Violin sides, and "The Box"
Hugh designed the outline for the violin body and made the ribs (sides) of the violin using Tasmanian Blackwood, a type of Acacia. The linings are Lombardy Poplar from a tree planted in the 1870’s by a homesick Italian aristocrat. The bottom and corner blocks were made from Paulownia, a very light, resonant wood used in some Chinese bowed instruments. The top block is Willow harvested from a nearby creek. All of these woods were provided by Hugh’s friend and colleague, mandolin maker, Graham McDonald.
Being the first participant, it also fell to Hugh to build the shipping box for the violin. Inspiration and whimsy led to a box with unusual form in the violin world. Besides being compact and strong, the box also includes a customs-confounding secret compartment.
Hugh Withycombe graduated from Newark School of Violinmaking , UK, in 2001. He now runs a full service violin shop, making, repairing and restoring instruments, in Canberra, Australia.