Friday, March 25, 2011

Fine Bows
Thomas Goering
I have been fascinated since an early age with musical instruments of all kinds, and began my career in the field at the age of 20, building guitars and repairing instruments as diverse as piccolos to electric basses. My focus soon narrowed to bowed strings, and I built my first violins and violas in Topeka, Kansas under the tutelage of George Olstead, a retired violin maker.

In 1989 I began my association with Mark Hollinger of Missoula, MT, with whom I worked for the next 12 years. While there I learned the exacting standards of professional violin restoration and setup, and assisted in making bowed instruments of the highest caliber. Mark encouraged me to explore bow making, and there I found the great passion of my career.

I first studied under William Salchow in his summer workshop class, and began immediately making student bows for the Hollinger shop, all the while collecting the tools, materials and skills to create great looking bows that play beautifully.

In 1995 I had the great opportunity to study with David Samuels, one of the true masters of our generation. From him I learned the modern french technique passed down by Bernard Ouchard and refined by Stephane Thomachot. I have enjoyed numerous summer bow making workshops at Oberlin, where the best makers gather each year to freely share ideas and techniques. The artistry and attention to detail fostered in these groups has made our time a new golden age of bow making.

From 2001 to 2005 I worked for acclaimed violin and bow restorer Jerry Pasewicz, in Raleigh,NC, where I gained valuable skills in restoration of instruments and especially bows. I served as shop foreman there for one year.

Since moving back to my home town, Topeka Kansas,  in 2005, I have been concentrating on making new bows while undertaking repair and restoration work for musicians and dealers. My bows can be found in some of the best violin shops, including Carriage House Violins in Boston.

My goal is to continue to learn from each piece of wood, to pay attention to each musician, to create bows that are beautiful to look at and a joy to play.