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Other Work: Stringed Instruments







Caroline Sly

PO Box 313

Ashfield, MA

















An 18th Century Sideline: Violinmaking








In addition to my restoration work, I also have an interest in violin making. I have been doing this with my partner Molly Diesing for over ten years now and together we have made over two dozen violins, violas, and cellos. Our instruments follow the patterns of the Italian makers of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and the hand tools we use to make them are similar to those I use in my house restoration work.

We use primarily local materials, spruce and maple from a tonewood supplier in Vermont, carefully selected and well-seasoned for best tonal and visual properties. Our construction process follows the classic Italian methods, and our set-up process is guided by the fact that we are both accomplished musicians and experienced chamber musicians as well as woodworkers. We have some instruments available for sale, but most of our instruments are made to order.





















“Golden Strad” model violin


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Guadagnini model cello scroll




Gasparo model viola





Our instruments follow various classic Italian models:

Violins: we have made instruments based on those by Stradivari (“Golden”), Niccolo Amati and Guarneri del Gesu

Violas: a special focus is smaller types of violas (16 inches or less), based on instruments by Guadagnini and Gasparo da Salo

Cellos: in addition to standard cellos (Stradivari pattern) we make smaller (so-called 7/8 size) instruments based on instruments by Guadagnini and Landolfi












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2009 prices:


Violins: $4000-5000

Violas: $6000-7000

Cellos: $10000-12000


Custom instruments may vary in price. Contact me for a list of currently available instruments or to make an appointment.

New orders can usually be filled within a year.






© 2011 Caroline Sly

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