Bow-buying article in “Strings” magazine

Summer is flying, and I’ve been remiss in my visits with you.  It’s too easy to work in the garden instead of sitting at the computer!

That said, I want to bring to your attention an article from the July 2018 issue of Strings magazine.  The article is “Trial Run…A Guide to selecting your next bow” by Cristina Schreil.  Schreil interviews David Bonsey, a violin maker, appraiser, and dealer, and bow makers George Rubino and Lynn Armour Hannings.  Those of you who have visited with us are familiar with our references to Rubino and Hannings because Mary has studied extensively with both of them, and I have studied with Hannings.  I can’t do better than to send you to this article if you are considering purchasing a new bow.

I do want to point out a startling fact that is stated toward the end of the article.  Schreil writes, “….for a price range of $2500 and under, Bonsey usually recommends looking at carbon-fiber bows.”  This is why the Con Brio Studio shop really pushes carbon-fiber.  Inexpensive wood bows are almost without exception junk.  The hair is often glued into the frog and head mortises.  These bows were never intended to be rehaired.  Players are just supposed to use the bow as is forever, or throw it away, and buy a new one.  Warp is a common problem because the wood has not been allowed to dry down properly, and is poor quality in the first place.  I haven’t even begun to talk about the environmental impact of all that wood harvesting.  Of course, carbon-fiber has an environmental footprint, too, and there are certainly junk carbon-fiber bows out there.  That said, it is possible to buy a decent carbon-fiber bow for far less than $2500.00!

I’ll recommend some good carbon-fiber bows in my next post.