Violin-in-a-Box! The Idea

Oberlin Violinmakers Camp

Every summer, about 60 violinmakers, from all over the world, gather at Oberlin College for two weeks to make violins. Open sharing of ideas and information  allows participants to develop their knowledge and skills – and friendships.

An International Violin

In 2022 a group of us decided it would be fun to build a violin, but to do the work at our home locations. The violin would be passed from maker to maker internationally, with each violinmaker contributing to the next stage in violin’s construction.

Local materials tell a Story

Instead of using traditional violin materials, each maker would find substitutes grown within a few miles of their home. Following a format used by the Redwood Violin Project, the violinmakers reached out to members of their local communities for help in obtaining and processing these materials.  The violinmakers documented these interactions with video and pictures shared Instagram  Watching the videos you will  not only see the process of building a unique violin, but  also you’ll get a flavor of the various  locations and communities visited.


Eight participants joined the group in Oberlin with the idea of recruiting two more once the project was under way. In all there were 10 participants in 9 countries on 3 continents.

The Violinabox

A sturdy shipping case was crucial for the project.  It fell to the first participant, Hugh Withycombe in Canberra, Australia, to design and build an appropriate container.  Violin-in-a-box was born.

Oberlin, Ohio 44074, United States