My Philosopy

I make instruments in modern and period set up, and throughout my career I have been working towards designing my own models – I now very rarely use models of old instruments. I agree with the sentiment from the famous article about Peter and Wendy Moes in The Strad Magazine where Wendy Moes is quoted as saying: "We like the freedom to make instruments that sound the way we want." I fully agree and identify with this statement.

Personally I try to make my own work because all violin makers have their own sound; it is within all of us when we make an instrument. I am always pleased when a fellow maker walks into a room at a meeting or an exhibition and sees my instruments and knows they are mine just from the style.

I was once asked to make a cello for a well-known cellist and to use the model of her own Ruggeri cello. At the time she asked me to describe my sound, which is a very searching question. After a lot of thought what I was able to say was: "what I try to do is to provide the musician with an extremely well primed blank canvas – then it's up to you to paint the picture."

Musicians say of my sound: 'it is not necessarily there straight away, you have to look for it, but once you've looked for it, there it is - you have found it!'

For me it's about quality of sound more than anything else when making an instrument, and it is very important not to impose your own personality or sound on the instrument or the musician – it is for them to find the sound. In part I hope this explains why I shy away from using specific models of old instruments.

Having said all of that, I can and will use a model if someone specifically asks me to model something for them, as long as I am comfortable with the model they have chosen.

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