Looking back

One of master luthier John Ferwerda’s violins starts to take shape in his Melbourne workshop.

“The challenge of violin making,” says John, “is to create something new from a shape and concept that is hundreds of years old.

“The design of a violin is eternal.

“The skill lies in bringing the instrument alive … in gluing together 72 basic bits of sculpted wood to create an instrument that ‘speaks’ … that is unique within its narrow paramenter.”

John is one of 34 highly-talented craftsmen and women who featured in Craft in Australia [Reed Books], a book I wrote and photographed during an earlier career.