Making is my passion.
I graduated from the violin repair program at Redwing Technical College in 1996 under the instruction of Lisbeth Nelson Butler, starting my career as a luthier. Finding myself more interested at the time in new making, I applied to the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City. I then began working for Peter Paul Prier before starting school that fall. I was a two time recipient of the Kaplan-Goodkind Scholarship while at the VMSA. I graduated in 2000 under the instruction of Charles Woolf and Peter Prier, with additional mentorship with John Paul Lucas. After graduation, I worked for Applebaum Violins and David Stone Violins in Seattle Washington until 2007. During that time I also maintained a studio for making new instruments with my friend and colleague Scott Smith.
Taking a sabbatical from full time violin making, I moved to the West Indies for several years. Currently I am maintaining a low key presence as a luthier in Anchorage Alaska. I work out of my small home studio. I am available by appointment.
I don't like to mystify violin making but I deeply respect and cherish the depth of its history and culture. This rich heritage has made it possible for me to do what I love today. I don't think there is any particular one "secret" to fine instruments, new or old. There are many things that can be done to help produce exquisite sounding instruments just as there are many things that will hinder that sound. An experienced maker will work with all the variables to create a unique instrument. Sound, much like taste is subjective and what works for one musician may not be appreciated by another.
Violin making is extremely challenging and rewarding to do well, not everyone who makes instruments actually makes great instruments anymore then someone who cooks well is a great chef. It takes a combination of dedication, patience, and practice to master an art or craft. With violin making, it also helps to be hypercritical, obsessive compulsive, and have just a hint of A.D.D.