| There is a renaissance of violin making today that well rivals anything produced by the
makers of old. In this day and age, it is comforting to know violins are still being made
by hand, utilizing procedures developed by the old masters, which have not altered for
hundreds of years. Today we are blessed with a vast sea of scientific research
pertaining to violin construction and finishing that the old masters simply did not have.
It is indeed a marvelous age to be a violin maker.
When I first decided to dedicate my life to violin making, I knew I would have to
understand the inherent properties of the potential in a specific piece of wood. After
studious repair of hundreds of violins and building over a thousand mandolins, I used
high precision methods as a tone wood cutter for 5 years turning over two-thousand
spruce and maple trees into some of the highest grade tone wood in the world. I
carefully examined every structural and vibrational nuance. I lived and breathed wood.
In the process, I became deathly allergic to abietic acid, a major component in spruce
resin, and what is ultimately turned into rosin. I almost died on two occasions before
being diagnosed with this allergy. I thought I was simply dying from lymphoma due to
the symptoms that I suffered from ongoing exposure producing musical instrument
wood. I left the mill with a priceless understanding of wood and in ill health. Today
working with spruce necessitates antihistamines, wearing latex gloves, and working
outside with a strong breeze or wearing an industrial respirator. This has made me
take violin making very seriously, for I can suffer from anaphylactic shock which could
result in death. This all goes to prove that "moderation in all things" is an excellent
philosophy. A synthetic rosin is now available that allows me to continue playing the
violin without dangerous allergic reactions. I love the violin as much as life and seek to
make violins that will be cherished for centuries.