It was written in 1823 that Conrad Graf preferred to get his soundboard wood from the Schwarzenberg (now Šumava) Forest in Southern Bohemia. There is indeed still the narrow Schwarzenberg Canal leading from the headwaters of the Moldau down to the Danube, built exclusively for transporting high-quality mountain spruce to Vienna. Various woods grown in the Czech Republic resemble those seen in old Viennese pianos.

At work

My workshop is well equipped. A man who selects wood for violin makers chooses spruce from this forest, and we work from entire logs, preparing in our workshop all acoustic, structural and decorative wood. For example, we saw our veneer, in keeping with 18th and 19th century practice, rather than using fragile modern sliced veneer. The highest degree of quality depends upon selection and preparation of material, and please do visit us to see the various steps in this process.

Lectures and museum

In my own work I follow the information I have collected during museum research and restoration, most particularly preserving the details of structure, soundboard, strings and mechanism.

Back to previous page