ACOUSTIC FIDDLE “THE RED FOX” was made by Dorothy Smith in 2005. Maker of bows and fine stringed instruments, Dorothy Smith combines her love of the old Italian Masters with a passion for the eclectic world of fiddles. She has been a student of the mysteries of the violin for many years, including extensive research into the Medici era and the rise of the Guaneri family of violin makers in Italy, the veritably “alchemic” formulas for violin varnish, a collector of instrument wood for decades, a lover of the craft and incredible talent.
Hanging out with Dorothy is like going to Mystery School, following the intertwining, historical path of the violin. Her shop is like walking into Giuseppe’s workshop in Pinocchio, complete with the smells of wood shavings, rosin, saffron, and venetian turpentine.
My Red Fox violin has an amazing, powerful voice, with a “whiskey” edge that I adore.
Dorothy works and lives in Bellingham, Washington, and has a shop called Allegro Strings up above Piper Music. She can be reached at (360) 671-8059
ELECTRIC FIVE STRING VIOLA “WICKED GRACE ” was custom built for Anna in 1996-7 by luthier Stephen Smith of Taos, NM.
This beautiful instrument features an ebony carved ravens head in place of the traditional scroll, a Zeta stratos pick up system, and a solid maple body. Wicked Grace is the instrument that led me to create the Raven Project CD to feature it’s unique sound, resulting in my working with Canadian multi-instrumentalist David MacVittie, as well as creating Raven Fiddle Productions. Stephen Smith is in such demand he is rather hard to get a hold of. A fantastic person and master at his craft, I count myself very lucky to have one of his instruments.
Detail Electric FIve String Viola”Wicked Grace”
Anna with luthier Stephen Smith and the piece of wood
that would become “Wicked Grace.”
“Wicked Grace” in her pre-assembled state.
ELECTRIC VIOLIN “LITTLE SISTER ” IS A ZETA – One of the most popular and responsive electric violins. This violin just plays extremely well – it has one of the best fingerboard set-ups I’ve come across – just a particularly good one. Not to mention it’s COOL!
NED STEINBERGER ELECTRIC FIVE STRING VIOLIN – I came across Ned Steinberger and his amazing instruments at the 2001 NAM show in LA, and had to have one. I played this instrument a good deal with the SFU pipe band, including the live CD recording and concert at the Sydney Opera House. It has a built in preamp which creates an exemplary acoustic tone, as well as two other presets – electric and pizzicato, which are also unique to his instruments.
Anna’s String Family; pictured (from front to back):
Ned Steinberger Electric Five String Violin,
Electric Five String Viola “Wicked Grace,
Acoustic Fiddle “The Red Fox”
Zeta Electric Violin “Little Sister”