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

Filtering by Tag: cello

Cello Numero Dieci

Philip Smith

This is cello no. 10 in the white being played by a 'mystery cellist'.

Based on 'The Sleeping Beauty' Montagnana made circa 1739. This is my preferred model, because of its broad proportions which results in robust, earthy sound with much depth and presence (like a fine wine or a good woman). I always have players test out an instrument in the white before the final varnish, to gauge the instrument's potential and for final adjustments. This particular instrument has an excellent open sounding A string and more C string than you know what to do with. Thanks very much to my willing mystery cellist!

The cello is currently being varnished and polished to within an inch of its life, as is required. And is soon to be heard in a southern Tasmanian venue near you.

Cello Bow No. 1

Philip Smith

It's all go here in the small workshop. Two violins, a satisfyingly large model viola and a cello are all underway, not to mention the bow commissions impatiently waiting in the wings.

The bass bow wood (sticks of Brazilian pernambuco) finally arrived from the USA. It was received with much excitement. After languishing at CITES for a few weeks, the supplier was told that as it was such a small amount it didn't require certification and was sent forthwith and after months of waiting, arrived in a few days.

Due to the rarity of pernambuco and the difficulty in obtaining it, I have started a little experimentation. The first experimental bow made from Tasmanian Dogwood a has been tested and has come up - not quite right. The wood isn't sufficiently dense, its too light and is refusing to be bent into the correct cambre. It works but unfortunately is not an adequate replacement.

I have another half a dozen Tasmanian species to try, but I am not sure when I will have the time to continue the experimentation.

I will keep you posted.

Off to Good Homes

Philip Smith


Cello numbers 6 and 7 have been delivered to their rightful owners, and while I am pleased to be finished, it's always a little sad to see them go.  I hope you enjoy them, guys, but make sure you bring them all back every now and again to visit, y'hear?'

My making schedule is now open if anyone would like an instrument hand made by me, you can jump to the head of the queue.

Meanwhile, back to a real sized  instrument. My version of the Francois Rabbath Quenoil Double Bass. A beautiful French form, focused sound and easy to play due to the sloping shoulders. I'll fight you for it when its finished!


Remember, I will be leaving for France in April so the shop will be closed from 1st April until the 25th May. If you would like any repairs done or bow rehairs, now would be a good time to bring them in. 

I will also be away working as one of the Double Bass tutors and fixer of broken hearts (no, no not hearts, instruments) at the LYCO Strings camp from the 25th to the 30th January. 

Gravy Day

Philip Smith

It's a big day today for Cello No. 7. The back has been glued on to the rib structure. This morning the internal collapsible mould has been removed. Today will see shaping of the internal blocks and and linings and before the day is done the top will be glued on to minimise distortion of the rib structure. Hence

the collection of pieces from last week

will take on its own unique form. This is a good day. 


Have had the first accident for the day - gouged thumb. You would think after all these years and about 537 such accidents I could avoid the gouge injuries. I feel like Bart Simpson with the electrified cupcake - doh!

S"il vous plait

Philip Smith


So, it's been a while between posts but the story remains basically the same. Still cello making but loads of progress has been made.

Cello No. 6 is being varnished and is beautiful. This one is a lighter colour than the others. Golden yellow with a coat or two of warm brown have made this honey glow. Funny stuff varnish, you never know quite how its going to turn out. Its part of the alchemy that goes into the complete instrument and its bloody hard work to get it right. 

Plans for the trip to France stalled until contact was made with

Jean Luc Tauziede,

master archetier,  who has willingly agreed to take me on for four weeks of training in the art of the French bow. How exciting! Such an honour to be learning from such a master craftsman. Next April is the planned departure time. 

It was very daunting  but great to speak to Jean Luc. The conversation highlighted the need  to get some French language skills together. The Tasmanian accent was a challenge  for him. Not sure how far " Je m'appelle Phillippe." will take me.  There is a  story about a friend of a friend who went around Paris with the simple request - " S'il vous plait pie?" ( with the 'pie' pronounced 'poy').  Not sure how far he got with that.

Cello No. 7 is in a collection of parts but will be taken on its own unique identity very shortly.