Martin resides in the Chicago area and with the exception of one year has been a lifelong resident of
Illinois. At a young age, he inherited his father's fascination with how things worked, how they were
made, and why they were made the way they were. This fascination led to a wide variety of interests
including cycling, geology, metalworking, woodworking, astronomy, aviation, the space program, all
things mechanical, and music of all types.
Before the advent of shopping malls and video games, Martin (and most of his family) occupied
whatever time they could with "building stuff". The "stuff" that Martin built began with models of
planes, trains, automobiles, rockets, and boats. At the age of 12, he and a few brothers became the first
kids on the block to achieve manned flight. Based on principles of building a flying model as taught by
his father, Martin and the boys built a glider with a wingspan of 22 feet. After a short, but spectacular
flight, his parents encouraged activities that didn't involve leaving the ground. The 9 year old test pilot
was not seriously injured.
After graduating high school, he went to work as a machinist for his father's small job shop. There he
learned a great deal about how things worked, and how they were designed and manufactured. The
skills learned early on in the machine-building trade opened the doors to many different trades from
boat building to automation design to eventually a position as director of engineering for a firm
specializing in custom manufacturing systems. All through the wide variety of occupations he engaged
in over the last 43 years, he has nurtured an interest in stringed instruments and the customization and
repair of same.
After years of setting up, repairing, restoring, and modifying stringed instruments of all types, a
fascination with the violin in particular led to more and more fiddle work, learning to play, and
ultimately to building one for himself. Embarking on a quest for a better instrument, Martin spent
several years studying everything he could get his hands on regarding violin making, it's history, and its
course to the present time. In addition to self-study, he had the tremendous privilege and good fortune
of "inheriting" a good portion of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the late Manfred Reinl,
third generation master violin maker who's shop was a short drive away.
Martin's background as an expert woodcarver, technician, engineer, luthier, and musician has enabled
him to produce a world-class instrument, recognized not only for it's power and balanced tone, but also
for exceptional craftsmanship.
As a full time luthier, Martin is able to tailor his instruments to the needs and desires of musicians from
classical to country. He brings to the craft knowledge, experience, and a passion for excellence in
- makes bows for
- restores bows for
- Marengo (Il) - US