Mark’s process of making handcrafted violas is much the same to his violin making process. Violas are slightly larger than violins and have a deeper sound. Mark focuses first and foremost on the tone of the instrument, which starts with the wood.
A Bluett viola will be made with highest quality woods available. These violas are perfect for classical viola players, With each instrument, Mark takes the necessary amount of time to read and finish the wood, taking note of all the intricacies of the wood’s grain and weight.
As an experienced viola luthier, Mark has developed a keen understanding of density and stability of wood needed to craft the best handmade violas. During the carving process, he uses tap tones to determine the right level of evenness and clarity for every instrument. This is a detailed process, but one that Mark takes pride in because it is rewarding in the end.
Lastly, Mark will thoroughly test the playability of the viola, ensuring that the instrument can be played with ease, while eliciting beautiful tone.
If you are interested in adding a custom carving on the back of the scroll, Mark will be happy to accommodate. Call or visit the shop to discuss details, and he will sketch out any custom designs you’re interested in. With this high level of care for quality and attention to detail, you can be sure that you’ll end up with the beautiful instrument that you desire.
Mark’s latest conquest in providing great tone and richness of sound has been achieved with his Tertis model violas. These are either 16 1/2 or 16 3/4 inch sized instruments. These violas tend to be the perfect contrast in tone between the violin and cello. A great viola sound is very important in a string quartet.
Mark also offers viola repairs and restoration services for all types of violas.