Meeting a maker
I enjoy meeting violin and bow makers. In my experience they always show devotion, expertise, and love to the craft. Some of them know important artists, places, situations and listening to the stories is fun and can even be inspiring.
This weekend my wife and I had a chance to know a bow maker that I learned about his name on v.com. Because of our busy schedules we had to schedule the trip with a quite few weeks in advance. It was worth the wait. The journey was not simple considering we had decided to take our bikes as part of the trip: one hour drive to the ferry terminal, a ferry boat trip of 1h 40mins, a bike ride of 20 mins, another ferry trip of 20 mins and finally another 15 mins bike ride.
We were warmly greeted at his atelier, and we were later joined by his dear wife, both on their 80s. Fun fact: he was a photojournalist and their path crossed when a charming violinist had trouble to find someone in town to re-hair her bow and it needed to be shipped to another town. He was quick and said: I will do it for you without even the name of that funny stick with a hair on it. And he somehow did it (the power of love?). Moving forward, he became interested in learning more about bow making, eventually moved to NY, was trained by William Salchow and the rest is history.
It was a memorable afternoon, surrounded by violins and bows, of course, with a delightful conversation, full of wisdom and experience. But as every dream comes to an end we had to depart and start all the way back home. Now without rain.
As a hobbyist violin player such moments are precious. How about you, what has been your experience when meeting/visiting a maker?
Turning to the other side of the bench, as a maker, when it comes to people, what makes you frustrated or excited?
As a viola maker I love visiting other makers too! And receiving players!
Not related to violin but very nice to hear about your mode of transportation, bike and ferry!
Having purchased some new things recently for use in left and right hands, I have met my maker on a few occasions. Especially if you are commissioning something, it makes a lot of sense. But even visiting the shop to try things or ask questions is pretty cool.
My first experience meeting a maker was a bit different. He essentially said that if I wasn't going to buy anything, I should get lost. He's dead now (no, I didn't have anything to do with that).
Well, most makers are in the business of making, not marketing and sales. So a little credibility, and courtesy, from a prospective buyer counts.
Meeting makers, especially "my makers" became like "counting coup" for me. I have met the makers of all 4 of my violins, 3 of them more than once.
I met the amateur maker of my late violin in the workshop of his professional colleague while I was on a conference trip to Florence. He was a retired medical man, friendly and charming but speaking little English. Such conversation as we managed was mainly on the topic of Princess Diana's death which had occurred a few hours earlier.
This is the only place where people seem eager to meet their maker ...
Sadly, Paul, some threw themselves into that situation without really realising what was to follow. Others, more happily, chose that situation for the sake of conscience.
Is it time to meet my maker?? That’s so scary!!
I met a local Violin Maker by happenstance. He and his wife were at a local diner years ago. I knew his wife because she was a young musician in the community orchestra where I played. She's a professional musician and he loves making things with wood with a love of joinery (a.k.a., boxes) and a violin is a fancy complex box (Read: "The Violin a Social History"). He made her a violin as a courting gift and they got married. He has a shop out of their home.
I just live 200 meters from my best friend,
Stephen Symchych wrote:
My first serious violin was made by John Newton who was based in Owen Sound Ontario - and I heard that he had moved to Toronto. I gave him a call and was invited for the most delightful tea and cakes - while various distinguished musicians dropped in to chat about instruments.
@ David Burgess: well, the professional sales people probably have lots of training in budgeting their time to maximize revenue.
I haven't been able to find John in my family tree. (wink)
Morning coffee hadn't kicked in yet. Edited for clarity.
I have met the maker of my violin 'after' I bought her violin...
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.