I view myself primarily as a tool maker: I make instruments to be used by musicians to order sounds in the universe and to express their souls. As a user of tools, I know that tools must have a beauty that comes from elegance and efficiency of design, a comfortable fit to the body, and a relationship to a tradition of use. My work is limited by the nature of the wood I use, the laws of physics, the shape of the human body, and the imagination of my clientele.
Visually, my work needs to be inviting to the player. It needs to look like it wants to be played and will respond to the players’ wishes. The classical violin world is conservative, and old is usually considered better, so most of my work is designed to look and feel old. Most of my work is modeled on specific instruments of the past. I admire and strive for strength of character and personality, and am willing to sacrifice some fineness of detail to achieve it.
Tonally, I strive for ease of response and a full, flexible sound. I work on a wide range of models to try to meet the needs and tastes of a wide range of players. The goal is a rich, complex foundation with enough character and personality on top to provide projection and clarity of articulation.
I use local woods because I want my work to reflect the place and time of its making. I am an American and want to use American wood. I settled in Brattleboro partially for its location within the Eastern forest and access to the maple and spruce with which I work.
I get the most satisfaction from uniting a player with an instrument that is right for them, knowing that it will take them further along their path to success and increase their joy in music.
~ Douglas Cox