Simone looks up from her work to me through the open door of her workshop. She just finished her rolled cigaret. It is a perfect hot early september afternoon in Amsterdam. There are less tourists now, though still too many. Just outside the centre the area breaths a hipster atmosphere and some inhabitants make a real personal thing from their doorstep, creating small gardens and displaying all sorts of artefacts to make their private spere special.
Bows for violins and other string instruments is her business as well as specialised bow parts and of course the crucial strings. It seemed predestined when she had nearly finished her education in small furniture craft. On one day she met the same man five times. This could not be coincidence. He was a professional bow maker and on the last meeting they agreed to meet in his workshop.
I became his apprentice and never looked back
This is tweny years now and the last years she can make a living of it. She is the only female bow maker in Holland. There are just a handfull mastering this special craft. Her customers include some famous players but no, they should not be mentioned. A website would be good for her business, she is working on it, but there is always something else. Most customers come on word of mouth anyway.
Mongolian and Siberian horses
The bow strings are made from horsetail hair. But not any horse, mongolian or siberian horsetailhair make the best strings. She prefers the white, the black are a bit more brittle but the contrabass players like them. Their bows are shorter but they seem to apply more pressure so they need to be more durable.
Music is not her thing but her father and mother played the violin professionally so in her youth there was no escape. She knows how to play the violin yes but working on the bows gives her most satisfaction. In the workshop there is special machinary and she enjoys making small gadgets from steel. She still has no idea what to do with them, maybe she will specialise on custom made jewelry.
Need bow strings or handmade original bow string parts?
Van Linschotenkstraat 46 1013PN Amsterdam