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Neil Kristof Ertz

Neil was brought up in the north of Scotland and studied violin and viola at St. Mary’s music school in Edinburgh.

In 1986 He graduated from the Newark school of violin making and for the next five years worked in some of the leading repair workshops of Europe including three years for Geigenbau Machold where he concentrated on the detailed restoration and sound adjustment of some of the finest Italian instrument in existence.

In 1992 he began working with Roger Hargrave in northern Germany building accurate copies of the Italian masters and researching their working methods.
This led to the 1994 exhibition "Violin Masterpieces of Guarneri Del Gesù" held at the Metropolitan museum in New York and the subsequent publication of "Giuseppe Guarneri Del Gesù" in 1998 which has gone on to become a universally recognised text on the life and working methods of Giuseppe Guarneri.

Since 1997 Neil has been self-employed as a maker of fine violins, violas and cellos building precise copies and free interpretations of the great classical masters.

Neil uses the traditional materials of Balkan maple, alpine spruce and ebony for his instruments. Drawing inspiration and from the very best of the classical Italian violin makers he uses traditional tools and construction methods, and in an effort to reproduce the look and sound of the finest Cremonease violins he makes his own varnishes with linseed oil, tree resin and colours them with home made dry ground pigments made from madder and other organic matter.

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 7 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.