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Marvels among the Reeds

Marvels among the Reeds

by Susan Norris

Originally published in American Lutherie #11, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000

Maybe it was my fantastic upbringing with parents who were (and are) scientists, lovers of nature and animals; people who loved to have fun and who nurtured the inquisitive mind in all of us, their children. I grew up sleeping with a bobcat curled up around my head, swimming with dolphins in warm lagoons, and tramping around in pursuit of lizards in the desert. When I think of where my inspiration comes from, these marvelous communications with animals and people from all over the world come swimming colorfully into my vision. When I walk out in the woods near our shop, the trees and mountains sing inspiration to me, and I can’t help but create in ways that speak their soul and mine combined.

A number of years ago, soon after I moved to Vermont from Oregon, where I had been studying violin making with Paul Schuback, I met Fred Carlson and Ken Riportella at a Guild convention in Boston, which I had miraculously stumbled upon. Their approach to instrument making excited me and rang true with my own feeling that instrument making is an evolving process, and perhaps it’s been getting a bit too stuck. There is absolutely no reason why it can’t continue to grow and flower along with the rest of us!

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