Master Instruments made by Alexander Schütz
When making my instruments I am influenced by models from the classical period of violin making, but I also create my own models. A great success was my participation in the 7th International Violin Making Competition in Mittenwald 2014 where I was awarded silver for a completely self-designed viola.
Each and every one of my instruments is 100% handmade, personally, by myself. I employ the same working techniques as the great masters of the classical period of violin making. In contrast to some contemporary violin makers, I do not use semi-finished parts (such as pre-milled scrolls or archings, finished rib structures, or finished purfling, etc.). Instead, I make every part with my own two hands. It is only for the setup (pegs, end-button, tailpiece, fine tuner, strings and chinrest) that I use parts of the highest quality from selected suppliers.
I cook my own fine oil varnish from natural oils and resins that were available at the time of the great masters. When varnishing, I respect the wishes of the musician from fully varnished to slightly imitated or, in the case of a copy, resembling the naturally-worn appearance of the original instrument.
The preferences of the musician are taken into consideration throughout the process of making an instrument, and that includes sound, model, choice of wood, set-up, etc.
Every instrument I make evolves into a unique and unmistakeable piece of art, each with its own personality that is borne of a one-off collaboration between the musician and myself.
A couple of years ago I had the great opportunity of buying a huge stock of tonewood from a retired colleague of mine. This tonewood had been seasoned for over eighty years and is of exceptional quality. Now I have more tonewood than I can use up in my lifetime.