The ABYSO welcomed Keith Graves of the UK-based charity Luthiers without Borders for his third visit to Antigua. Keith spent 10 days on Island conducting the workshops alongside maintenance work for the ABYSO string instruments. The trainees were Clibert Hector, a veteran of the previous workshops who has developed extensive knowledge of string instrument repair.
Two new trainees, Felicia Edwards and Jonathan Mills, both violinists with ABYSO with an interest in the practical aspects of the instrument, were also added to the training programme. The new trainees were taught how to reset a soundpost as well as introduced to the measurements, proportions and placement of instrument parts such as the fingerboard, bridge and soundpost. They were also taught how to sharpen the tools and the art of setting and using bench planes.
At the end of the workshop, over 25 instruments were repaired including the rehairing of 10 bows. Hector took on some of the more advanced work and Felicia and Jonathan both fitted new bridges to violins and cellos. Parents were invited to bring instruments for checking and this gave the trainees some experience in dealing with customers.
Speaking of the workshop, Keith stated “Overall I felt the workshop could not have gone better. The trainees showed huge potential and were highly motivated to continue the work and training in the future. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them”.
The ABYSO will work with LsF to set up a fully functioning instrument repair workshop in the future. LSF-UK is part of the international network ‘Luthiers Sans Frontières’. It is comprised of professional luthiers who offer free training missions of 2-3 weeks in countries where there are no skilled repairers of instruments and bows of the violin family.