Yes, you can! Complete beginners must get clearance from workshop organizer Jim Brown using the contact form. If you live within driving distance, he will arrange to meet with you before the workshop begins to provide a brief orientation that will help get you started.
Yes, if you are open to fine-tuning your skills, learning new tips and tricks, and increasing your understanding of the aesthetics of historical instrument building. Experienced makers often enjoy being in an environment where they can work uninterrupted alongside others who share their deep interest in the craft of instrument making.
Each participant is provided with a work table, chair, and work light. A band saw, drill press, sharpening tools, and glue pot are available on site. However, you will need to bring your own hand tools, materials, templates, and forms if you have them. A small selection of specialized tools is available for purchase on site. More information about tools can be obtained from the workshop organizer.
This is highly individual and depends on your level of experience, your style of working, and how many weeks you sign up for. The shop is open until 10 pm on weekdays and during the day on weekends (excepting the third and final Friday of the workshop). While there is not enough time to complete an entire instrument from start to finish during the workshop, it is possible to make significant progress on an instrument and gain the skills and confidence to continue working on your own.
Yes, as long as you sign up for them in different weeks. To assist you in your planning, please note that bow making is offered two weeks of the workshop, while violin making is offered all three weeks.
Claremont has many good restaurants that are within easy walking distance of the workshop, as well as a movie theater. Most workshop participants take advantage of evening open shop hours to move further ahead on their projects, and those who are musicians often enjoy getting together for informal jam sessions, both classical and traditional.
No! Violin making participants get access to a private online forum that is used to great advantage by current and former workshop attendees. Topics of discussion might include new tool discoveries and working methods, or guidance on problems with an instrument in process. In this way, the sense of community that develops during the workshops lives on throughout the year!
Other questions? Use our contact form!