Contact Philip

Call 0422 945 752 

or email

Woobys Lane
Battery Point, TAS, 7004

+61 (0) 422945752

Philip Smith is a master maker of stringed instruments and their bows. A master of refined artistry and exquisite tones from his master crafted bows and instruments. One of Australia's finest luthiers!







Maker Restorer Repairs Sales of Violin Viola Cello Double Bass and their Bows
Traditional and Baroque
Tasmania Australia

In Conversation

Georgia Sutton

This afternoon Philip spoke to Helen Shields on ABC Radio Hobart as part of her Handmade’s Tales series.

Philip is a quiet gentleman so many of you may not be familiar with all of his story. In their conversation today, Philip shared with Helen his love of making music, of making instruments that make music. Philip also tells of some of the colourful characters and overseas adventures in New York with Kolstein & Sons and in France as a Churchill Fellow which brought him to his atelier in Hobart. Tasmania.

Philip Smith is a master maker of string instruments, violin, viola, cello, double bass and their bows. To learn more about his story, you can listen here:

Philip Smith: Quenoil Double Bass model

Georgia Sutton

Small clip of my new double bass on its first day . Here it s being played by the wonderful Michael Fortescue.

The resonance and power in the E string, in particular, is superb at this early stage . I am very pleased with the colour and depth of sound of this instrument.

To discuss the commission of instruments please call 0422 945 752

Atelier : To the other side

Georgia Sutton

Atelier on the move: Its been over 3 years since the Atelier moved from Launceston to its current spot down Kelly's Lane. If you have dropped in lately and wondered if the workshop space was so full it was about to burst, you were on to something. There are exciting times ahead as next week the move is on to a bigger and brighter space, still in the Salamanca Arts Centre but down the other lane …

As of Tuesday 2 April 2019, the Atelier is moving to a new space in the Salamanca Arts Centre. Space 123 is accessed via Wooby’s Lane. You will see my sign in the doorway to the left under the ‘Founder’s Room’ sign, Head up the stairs to the first floor and then to the right and there is the new atelier.

The new workshop is large and bright with windows facing onto the lane. I look forward to welcoming you to the new space.

If you are looking for me and unsure where to find me, please call 0422945752 and I will provide directions, or wave out the window.

Do you use Tasmanian timber?

Georgia Sutton

It is one of the questions I am asked most often in the atelier.  The curious tourist wanders into the workshop, drawn in by the smell of varnish, the trail of curly wood shavings and the warm timber glow of the instruments and bows.  They take a moment to look around and then they ask the classic questions which have become almost inevitable. Firstly they  cast a hand around the racks of instruments hanging and ask " DId you make all of these?", then its "Do you use Tasmanian timber?" and often, the last question is " So, what is your real job?". 

My answer to the Tasmanian timber question has been, largely " No.". I did build a couple of instruments from King Billy Pine and Blackwood some time ago, but the tonal qualities of traditional, quarter sawn, maple and spruce from Europe, air-dried for a decade and selected with love by my German supplier is very hard to beat. 

I have also trialed several Tasmanian species for bow making: Musk, Horizontal Scrub, Native Olive, Mountain Tea Tree, Dog Wood and She-oak, but none of them is strong enough.  The need to replace Pernambuco, the endangered Brazilian rain forest timber used in traditional bow making, is ever-growing as the USA CITES authority cracks down more and more on listed products entering US borders. It would be incredible to find a timber with equivalent strength and flexibility in Tasmania -  a sustainable replacement.   

Tasmanian timbers are extraordinarily beautiful and I am very pleased to use them in my work. I have hand carved these stunning double bass tailpieces from Tasmanian Blackwood. These stunning tailpieces are significantly lighter than standard models.  This, together with the superb wood selection, results in a superb tone with quick response and projecting sound.



Philip Smith is an Australian Instrument and bow maker living and working in Hobart Tasmania.