This instrument is part of our fourth annual Contemporary American Makers exhibition.
All my life I’ve enjoyed fine woodworking, starting with wooden model airplanes in high school, artistic one-off furniture later in life, and building a straw-bale house in Montana. I’ve always been passionate about music, particularly traditional Scottish music, and in 2009 I started learning to play Scottish fiddle.
In 2017 I combined my passions for woodworking and music at the Violin Making School of America, in Salt Lake City, where I studied under Aubbie Alexander, Alex Wilson, Charles Woolf, and Sanghoon Lee, and took violin lessons from Rosalie MacMillan. I worked at the Peter Prier and Sons Violin Shop, where I gained valuable repair and setup experience. I graduated Cum Laude in 2019, the sixth student to graduate from the school with this distinction.
Salt Lake City is a great place to be a violin maker: I frequently work with an experienced local maker/restorer on various projects; I also occasionally work with a long-established Salt Lake City violin shop. On my own violins, I continue to refine my aesthetic style and learn how to shape tonal properties.
One of my favorite aspects of violin making is the varnish. By combining new and traditional materials I have developed varnish that brings out the beauty of the wood, enhances the tone of the violin, and ages in a beautiful way.
In my spare time, I volunteer with the Violin Society of America and the Western United States Pipe Band Association. I play the Great Highland Bagpipes in a local bagpipe band with my wife, and we both like to play Scottish fiddle and hike along the Wasatch Front.