Viola Models

     The viola making offers a lot more variety than is available in the construction of the violin. The size can vary widely, with as much as 2 inches difference in length over what are accepted as the extremes of contemporary playability. There are an amazing number of models that produce great sounding violas; using a range of materials and arching styles. I make quite a few different models over a range of sizes, in a wide variety of woods.   

    In the 16 1/4 inch range, I make a number of models that are inspired by the Cremonese school, grounded in the work of the Amati family and their followers. Many of theses instruments have backs made of willow or poplar, which lends a lovely dark, yet responsive quality to their sound. 

    My Brescian inspired models, vary more greatly in size, with back lengths from 15 7/8 inches to 16 5/8 inches . I predominantly use maple, cut on the slab, in these violas, but have made some smaller sized ones in willow. The Brescian style violas have tall, robust archings and have a big powerful sound.

Viola Photos

© David Polstein 2018