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Meet the Maker: Michael Darnton

Meet the Maker: Michael Darnton

by Jonathon Peterson

Originally published in American Lutherie #27, 1991 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004

How did your lutherie career get started?

I started playing cello when I was in 6th grade and immediately got more interested in the instrument than I was in the playing. When I was about twelve years old I got some money for Christmas from my grandmother. The very next day I ran out and bought Heron-Allen’s Violin Making, As It Was and Is, which I had spotted at a local bookstore. I talked to my mother a couple of weeks ago and she told me that she took one look at the book and thought, “This is a waste of money! He’s never going to do anything with it. It’s much too complex.” But she was wrong. I really surprised her.

It took awhile to get around to it, though. Five or six years later I bought a piece of wood and some tools. I started a violin, but I didn’t get very far. I just put the whole thing aside.

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