HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Crafting and restoring string instruments by hand.
Randell Reid married into a well-known family that’s been making violins for 11 generations.
He opened his studio in Hartford nearly 20 years ago.
“I was always painting, drawing, building things. Always very detail oriented,” explained Reid. “A lot of what you’re doing is going beyond peoples’ normal level of detail. That’s really what instrument-making is because it’s not done by a machine or anything like that. You’re really focusing in on the smallest that will make a difference in how the instrument responds.”
Reid’s craftsmanship is a lengthy process, but he believes it’s all worth it.
“It takes about 300 or 400 hours to make an instrument. I don’t rush through it. I enjoy the process, maybe make four or five a year,” he explained. “And that’s mixed in with difficult and sometimes complicated restorations that could take a year or more.”
“Doing the work and completing the work is kind of it’s own reward. The satisfaction comes from completing an instrument, making it look beautiful, and then when you’re handing it over to a client. ”
Now, the instruments, whether new or restored, are being played across the state.