from this school. Less often stated is that he was briefly in Venice and must have absorbed some of the traditions there before moving down to Rome, where he kept several workshop. His violins tend to follow high, Stainer-influenced arching. As with countless other makers his style occasionally reflects his birth place of Füssen. The very light ribs of poplar and willow linings will produce a rib garland with less weight. The back is the finest quality maple from Alpentonholz Pahler in Bavaria with very strong flames. The top aged 25 years and an additional five in Vienna. Available for trial and sale in Spain. (SOLD)

Roman violin Tecchler

tecchler violin f holesTecchler violin maple flamed back

17inch Viola in Modern Setup after Giuseppe (Joseph) Guadagnini.

Giuseppe Gudagnini (1736-1805) had workshops in Milan, Turin, Parma Como, and Pavia. His instruments tended to be “thickly wooded” – hence thick in the plates. Their tone is well-esteemed and his instruments much sought after, though not as covetously as the violins of his father, the more famous J.B Guadagnini. This restless son most certainly worked without a mould (as did most Milanese makers) as his outlines vary from instrument to instrument. The low altitude poplar back, and more dense Italian poplar ribs on this viola will result in a very light instrument. As with some of my recent violas I plan for the top to be thicker, without loss of tone. The end result is a viola made to last forever, with a dark, rich tenor voice. Located in Vienna, Austria for trial and sale. (SOLD)

17inch viola for sale Guadagnini model

17inch tenor viola

Kontrabass after Gottfried Tielke with 5-string Baroque setup.

Work on this stunningly beautiful 5-string bass should commence in the Autumn of 2018 in Vienna, Austria. All details of this instrument will be copied meticulously. Instruments from Gottfried Tielke are quite rare, and though the authorship of this instrument does come into question due to the scratched inscriptions on the back, its beauty and sonority are a given.

Barock Kontrabass Tielke

String Quartet in Classical/Transitional setup.

A quartet of instruments in Classical setup is planned for the near future provided there is sufficient interest in the project. A process of working together with all four musicians to achieve specific tonal requirements would be something which greatly interests me. Although a quartet suited towards for the performance of Viennese Classical repertoire would be the ideal in my own mind, I am open to any ideas and any direction for this project.