Previous to 1990 I made my living as a land surveyor and civil engineering technician. I began playing old-time southern fiddle music in 1974 and that led to an interest in violins. I’d always been handy with various woodworking projects from furniture to building a 17′ sloop. In 1978 I had a bow rehaired by the bow maker at the local music store. I was so impressed with the transformation of that old violin bow that I inquired about the training involved in getting into the business.
As a result I attended the string instrument repair course at Red Wing (Minnesota) Technical College from 1978-79. Throughout the 80’s I did occasional repair work on violins and bows, keeping the more secure job of surveying. In 1990 I finally decided to make the leap and attended two sessions of bow making instruction with bow maker William Salchow at the University of New Hampshire. In the fall of 1990 I began bow making full-time. It worked!
By the mid 90’s I had been successful in placing bows with some of the best players in the world. I continue to serve musicians around the world and am happy to be working in a trade that is tremendously satisfying and infinitely challenging. I’ll never learn all there is about this fascinating craft, which insures a never-ending interest in it. Every summer since 1996 I’ve attended a two-week workshop at Oberlin College where bow makers from around the world get together and swap techniques and ideas and share close camaraderie.