This website is a resource site for violin making and blog for Stephen Churchill’s violin making activities.
My Interest in Luthering
I’ve always been interested in listening-to, making and exploring music of all types. I first became interested in violin making when my great-grandfather’s violin was discovered in my grandmother’s attic. She had never played it and he had died at a fairly young age. The violin had some water damage, and was missing many parts. Seizing on the opportunity to restore a family heirloom, I decided to see if I could have it repaired.
initially I took it to the local music shop. A small shop in the downtown of the small town where I lived at the time, and run by a nice enough fellow. I unwrapped the priceless treasure from the blanket I transported it in and showed it to the owner. He looked over my great-grandfather’s violin, in its rather poor condition, and said ‘I usually turn these into clocks, there’s one in the window’. I doubt I successfully hid my horror with the idea. The second choice was an amateur luther living just outside the city. I bought the required parts (tailpiece, fingerboard, button, bridge, and strings) and brought the lot to him. The result was amazing.
What I learned from that experience was that these instruments, made in the traditional way, can live more than generations, they can live centuries at least. I cam e to realize that making such instruments was the culmination of my interest in arts, creativity, and music, combined into a single beautiful and functional object. What I can’t imagine is why anyone who could, wouldn’t want to make such musical instruments!
Stephen is originally from Newfoundland and Labrador and currently resides near Vancouver, British Columbia. At a young age he began piano lessons and later played trumpet in a community band that played community festivals and centers around Newfoundland. He is currently an amateur violin player.
Stephen has been an avid woodworker since childhood and most active since 2001. He made his first instrument in 2007, a process that took a year and was done under the tutelage of a violin and viola maker who had studied at Merton College in London, UK . He has since begun working with local violin makers to improve his works.
Stephen’s educational background is in engineering; a field in which he has worked and traveled internationally. Stephen started with the Canadian telecommunications giants and moved into the aerospace industry in 2001. In 2012 he moved into the computer chip industry. Stephen holds a Master’s degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland.