Shop Instruments: the “House Brand”
I did not make these instruments. Some craftsman in some third-world shop, working at extremely low wages, did all the woodwork (very good work, too!) (They sell thousands of them on the market, here. Some people varnish them and claim to have made them. I will never claim someone else’s work as my own.)
Understandably, then, I do not claim them as my work, because I did not make them, personally. They do not have my signed and numbered label. Instead, they bear the label “Atelier Chez les Eveques.” (French for “The Shop at the Bishop’s Place.” A friend suggested it, years ago, and I like it. 🙂 )
Originally, I purchase these instruments unfinished (“in the white”) or (occasionally) in pieces, as a kit. Then, I simply complete them in my shop. After all the preparatory work is completed, I finish them in much the same manner as I do my own instruments. I set them up to the same standards as my personal instruments. (See the featured image above.)
Usually, I recommend these as a decent “step-up” from most student instruments. As a result, you get a good instrument without the heavier investment of a handmade, “luthier made” instrument.
Passing the Savings to Customers
Furthermore, I complete one of these instruments using only about 20% of the labor it usually requires for me to build a hamdmade instrument. Happily, I can then pass the savings on to my customers. As a reuslt, they acquire a very good instrument, at a very reasonable price (usually about 1/3 the price of my handmade instruments.) It is easier for me to provide this service in traditional (four-string) instruments. (Obviously this is primarily because the unfinished instruments are more readily available.) However. I can get five-string fiddles, in the white, if someone wants to go this route, and save them a good deal of money.
They play very well… and sound very good. Here is a Youtube link to the owner of the fiddle pictured above, playing a piece written by Mark O’Connor.
Call for a quote if you are interested in this option.