Fiddle Building Philosophy

A word on violinmaking…

I started building violins in 2011; at the time, I had been making mandolins full time for over 11 years. To date I’ve made 19 violins. Having also caught the bug for building, my son Nathan has built and sold his first 4. Our focus in the Pomeroy shop remains on mandolins and mandolin family of instruments, but as a fiddle player myself, building great sounding violins has always been a goal of mine and I think that the mastery of this craft offers a fine compliment to the archtop mandolin world.

I have the greatest respect for the craftsman that have dedicated their lives to the art of violinmaking. And the more I learn, the more I am in awe of the varying approaches and opinions regarding the craft. The traditional approach builds on the originals like Guarneri and Stradivari and relies on experience, intuition and quite often a respectful nod to “alchemy”. It is time honored, heartfelt and in many cases defended to the point of hostility against the more science based models of builders like Ernst Chladni, Francois Chanot and especially the very contemporary and controversial Carleen Hutchins.

For me it was a bit overwhelming at first. I decided that if I could not build a fiddle that I wanted to play myself then I would not go down this road at all. But fortunately my first one came out pretty well, offering me encouragement. With the experience and confidence I’d already attained in building mandolins, an openness to a wide variety of shared ideas, trial and error (the greatest teacher!) and careful notes, I have progressed to the point of consistently building good sounding violins and am proud to offer them along with our mandolins. I think you would be impressed at the overall balance, “woodiness”, depth and volume, responsiveness and playability of Pomeroy violins.

I always welcome visitors to the shop and showroom in Glenwood Springs. Please call or write for an appointment.

– Don Paine

Please view our Currently Available and Recently Completed fiddles.