La Violonnerie
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Workshop

La Violonnerie workshop for violin family instruments is in the heart of France, with easy access by train and by road.

Here, I restore and bring back to life old violins, violas, cellos and the occasional double bass. Here as well, I help musicians of all types, ages and stages, from beginners to professionals, of classical, folk, jazz... backgrounds, to find or make evolve their instrument, true to their needs and desires.

Ulrike Menk

Restorer

I've always wanted to be a violin maker. Originally from Bremen in Germany, I came to the Violin Making School in Newark in England at the age of 19. Shortly thereafter, I found my true vocation: the restoration of old instruments.

I take broken, worn-out, neglected instruments and put them back into playing condition. This may take anything from an afternoon to several years.

I always have a couple of big restorations on the go – through cleaning and gluing one crack a day, things that came to me as jigsaw puzzles slowly come back together and become whole. Later, through retouching the varnish, they become beautiful once again. What pleasure it gives me to make them sound again !

In between, I take care of the small repairs and maintenance for musicians who come to see us. To see the difference a small adjustment can make, to see their eyes light up – this, too gives me great pleasure !