Logo Nicolas Gilles Violin Maker Montpellier France
Nicolas GILLES
Violin Maker in Villeneuvette
Workshop Nicolas Gilles Violin Maker Montpellier France

The workshop

Workshop Nicolas Gilles Violin Maker Montpellier France Flamed maple backs Selecting spruce in Italy Drawing and conception of the outline Cutting the corner blocks Rough arching done with a gouge Thumb planes Cutting the purfling channel
Thicknessing the front Thicknessing the front Cutting the FF holes with a knife Scraping the inside of the instrument Sawing the scroll Sculpting the scroll with a gouge Gouging the scroll fluting Finishing with a knife
Scroll Label glued and preparation to close the instrument Neck mortise Shaping the neck Pine resin Cooking the oil varnish Adjusting the sound post Bridges

My workshop is located in the historic town centre of Montpellier where I really enjoy to work.

My greatest inspiration comes from the Italian makers of the 18th century (from Cremona, Venezia and Breccia) who perfected the sound and aesthetic beauty of the violin family.
The study of these masterpieces has lead me to search for only the finest materials. I select spruce from Italian Alps and flamed maple from Bosnia.

I draw my models based on geometric and harmonic proportions used by the ancient makers (thanks to François Denis who found this lost informations).
All the woodwork is done using cutting tools like knives, gouges, planes and scrapers in order to obtain good control and quality in the making process.
I endlessly research matters of varnish and wood treatment. By using different resin, oil and cooking tricks I can change colour, flexibility and transparency: all these details influence the personality of the sound.

Throughout the process of making, my intuition, experience and exchange with musicians influence my aesthetics and sound direction.

My instruments are performed on throughout Europe and the United States by concert artists and teachers.