This violin is a new model of Spetz' own aesthetic, featuring stylistic influences from some of his favorite violins (the Amati Alard, for example). Made to his usual high standards of craftsmanship, it has a lovely sound and rings nicely.
The violin is 351mm long, and is very comfortable to play.
The varnish is a special formulation using ingredients that the Classical Italian Masters would have had access to. It’s a very rich dark reddish-brown, and if rubbed gently it releases a brilliantly sweet scent.
The wood working on this violin was completed December 2020, and it was varnished and completed on Boxing Day.
The varnish is formulated using ingredients that the Classical Italian Masters would have had access to, and using methods that Spetz believes they would have used. It’s a rich and dark reddish-brown, and if rubbed gently it releases a pleasant and spicy scent.
This violin is finished with a tetul fingerboard and fittings. The color is a dark red brown, and compliments the varnish nicely.
Due to decades of unsustainable demand, high quality ebony fittings are becoming more expensive and harder to find. The rosewood that is used for violin fittings is now on the CITES list; but even with an internationally recognized exemption for musical instruments, traveling with rosewood can be worrisome.
Tetul is an excellent sustainable alternative to the traditionally used materials. Tetul is the heartwood of the tamarind tree, it’s hard and light weight, and is well suited for violin fittings.
All my life I’ve enjoyed fine woodworking as a hobby, starting with wooden model airplanes in high school, artistic one-off furniture later in life, and even a straw-bale house. I’ve always been passionate about music, particularly traditional Scottish music, and in about 2009 I started learning to play Scottish fiddle music.
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 also 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 ever to graduate from the school with this distinction.
Salt Lake City is a great place to be a violin maker and network with and learn from other makers. I frequently work with Dan Salini, 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.