Anne Cole is an American Luthier, whose violas are priced at a mere $18,000 and up. On her site, she goes into great detail on how she produces her artisan-quality instruments.
Be sure to check out her Violins and Cellos, too. They are quite beautiful!
That is true, I am not thinking on that as a seriuos job or a way to get some money, I'd like to do it as a personal project, and maybe for some friends, and just think about it, "you are playing in a orchestra and somebody ask you about your violin, viola or cello, and you answer I made it my self" I want to see that reaction.
I suppose it would also enable me to adjust my fiddle much easier considering all the knowledge I would gain in building one. Right now I would love to just be able to cut and fit a new sound-post and bridge. I imagine that I can learn making a new bridge easily enough but the sound-post would need some special tools.
That's the same reason I started looking into Luthier apprenticeships was so that I could work on my own instruments so that if something went wrong, Like the sound post or god forbid a crack in the body, I would then have the knowledge if not the resources to fix it.
P.S. We finally just hit 1000 posts!
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