Cath’s fortieth anniversary!

June 19, 2017
in News

It’s 1977, first thing on Tuesday morning right after Queen’s Birthday Weekend. I climb two long flights of steep wooden stairs to the top floor of the old Browns Mill Building in Durham Lane. The stairs are familiar – there’s a violin workshop up there, and I’ve only recently graduated as a violin performance student.

But today I’m nervous; today’s the day I’m starting my violin making apprenticeship.

david-nalden-browns-mill-stairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo David Nalden)

 

I would be working for Peter Madill and my apprenticeship was the only one on offer in New Zealand , and would be for a long time to come.

cid_7693d90d-dd91-41bd-8a66-d57edd7ff683local

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Bill Nichol)

 

Here I am, not long after I started, earnestly adjusting something or other (a purfling cutter perhaps), and with my coffee mug perilously close to the edge of the bench!

That’s something I HAVE learnt not to do, in the intervening 40 years! Coffee mugs go to the back of the bench, where they’re less likely to get swept onto the floor by a passing scroll or errant elbow.

So what drew me into a life of wood chips and thumb planes and varnish and horse hair?

My Uni violin teacher, David Nalden, lent me the perfect chinrest – and then he wanted it back. What to do? I carved a fairly decent copy out of a hunk of rimu, ending up with something beautiful and useful that I’d made all by myself. Magic! After years of creating notes that would fade into the air and disappear, I had something I could hold in my hand, to show for all my hours of work.

I was hooked!

caths-rimu-chin-rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Cath Newhook)

 

And forty years later, I’m still hooked!

http://stringedinstrument.co.nz/about-us/history/

http://www.madillguitars.co.nz/profile.html

http://stringedinstrument.co.nz/meet-our-staff/

 

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