Each material I bring in to the shop receives a thorough examination to make sure it doesn’t have any structural or moisture issues. Careful selection is always important to me and it has taken me years to hone in to the smallest of details to ensure that a piece of material will produce a quality build. Out of this process come only the best materials for the instrument.
Once selected, the material is then properly cured and cleaned. Once that has completed the material is ready to be transformed into an instrument.
The process of making fine instruments is more a process of elimination than anything else. I start by eliminating unnecessary material until the material reveals its perfect balance of beauty, sound resonance and functionality. This is done through shaping, filing and sanding. Once this balance is achieved it is on to finishing and polishing to properly enhance the natural look of the material I am working with.
If required, the mouthpieces and/or hardware are installed using some very precise processes. Each added piece, whether hardware or a mouthpiece, must but be placed with careful attention to ensure proper tuning of the instrument. I proceed this step very carefully and slowly to ensure high quality.
The finish is one of the most important parts because it doesn't just protect, it embellishes the instrument. For my flutes and stringed instruments, I use my own shellac recipe to create a hard protective finish that’s still light weight to allow the instrument to resonate freely and unhindered. Then for most of my horned instruments, I use a sanding and polishing process that simply gives a beautiful sheen to the natural look of the already durable horn.
Finally, once all is complete, the instrument is double checked for any issues that may have been missed and undergoes a very scrutinized process to ensure the highest quality. We also want to make sure your instrument gets to you as if you picked it up directly, so we do all of our packaging and labeling right here in the shop as well. From material, to instrument, to your door – it all happens right here in one shop.