I started making fine violins as an apprentice to William Whedbee, a renowned Chicago luthier who trained in Cremona, Italy, and has instruments that have been played worldwide for over 30 years.
While working there, I had an opportunity to learn the craft of making handmade cellos and violins as it was taught centuries ago by Cremona's master makers. I assisted in the building of Whedbee's instruments with his tools, and was taught all of the stages of the creation of an instrument. I reinforced my skills with repetition and copied tools as I mastered them.
I also spent some time working for Michael Darnton, learning set-up and restoration. Mr. Darnton is a talented violin maker, restorer, and photographer. He has spent 30 years gaining expertise in all areas of the Chicago violin trade, and has mentored luthiers all over the world. He influenced my philosophy and taught me lot about the violin market.
A violin is the product of an old world craft that was perfected hundreds of years ago and has not changed. I have also enjoyed the wonderful opportunities to see an endless number of 17th and 18th century Italian instruments that pass through Chicago frequently, and study the styles of the greatest and most celebrated luthiers.
After several years assisting Whedbee, and training under his generous guidance, I began building my own instruments based on my own ideas and tastes. I live and work in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the North side of Chicago.