Summer weeks

Experience has led me to the conviction that a good result depends first of all on the right preparations (drawings, mould and templates) and a strictly logical working order. It's important, of course, to use the right technique on the right moment, and to optimalize posture and lighting. The one other main contribution to the quality of your work is routine. Talent makes the difference between good and excellent, not between good and bad.

Advanced participants work on their own project at their own level, and are expected to bring their own hand tools, because I don't have extras for so many people. A closer look by me at your tools might also give a hint at hidden problems. Sharpening for instance is quite seldom treated with the required scrutiny (see the Weekends dedicated to sharpening).

For beginners we have a few sets of basic tools to use.

Apart from violins, viola's, cello's, double basses and their (prospective) makers are welcome, as well as their Baroque and Classical predecessors.

Thursday evenings will be dedicated to an introduction, with assistance of a professional violinist, to "voicing the violin", sound production, playing characteristics and how to influence them. The violin is after all a tool in the hands of a musician.

At noon a warm and nourishing dinner will be served; in the garden if the weather allows. To the hardy, the workshop will be available in the evening.

Rob Stemerding is definitely on the School's staff now, and I can only with difficulty imagine how life was without him. He is technically all-round, and, not being hampered by any violin making tunnel vision, a wonderful source of unexpected solutions to long-standing problems. No wonder he picks up the typical violin making abilities with remarkable ease. And a patient and careful teacher at that.

Pieter Overduin is my steady assistant form the beginning. Over the years we have together conducted innumerable experiments with a.o. acoustics and free plate resonances, but also with varnishing and historical colouring methods.

We changed the Bow Making curriculum. In the past years it became clear that making a classical stick from Pernambuco, bending, pairing it with a bought frog and hairing it, was more than would fit into 6 days for a beginner. So first time participants will make a baroque bow (violin, cello, bass) plus clip-in frog of snakewood or a similar kind of hard wood (or of more adventurous woods: yew, Siberian Larch, bush acacia). In the second year, or if you have some previous experience, you make either a classical stick from Pernambuco or a classical frog. Classical means that there is a minimum of silver work. The design of the underslide is reconsidered too, in order to make it less vulnerable and better suited to be hand crafted. Buying frogs besides is unsatisfactory and not really up to the standards of the School. The next year you will complete your classical bow. A classical bow is all round in musical sense.

Eitan Hoffer studied baroque violin at the Utrecht Conservatorium. After his studies he returned to Israel, where he is playing in a.o. Israel's top baroque orchestra the Barocade. His bows are gaining international reputation. What I particularly appreciate in his making, is that he finishes his bows while playing them, just like we finish our violins by "voicing" them in the white. The result is inevitably a bow that "works".

2019 Violin and Bow making summer weeks:

  • 1st to and incl. 6th of august Bow making with Eitan Hoffer (Thursday to Tuesday)
  • 11th to and incl. 16th of august Violin making week 1 (Sunday morning to Friday afternoon)
  • 18th to and incl. 23rd of august Violin making week 2 (Monnday morning to Friday afternoon)


  • tuition: Dirk Jacob Hamoen, Rob Stemerding and Pieter Overduin
  • level: beginner to advanced
  • max. nr. of participants: 10
  • location: Nederlandse Vioolbouwschool, Markt 17, Makkum
  • price: €400,-- for tuition, excl. tools and materials; coffee, tea, lunch and 1 dinner (before evening program): €25,--; Warm lunch (6x) €90,--.

For those who want to stay overnight: We have a few beds at €20,00 per night, incl. breakfast. There are several B&B's around the corner (€25,-- to €30,-- per night incl. breakfast). Within easy bicycle range there are a few cosy campings too.