Violin making, in it’s highest form, is done today as it has been done for centuries. The tools used are the same type of gouges, scrapers and planes that had been used by the early masters.
The smells of resins from the varnishes hand applied, of the curls of wood blanketing the floor, and the soot of the candle used to stamp the Jansma name into the bridge – all carry the senses to a time long ago in artistic history.
The Jansma Violin Shop is unique in it’s purity. Visitors enter directly into the workshop where they are greeted by the luthier who will be handling their instrument. Visiting musicians make a long journey to this shop off the beaten path, to see the man they most trust with their instrument.
Violins have enthralled both violinists and audiences for centuries. Their mystical appeal is associated with the fact that their construction has remained unchanged, and their "secrets" have remained, despite the modern and technological eras.
Tim has studied and performed upon the finest examples of instruments from the great masters of antiquity. He works closely with musicians having the most sensitive and discerning tastes and seek a certain quality of sound. He has a lifetime of experience in the applied study of the stringed instrument.
Tim is frequently asked by schools, universities and civic groups to speak on the subjects of violin making, history, care and restoration. He has been interviewed on NPR, WZZM, WBLV, WOTV and PBS.
Groups who visit us have the opportunity to see the making of an instrument in it's various stages. They learn about the tonewoods selected and often savor the various smells of the resins of the varnish. The tools applied to the violin making process are numerous and unique. Visitors are encouraged to ask as many questions as they'd like, which leads to great conversations. We have many groups return time and again, such as this group from Blue Lake's amateur string camp "Chamber Music for Fun".
Tim feels it is important for a violin maker to spend a portion of his time doing repairs and restoration. The Jansma Violin Shop is pleased to offer full restoration service, as well as bow rehair and repair service. Insurance values of instruments and bows can also be appraised at the Jansma Violin Shop.
It is very common to receive calls here at the Jansma Violin Shop asking if the violin inherited from great-grandpa could be a genuine Stradivari, or Amati or whatever the label says inside. Before getting too hopeful that your family heirloom may be your retirement package, please read the following information:
The label inside the instrument, usually seen when you look through the f-hole, is commonly a copy and is not reliable as a means to identify the origin of the instrument. Copying other makers' instruments in every detail, right down to the label, has been practiced for centuries - long before copyright laws were designed. Some copies are quite good and have merit - and value. Others are merely crude factory production pieces, made by the millions, and are not worth the cost of a new set of strings. The best way to know if your instrument has value is to bring it, along with any papers that came with the instrument, to a reliable shop for assessment.Copyright © Jansma Violin Shop, Fremont, Michigan 49412 | Phone 231-924-0657