Comstock's magazine 0219 - February 2019 - Page 85

SEE THE FINAL PRODUCT AT COMSTOCKSMAG.COM PHOTOS: FRED GREAVES, CAPTION: SENA CHRISTIAN THE SOUND OF MUSIC For violin maker Cheryl Macomber, much of the time she could spend making new instruments in her Sacramento shop gets diverted to repairs and restorations. Here she repairs an old viola (pictured top) as shop helper Tim Winters outlines the shape of a new violin on a piece of wood. Macomber primarily makes violins, an intensive process that begins with carefully selecting the wood — spruce for the top and maple for the back — for the body of the instrument, a decision she bases on tone and beauty. Eventually, she cuts out the scroll (bottom left), the decoratively carved beginning of the violin’s neck on which the fingerboard is mounted. After completing more steps over several months, she selects the varnish (bottom right), and the finished violin will sell for $10,000. In 1999, Macomber began apprenticing for Master Violin Maker Albert Muller. She had been bringing her bows to his shop off El Camino Avenue for repairs until one day he gave her a book on the craft and asked if she would like to make a violin. “I was hooked, and I quit everything else,” she says. Macomber took over the shop in 2006 and has since made 45 violins, seven cellos, seven harps and five violas. n February 2019 | 85