My objective as a violinmaker is to capture the magic of the best old instruments from the Golden Period through a considered understanding of the processes by which they were made, while not discounting the effects that time has played on the materials and the consequences of structural modernisation from the Baroque to the instrument played today. This modernisation is an on-going process particularly with regard to strings and setup but also in the construction process itself.
Since the mid-18th Century when the Cremonese tradition became halted by the cruel consequences of The Plague, violinmakers have struggled to achieve the same standards of excellence. Until the present day that is. The modern maker is in the privileged position of having access to the highly detailed and comprehensive investigations into the aesthetic and acoustic wizardry of their forbearers. This is one of the principal attractions of the craft to me, as I feel an ambitious and enquiring maker today may reach new heights of excellence.
To achieve this, a maker must carefully consider every possible influence on the quality of the finished instrument, which is indeed a formidable task.
One such aspect which I am very proud of in my work is the design of the arching of the front and back. I have developed a unique process that faithfully follows the working methods of the master craftsmen from the 18th Century Cremonese tradition with the added advantage of computer technology to guide my work.
Another very important feature of my work is the tuning of the principle resonances of the instrument. This is a process that ensures that the instrument reaches its full acoustic potential, similar to tuning an engine.
The pleasure of creating a musical instrument and working with your hands on wood is motivation enough to pursue the craft of lutherie, certainly with a subject as rich as instruments from the violin family. However, the ultimate attraction for me is the endless pursuit of excellence and the examination of every possible factor that might augment the sound, function and beauty of the instrument. First of all, to bring back to life the genius of the 18th Century Cremonese tradition and secondly to apply it to a contempory context. It is clear to me that these makers, whilst respectful to the tradition, were inspired progressives and it is to this spirit that I mean to hold allegiance.