I made my first bow with Lynn Hannings in 2011 at the University of New Hampshire Bowmaking Program founded by Bill Salchow, and continued my study of bowmaking with George Rubino, Matt Cooker, and Steve Beckley. Each of my bows is a handmade original from the preparation of the bow blanks from rough-sawn boards of pernambuco to the first application of hair before the final finish, wrapping and branding of the stick. Since 2016 I have participated in the Violin Society of America’s Bowmaking Workshop in Oberlin, Ohio, where I contribute to the group reproduction of interesting bows for great clients. This workshop has given me the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from fellow bowmakers from the USA, North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
I love the materials of bowmaking and try to keep them in their natural, primary states as much a I can in the finished bow: Pernambuco, Snake, Ipe, and Katalox woods, ebony of many colors, abalone and mother-of-pearl seashells, and traditional as well as novel tip materials. I enjoy combining them to make bows that feel good in the hand of the musician with an emphasis on recreating models by makers known for bows with superior playability.
In addition to making bows, I continue to work as a professional cellist with a position in the Arizona Opera and with Camarada San Diego. I hope that being a performer contributes to the overall quality of the bows I make. Each unfinished bow is as unique as the musician who ends up using it, and I take particular satisfaction in making choices that determine the playing characteristics and good looks of my creations.
-Abe Liebhaber, 2023