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.





It's been  busy summer in the workshop!

I am currently finishing a Peter Guarneri model cello, pictures very soon.  I have also made three violas , all different sizes especially designed to have shorter string lengths and longer bodies, for clients. All have been very successful.

And here is a cello of the  Guadagnini model that I have been wanting to build for 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, as opposed to the Forma B model Stradivari at c. 755 mm, 29 ¾ inches. I really like this model. All Guadagnini cellos are more or less the same; most have fronts that wider at the top, often substantially so in his later work. The wood for the back of this cello is many years old, and I have stored it here for about 12 years.

This particular cello will be on display at my stand at the Amati exhibition, 1st and 2nd November 2015, i.e.  in about weeks time, along with the latest violins and violas. Here it shows it's glowing ground coat, and is waiting for the beautiful outer varnish to be applied.






This is one of the smaller violas with he relatively shorter string length. It has a very lovely and unusual back with a strong and very sloping figure. It was made for a customer earlier in the year.




Tuesday, 19 May 2015

 This is my violin no. 94 featured in the previous blog. This first photo shows the sides and back with the initial coating of colour varnish laid over the ground coating. The deep and broad figure in the wood is beginning to stand out nicely


 The sides here are have the varnish complete



















This picture shows the centre of the front with the "F" holes, in the late del Gesu style.  The top holes are nearly as large as the bottom holes reflecting the Brescian influence in the late violins.









The back with it's "antique" style finish.

The red colour is madder lake pigment, made in the workshop to an old and traditional method.  Madder has a colour and luminescence which is very hard to replicate, and was used extensively in Italian instruments in the Classical period of making.












This is some very good cello wood I have recently acquired. It came with matching head blocks and sides.

I have a few sets for sale. Please contact me if you are interested.






























Newsflash:  Mollie the feline workshop inspector has just produced four brand new inspector trainees. Photos soon.