What would a quality string instrument be without a proper bow? The bow is like a musician’s magic wand; when brandished, it should be capable of producing superb tone quality with liveliness and precision. Selecting a bow is a unique process for every musician, so allow me to assist in the makings of your very own custom bow.
In my opinion, commissioning a custom-made bow is the best way to ensure you get exactly what you need. But before doing so, you need to first have a solid understanding of your own playing habits, taking into consideration your instrument of choice and what style of music you plan to play most. A custom bow will save you time and money you might otherwise spend trying out the hundreds of other bows on the market, especially since older French bow models are often exorbitantly priced.
My bow options
Custom bow production
Are you looking for a specific bow? Feel free to contact me directly so we can discuss your needs.
The steps of custom bow production
Bow making involves the assembly of various pieces of wood, metal, and other refined materials. Here is an inside look into bow production at the workshop.
Choosing the right stick
Modern bows are almost always carved out of Pernambuco. This Brazilian wood is employed in modern bow manufacturing due to its rich tone quality and amazing feel. Still, wood is still a raw material and it needs to be very carefully selected in order to find the best piece. Actually, it is possible to determine what kind of characteristics the bow will have even before it’s finished. Here is how I would describe the various qualities:
- Mechanistic (from the most rigid to the most supple)
- Tonality (from the purest to the darkest tone quality)
- Appearance (the wood should be flawless and esthetically pleasing)
Shaving the stick
Each bow is designed with the help of small hand planers and canif knives. An ebony, ivory, or metal veneer can then be used for the tip to help reinforce it.
Tailoring the frog
The frog, a complex feature of the bow, is composed of various materials to ensure the player has a good grip on the bow all while concealing one end of the bow hair. Composed principally of ebony, the frog is carved and veneered with metal and mother-of-pearl.