August 31, 2020

Throughout the spring and summer I have been keen to hear people’s stories, of how we have adapted to cope with the extraordinary difficulties of living under conditions that a year ago would have seemed the stuff of fiction. Not just adapting to the difficulties of pa...

April 30, 2020

   Simple mathematical problems can be intriguing, and since I have a bit more time on my hands than normal, I decided to see what sense I could make of a mathematical description first published in English in 1864.

   Many bow makers will be familiar with the brie...

February 28, 2020

Ebony is common on musical instruments and bows, it has become traditional, and expected. Makers choose their materials carefully with an eye for straight grain that is easy to work, an absence of knots and splits, and a good surface finish. Speaking as a maker myself,...

November 1, 2019

     I would like to take a moment to ramble on the subject of variation in bows. And I mean in particular bows for violin, viola and cello, because double bass bows are more free in their specifications, and I’ll leave them for another time. Although there i...

June 23, 2017

In this article I want to consider the final material to go on the bow, the hair. Usually, no one questions its provenance but being ‘in the trade,’ I wanted to find out more about it, in particular, how ethically it is sourced.

Bow hair comes from many parts of the wor...

February 15, 2017

At the beginning of the month I celebrated my eleventh anniversary of self employment, and also the first anniversary of my foray into blogs and newsletters. Looking through the articles so far, I realise that they are mainly concerned with my work or my interests, wit...

November 23, 2016

Some ten years ago I started researching the life of Jean Prosper Guivier, a nineteenth century musician thought to be the man behind the violin shop J P Guivier & Co. on Mortimer Street, London. It took me three years to discover that he never had anything to do with...

September 29, 2016

The last entry in my blog was to do with considerations behind responsible sourcing of materials for bow making and restoration. It’s a subject I may return to in the future, but for this instalment I’m going to talk about how I sourced two of my most important materia...

August 1, 2016

International tours have become a regular feature in the schedules of many musicians. The opportunity to play in the world’s finest concert halls and experience some local culture can more than compensate for the hard work in planning and the disruption to routine.

In t...

April 21, 2016

Bows are fitted with materials from all over the world. Other than jewellery and ornaments, nothing is made of so many diverse and wonderful components. Pernambuco and ebony woods, ivory or bone, tortoiseshell, horn, whalebone, mother of pearl, horse hair, leather, sil...

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