Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Jackie, who runs Fiddle Daemons, and I will be at Cambridge Folk Festival this weekend, Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th July 2017. We will be in the "Luthiers' Area ", in the main trade tent, near Stage 2.

I will have the latest fiddle and viola, along with a couple of others, and a Guadagnini model cello made last year. The cello has been on loan to a client who has just collected her splendid new Rod Ward cello of the same model. These are numbers 2 and 4 of the series of six Guadagnini model cellos I am making. I will also be bringing my five string violin, no 69.

Jackie will be bringing some older fiddles.

This my latest fiddle. It is Violin no, 100. I have kept the wood for over 30 years for a special instrument and making my 100th violin seemed a good time to use it. The wood is about 130 years old.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Along with the regular making and fulfilling orders for new Instruments, I have a longer term project making a series of Guadagnini model cellos.

Guadagnini cellos are renowned for their playing qualities, with superb carrying tone and power, and are used as concert instruments throughout the world. They are also smaller than the standard Stradivari and Guarneri models, at about 715 to 725 mm back length, as opposed to the Strad and Guarneri models at around 750 mm. This results in a shorter string length, which suits many players, especially those with smaller hands, and with no loss of volume or quality in the sound.

I have completed two of the cellos so far , one with Maple back and sides, and one with Poplar back and sides. A third cello is varnishing, and three more are in various stages of production. I have used both English and French Poplar, the French being slightly heavier. Some of the wood is about 80 years old,  and some younger.

Along with the Guadagnini model cellos, I have two Peter of Guarneri of Venice 1725 model cellos
( back length 750mm ) under construction as part of this project to explore sound production in cello making. One is in Maple - slab cut wood with a stunning broad figure and some lovely bird's eye markings and matching Ribs, and a wonderful French Spruce front with much Hazel figure; the other in French Poplar with a front of 20 year old split Spruce.

If you would like to try any of these cellos as they become available, see them in progress, or for any  further information,   please contact me. Visitor are welcome  to the workshop, please phone or email in advance:  r449ward@btinternet.com   + 44 (0) 1763 852 377


Rod Ward Guadagnini model cello :  Old Maple back and sides

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

new Rod Ward violin

 A quick preview of my new violin, finished yesterday. This is my violin no. 99

The varnish is very transparent and has wonderful warm glow. It has a huge and beautiful sound.

It will be on display in Manchester this weekend, 14th and 15th January 2017, at the RNCM Music Festival, along with a faithful copy of a Peter Guarneri of Venice c.1740 period violin.

I will aso have my latest Guadagnini model cello.

Please come and try them.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Tomorrow, Sunday 13th March 2016, I shall be exhibiting my work at the BVMA ( British Violin Makers Association )  "Makers Day " a the Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS, opposite the Royal Albert Hall.

The exhibition is open from 11 a.m. to 5 pm.

This beautiful Guadagini model Cello is built after the 1757 "Teschenmacher" cello, and will be available for trial. It has a powerful tone with great projection.
Like all Guadagnini cellos, it is of slightly small size with a back length of 715 mm , 28 3/16th" which makes it easy to play, without losing any tonal qualities.

It is covered in a lovely transparent red-brown Amber oil varnish.

I will also have two violas : a 15" Paolo Testore model viola, and a Gaspro da Salo model 381 mm., 15/58th".  This second viola was made for a client in 2007, and was used professionally till last year ; It has an exceptional one piece slab back.

Paolo Testore 1741 model viola.  381 mm.

And my latest violin......... Guarneri model, 353 mm, deeply figured slab back, and a huge tone.

You are very welcome to try any of the instruments on display. Trial rooms available.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

My new violin and cello at the Amati Exhibition

Here are some photos from The Amati Exhibition held last week at the Langham Hotel in London.  The hotel and the Amati team made for a very happy and well organised exhibition; we will be going again!
Both the new violin and Guadagnini model cello are available for trial. I had very complimentary remarks about them at the exhibition. 
Please contact me for any further information about the instruments. 
This the Rod Ward stand. The BVMA stand is at the back, 
and I am talking to Roger Rose the current chair of the BVMA. 
Tasmin Little playing my new ( 3 day old ) violin. 
 "This is a powerful violin!"
The new ( 4 day old ) Guadagnini model cello being played.
"It is like an Old Italian cello !"

And below : Roby Lakatos playing the new violin  : 
 "It is like a bomb..!"

Saturday, 31 October 2015

We will be at the Amati Exhibition in London tomorrow Sunday 1st November 2015 and Monday 2nd November 2015.

 The exhibition is being held at the Langham Hotel in London. 1c, Regent Street W1B 1JA.  tel:  0207 636 1000.  The afternoon teas are very good! Tickets may still be available for the Roby Lakatos Ensemble concert on Sunday evening. The exhibition usually also has some superb Old Italian Instruments. 

The exhibition itself is open to the public and free.

I will have three Guarneri model violins including the new violin below, a Brescian model viola, with a Poplar back and sides, and the beautiful Guadagnini model cello seen in the last blog. This now has a lovely and glowing  red varnish.

All the instruments will be on display and available to be played. 
I can be contacted on 07973 835 466 during the exhibition.

Violin no. 95. Finished Friday 30th October 2015.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

It's been a very busy summer in the workshop!

I am currently finishing a Peter Guarneri of Venice model cello, pictures very soon,m or on request. I have also made three violas, all different sizes, especially designed to have relatively slightly longer bodies and shorter string lengths to customers specifications. and needs.

Here is a cello of the Guadagnini model that I have been wanting to build for a while. These are relatively small for full size cellos, but none the less produce as strong and lovely sound as any.
The original instruments are used by some of the most famous and best cellists around. They are very easy to play in such a handleable size.
The back length is 714 mm, 28 ¼ inches, and opposed to the now standard Stradivari Forma B model at 755mm, 29 ¾inches, and with a consequently shorter string length.
All Guadagnini cellos follow this model, and many have fronts that are wider at the middle and top of the front. A characteristic unique to him.
The wood for the back here is very old, and I have stored for 12 years here in the workshop before using it.

This particular cello will be on my stand at the Amati Exhibition in London, on Sunday 1st November and Monday 2nd November 2015, about three weeks time. Here it is showing it's glowing ground coat before the beautiful outer varnish is applied.

This is one of the violas with the smaller string length and relatively longer bodies. It was made for a client earlier in the year, and has a beautiful back with a strong and very sloping figure.