Newark School of Violin Making
RAB Award 2016
Mike writes of his award of work experience:
I spent a very enjoyable day with Stephen Thomson, bow maker, who runs a business named ‘The Bow Business’ in a centre for artists and craftspeople in Deptford, London. We started the day discussing his background and training that led him into making and restoring bows for string instruments. I brought along a bass bow that needed re-hairing with a mixture of black and white hair. Together we removed the original hair, selected new hair, made new wedges and undertook the re-hair from start to finish. I asked many questions along the way and Stephen was happy to pass on the benefit of his experience in the trade.
After lunch we made a new pearl eye to replace a missing eye in a bow frog. It was very interesting to see the variety of materials used for this and find out how they are prepared to match the original as closely as possible, while ensuring that the patina of the ebony frog is untouched. Finally, Stephen showed me how an imitation whalebone lapping is applied to a Hill-style bow. All in all, Stephen’s open, friendly approach and his vast knowledge of the subject made it a very positive experience.”