Although predominanty self taught, David has attended hundreds of hours of makers' conferences and presentations and received many hours of critiques from internationally known makers at a number of venues. In 2019, Two of David's violas were singled out for AWARDS FOR VIOLA TONE, by the Southern Violin Association.
David has been playing the violin since a young boy. Through Middle School he took lessons from Mr. Edward Silvers of the Santa Clara Symphony, and in early High School studied under Mr. Walter Gras, retired of the Chicago Symphony. As a youth, he often participated in the California State Youth Orchestra comprised of students with promising skills throughout Central California. Upon entering the US Army during the Vietnam conflict, David set his instrument aside for the next 30 years.
Upon retiring from the US Army in 1995, David once again picked up his violin and realizing his love of the instrument had surpassed his ability to play, he immersed himself in the study of making violins as his top priority. He began making violins in ernest in 2004, and he has gone from part time enthusiast and community orchestra participant to full time violin maker beginning in 2014.
David uses tried and true forms based on Stradivari and Guarneri models, including the Guarneri "Plowden" and the Stradivari "Messiah" and most recently "The Antonius" which dates to 1711, at the height of Stradivari's "Golden Period from 1700 to 1720. (Famed violinist Itzak Perlman owns and plays a Strad made in 1715 and feels it is the greatest Stradivari ever made).
Each violin takes between 150 and 300 hours to produce. Many are made with woods that David has collected himself in the mountains of North Carolina, including old-growth Red Spruce from high altitudes requiring David to pack pieces out by more than 2 miles of trail to the nearest Forest Service roads. Others may be made of woods from Canadian and European forests.
Every violin is fitted with fine ebony or boxwood fittings, and in most cases, Pirastro - Obligato strings. Each has been played for many, many hours (perhaps up to one hundred), and finely adjusted for their best performance. They do not need to be "played in."