Caroline Campbell

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We are very proud to announce that we now represent Caroline Campbell, a Fife-based luthier whose instruments sound brilliant. Here's what Tim has to say about Caroline and her work:

'Caroline Campbell is a fantastic violin maker. There is an honesty and an integrity in her decision not to antique her instruments. They are proudly new, but the lovely, soft colour and texture of her varnish has an enormous amount of subtlety, so they don't immediately shout 'new violin'. They are diligently and thoughtfully made, often incorporating artistic embellishments, and are often made from particularly characterful pieces of wood. One of my favourite things about her instruments is that her creative character really shows through.'

Here is a brief biography in her own words:

"Originally from Dumfries, I have lived and worked for many years in North East Fife. Having had many interests from an early age, including piano, violin and 'making things', I gained an M.A. (Celtic Studies) from Edinburgh University, but was not wholly committed to the academic life and soon embarked on a career in businesses involving sewing, latterly supplying and fitting bespoke drapes and blinds from a workroom in Springfield, near Cupar - which is now my violin workshop. 

Oddly enough, it was through learning jazz improvisation that I began to consider new career possibilities, leading eventually to the discovery of violin making, which I instantly knew to be the perfect fit for me. Each stage of an instrument involves close observation, detective work and the gradual perfection of a variety of techniques, bringing fascinating insights into the lives and minds of the classical makers. I can safely say that this work will never cease to excite and intrigue me! 

Since 2010, when I spent six months in Balderton, Newark-on-Trent receiving rigorous tuition from Narelle Freeman and John Gosling in the early days of Chapel Violins, I have produced 24 violins and 4 violas, many of which are now owned by musicians from Shetland to the Wirral. I have also carried out many set-ups and sound adjustments on older instruments, an invaluable source of experience. My violins are based on instruments by Stradivari (1718), Guarneri 'del Gesu'(1735 and 1744), J.B.Guadagnini (1774) and N. Lupot (1808), and the medium-sized viola model originates from a mid-20th Century Clifford Hoing instrument, with improvements to the set-up proportions. 

My aim is to make violins and violas which are comfortable to play and which produce a powerful, sweet and malleable sound. These models, combined with a careful approach to plate-tuning and the keeping of reference data from each instrument, result reliably in rich and complex tones throughout the range. "

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