Monday, May 5, 2014

2014 NW Handmade Musical Instrument Exhibit

We got off for a quick weekend to the Portland area to see the goings on at the Northwest Handmade Musical Instrument Exhibit.  It was a worthwhile trip.

The Exhibit is set-up in a Marylhurst University building in Lake Oswego, Oregon (just south of Portland).

The place was hopping with exhibitors and folks interested in seeing new and different instruments.  Lots of talking, lots of playing.

One of the makers I wanted to meet in person was Chet Bishop.

Myself (left) and Chet Bishop (right). Chet and I have 'spoken' to each other via e-mail and forums for years, but have never met in person before. I got to play all his violins and violas here, and nicely done they were. We had a good discussion of arching and wood types, and a general whining about varnish woes.

Being mostly interested in violins, I spent most of my time talking to the 10% of the exhibitors who were violinmakers.

I took a week-long violin set-up course from Paul Schuback in 2007 at the College of the Redwoods (Eureka, California).  We had a nice chat, and he gave a very useful critique of one of my violins.  It's that sort of information that is so useful to makers, and one of the things that makes these sort of events so useful.

Lynn Berg, Eugene, Oregon, and some of his Hardangar fiddles.  I had one of his Hardangars in my shop some years ago, a very interesting and intricate instrument.  I like the sound.  We spoke for a few minutes about the building of Hardangars.  He seems busy building these instruments.

And, some of you may have notice in the background -- ukuleles!

Near Chet Bishop's display was Kerr Violins (Portland).  I spoke with Mr. Overstreet (?) here (I'm terrible with names and forgot to write it down).   

Andy Emert, who also works at Kerr, was elsewhere this day.  Andy is a champion fiddler and is always stops in at our shop during the Weiser contest.

A few other scenes from the event as I saw it.

For more photos, taken by Chet Bishop, before the doors were open, you can go to his Fiddle Hangout post.


  1. Actually, Ken, I rather envy you-- you got to mosey around and experience the show...I feel pretty obiged to "work" my table. But it was great meeting you there, and seeing your work.


  2. Any decent baritone ukuleles to consider??

  3. Chet, it was great to meet you, too. And I know the feeling of being stuck to your table -- don't want to miss any one who might come by.

    Brett, I didn't play any, but lots of really nice looking ones.