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About ScotPiper

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    Junior Member

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  • Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Interests
    Violin making and varnish alchemy! Great Highland bagpipes, Scottish fiddle and dance music, backpacking, hiking in the desert, airplanes and aerodynamics, cooking really tasty spicy food, good beer ... that sort of thing.

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About Me

All my life I’ve enjoyed fine woodworking as a hobby, starting with wooden model airplanes in high school, artistic one-off furniture later in life, and even a straw-bale house. I’ve always been passionate about music, particularly traditional Scottish music, and in about 2009 I started learning to play Scottish fiddle.

In 2017 I combined my passions for woodworking and music at the Violin Making School of America, in Salt Lake City, where I studied under Aubbie Alexander, Alex Wilson, Charles Woolf, and Sanghoon Lee, and took violin lessons from Rosalie MacMillan. I also worked at the Peter Prier and Sons Violin Shop, where I gained valuable repair and setup experience. I graduated Cum Laude in 2019; the sixth student ever to graduate from the school with this distinction.

Salt Lake City is a great place to be a violin maker and network with and learn from other makers. I frequently work with Dan Salini, an experienced local maker/restorer, on various projects; I also occasionally work with a long-established Salt Lake City violin shop. On my own violins, I continue to refine my aesthetic style and learn how to shape tonal properties.

One of my favorite aspects of violin making is the varnish. By combining new and traditional materials I have developed varnish that brings out the beauty of the wood, enhances the tone of the violin, and ages in a beautiful way. My particular area of interest is replicating the traditional Cremonese varnish (along with just about every other varnish alchemist, right?)

In my spare time, I volunteer with the Violin Society of America and the Western United States Pipe Band Association. I play the Great Highland Bagpipes in a local bagpipe band with my wife, and we both like to play Scottish fiddle and hike along the Wasatch Front and Utah deserts.