The history of violin making is replete with examples of families passing knowledge and traditions from generation to generation. Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari might be the most famous, but family traditions also existed in Germany, France, and many others as well. In 20th and 21st century United States, there are a few notable family traditions but perhaps not as many or as long as some from the past.
Because of this, I take particular joy in working with makers involving multiple generations. One example that comes to mind is Larry and Ben Wilke. When I take stock of warm memories from my time in this business, I’ll definitely remember selling Ben Wilke’s first cello…not just all of Larry’s beautiful cellos we’ve sold. I’ve enjoyed representing the bows of master maker Rodney Mohr over the years, but also take joy in selling bows by his daughter, Kate. Kate recently posted a picture of her son working on a bow – the tradition continues!
What are some of your favorite family making traditions?