Contact Philip

Call 0422 945 752 

or email philip@atelierphilipsmith.com

Woobys Lane
Battery Point, TAS, 7004
Australia

+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!

VIOLIN VIOLA CELLO DOUBLE BASS AND BOWS

LUTHIER ARCHETIER

INSTRUMENT MAKER BOW MAKER

HOBART. TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA

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atelier-bow-instrument-news

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

Filtering by Tag: frog

Ticking Boxes

Philip Smith

It's all about plugging my way through the endless list of jobs at the moment. For a while there I seemed to have started many things and not finished anything and so my wife, very helpfully, made a list for me. With tick boxes.

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This violin was ticked off last week.

On the top of the list now is another violin, but I am allowing myself to be distracted by making a double bass bow with no under slide and a lower frog. This is a return to how bows were originally made. The silver underslide was added for strength but there is a strong movement towards making bows without them. They are harder to make because the frog has to fit perfectly to the stick but it will be worth it for the

improved tonal qualities

.

Now, I'll just finish this and get back to the list.

Mother of Pearl

Philip Smith




After a little searching, native Tasmanian green-lipped abalone shell for mother of pearl (a stunning material used for the pearl slide and pearl eyes on the frog of a bow) has been sourced. Saturday saw us pile the kids in the car and take a drive up the river in search of our local neighbourhood abalone diver.

On a stunning vineyard on the West Tamar we found several piles of 'stink' shells, as named by the kids, and I collected a box full. In my enthusiasm, the box was overfilled and unshuttable so the drive home was a little aromatic, but well worth it, as the shells cleaned up beautifully.




Its great to have a local Tasmanian material to use in my bow making. Most of the other exotic supplies - pernambuco, mammoth bone, ebony etc must be sourced from the far corners of the Earth.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnwhite/sets/72157594369988268/

Mmm, green lipped abalone, looks disgusting, tastes delicious!

Tasty Tools

Philip Smith

This week I have temporarily satiated my appetite for certain objects of desire.

There is nothing quite so satisyfing as a parcel of brand new tools, and this lot of bow making tools have arrived ... sweet! Swiss chisels and files, planes from Germany and the block plane from the US of A, as well as a difficult to find hand chuck from Italy and the leather knife from Japan. The knives are Tasmanian, handcrafted by my good self.

The big block plane is a beauty. I think it is my new favourite.

The vintage Japanese lathe was sourced from my friend

the horologist

, next door. Excellent quality for precision bow making.

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Theses tools have facilitated a little bit of bow making progress with a bass and a violin frog now well on the way.

Instrument Making Session

Over the years, quite few people have expressed in interest in learning the dark arts of violinmakng so I have started a casual evening session, Tuesday's 7-9am to guide people in the process of making an instrument. The first one kicked off last night. If you are interested in coming along, give me a call. Booking is essential as space in the workshop is tight.

Baguettes

Philip Smith

It's been another long time between posts, I'm sure you've been missing me terribly. However, as I am constantly being reminded, everything in this business takes a long time.

My

pernambuco

baguettes arrived from the US last week. This endangered wood is only available because it is reclaimed from floorboards, fence posts etc in Brazil. Ordered from the Government approved registered pernambuco dealer in Brazil three months ago, they had to sit in New York awaiting inspection by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for two months before being released. They arrived in Australia complete with a permit from the "Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" to be held up at Australian Customs for a fortnight. It was not the authenticity or provenance that the Oz Customs were concerned about, but how much GST to charge. Such a frustrating process. Luckily the dealer sent extra baguettes, in this wondrous array of tones, to compensate for the delay. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to include the four bass sticks, which are the items I really need to get started on, so here we go again. Like I said, nothing in my business happens quickly.

With the completion of all my Churchill Fellowship commitments - the report handed in, speech made etc., I was given this medallion by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Thanks Winston, or should I say " Merci!" (although he isn't looking too happy about it, is he? )

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Since I got back from France, full of the joys of bow making, two instrument commissions presented themselves. The first is for a smallish viola, my version of a Guadagnini, seen here with the first coat of coloured varnish. Now comes the tricky part of applying the darker colours. The viola was played by the owner in the white and was greatly appreciated for its tone, quick response and ergonomics.

This white violin, minus the neck which I am still making, is my trusted Guarneri 'del Gesu' model. This one should be ready to try in the white shortly. It's my violin number 12.

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Now back to my recently acquired new skills. This is a partially finished bass frog, awaiting the pernambuco stick. Made from ebony, Sterling silver and mother of pearl, this is for my first bow commission from my long suffering mentor and double bass teacher. Hopefully his patience will soon be rewarded.