Perhaps it was growing up around a dad who seemed to know how everything worked (right down to the subatomic level) or maybe I’m just a junkie for the pedagogical process, but I’ve always wanted to learn how to rehair bows and work on instruments. I’ve haunted benches from Los Angeles to London and Paris, Atlanta, Baltimore and DC, hovering over tolerant luthiers who probably wished I would just go away and let them work in peace.

Well now the apron is on the other…ah…thing. I’m going to leave that in because it was such a spectacular failure of a sentence.

On a recent trip to Potter’s, I mustered up the courage to ask if there was room on the bench for an apprentice. Much to my delight, Mr. Potter himself came out to hear my plea, and I left the store an hour later with a long shopping list and a mind swimming with excitement.

The shopping list included things like laminated steel knives, a hank of hair costing no less than $200, an alcohol lamp, rehairing jig…The prospects were bright, but the math was making me worry a little. I took to Twitter, half joking about organizing a Kickstarter campaign to fund this new project. Within an hour, I had an offer of patronage. Within a day, I had the funding! Within a week, I’ll have my supplies!

Although luck is a primary characteristic of my life, I am still dizzy with gratitude and surprise.

I intend to post more photos and videos as a general rule this year. Keep an eye out for some gnarly “my first rehair” attempts in the very near future.

If anyone else is interested in furthering my training with a donation of materials (low-end bows to practice on, spare hair, miscellaneous supplies) or funding, please email me!  Once I am able to do respectable work, I intend to donate some of my services to schools whose music departments are in need. You can also contact me to suggest/sponsor a school in your area.


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3 Responses

  1. That’s brilliant Emily! I wish you every success, and much enjoyment in this new endeavour!

    I’m thoroughly enjoying my foray into cello making, and for those of your readers in the UK (or who don’t mind travelling to my lovely home town of Cambridge) there’s a great place to learn violin/viola/cello/bow making at

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