traditional making ecological thinking

How did I get here?

In the early 1980s I studied guitar making at the London College of Furniture (subsequently renamed Guildhall University). I returned to the South West of England full of the ambition to spend my life making musical instruments. I soon realised that with my limited resources this was not going to be the road to riches – or even to a decent wage! Subsequently I spent time designing and making furniture and was later employed by a local company to set up their drawing office. By the time I left a few years later, I was the design and production manager, had more than 50 people working for me and had all of the associated problems and headaches. This was not the career or life I had planned! I moved to a much less politically charged and much more enjoyable and fulfilling position designing architectural joinery at a practice in Bath. The work developed across the breadth and span of domestic architecture and I went on to qualify as an Architectural Technologist with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, setting up my own private practice in the year 2000.

This wasn’t enough for me! In 1999 I had started to play the fiddle and this has blossomed, I play rather a lot of music – mainly with Mitchell and Vincent. We’ve released three albums and have played three Glastonbury Festivals, many folk festivals and at folk clubs across the UK. I was making and repairing violins in my spare time and I realised that the love of making instruments was still present. Violins are now my main focus. I couldn’t be happier!

I use a lot of reclaimed timber and source materials locally whenever possible, more than 20 of my violins have been completely vegan with no gelatine glue – talk to me if this is important to you.

My violins are not copies of any individual violin or maker. I make violins to my own pattern and I’m impressed and influenced by some of the splendid and rather individual C18th English makers – who were, in turn, most influenced by Amati.

I make violins constantly and not to order, so there’s often a violin or two available without a wait. If you’d like to know what’s available get in touch. I keep my prices fairly low compared with many makers and I’m able to do that as I work quickly and freely. My violins are finished in my own boiled oil varnish and fitted with quality strings. Sign up to my mailing list if you want to get a quarterly update on what’s available and a short “newsletter”.

I’ll leave you with the wonderful Rosie Hood Band playing “A Furlong of Flight”.

I made both of the violins in this video.

Feel free to get in touch, Graham.