Introduction to Violin Making

In this class, you will use precut and partially assembled parts to learn proper tool use and the skills needed to make a violin. Making a violin from scratch usually requires 200 hours or more; making a violin from a kit will let you find out if violin making is for you, without such of a significant commitment. At the end of the week, you will be well on your way to having a playable violin, that you can either finish on your own or in a subsequent class.

You should expect to:

  • bend, cut, and glue the purfling
  • finish the sinking
  • set the neck
  • shape the button and neck root
  • finish the edges
  • clean up the scroll
  • fit the saddle, end button, and pegs

Other procedures will be discussed. This class is also invaluable to music teachers or anyone else who wants to gain an appreciation for the intricacies of violin making.

Classes meet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. online via Zoom.

Tools & Materials


Introduction to Violin Making

A list of tools and materials can be found here.

Instructor Bios


Introduction to Violin Making

  • Claire Curtis

    Claire Curtis is a violin maker and restorer in Southern Maine. She started her violin career in 1990, taking classes at the UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute. Over the next ten years she took courses in violin repair (with Hans Nebel and Horst Kloss), bow repair (with Arnold Bone and Lynn Hannnings), bow making (with Lynn Hannings), and finally, violin making with Geigenbaumeister Karl Roy. Later, she became one of Karl Roy's workshop assistants, and he asked her to help him research and write his book “The Violin: Its History and Making” (published 2006), for which she travelled to Mittenwald and Cremona. 

    Claire attended the Oberlin Violin Workshop for setup, acoustics, and restoration, which exposed her to a wide variety of approaches and techniques used by luthiers around the world. She was, for a time, editor of the Journal of the Violin Society of America, and is currently on the staff of the Oberlin Violin Restoration Workshop and the Board of Directors of the Violin Society of America.

  • Mikel Watts, Assistant

    Mikel has been a student at the University of New Hampshire Violin Craftsmanship Institute since 2016. Attending the institute ans learning to become a violin maker has always been a dream of his. He has recently joined the Violin Society of America and is looking forward to the opportunity to become involved in the organization. Mikel has been a woodworker and cabinet-maker for over 30 years. His experience in this field has translated well into world of violin making. 


This course is currently unavailable.