Previous to 1990 Lee Guthrie made his living as a land surveyor and civil engineering technician. He began playing old-time southern fiddle music in 1974 and that led to an interest in violins. He Had always been handy with various woodworking projects from furniture to building a 17’ sloop. In 1978 He had a bow rehaired by the bow maker at the local music store and was so impressed with the transformation of that old violin bow that he inquired about the training involved in getting into the business.
As a result Lee Guthrie attended the string instrument repair course at Red Wing (Minnesota) Technical College from 1978-79. Throughout the 80’s he did occasional repair work on violins and bows, keeping the more secure job of surveying. In 1990 he finally decided to make the leap and attended two sessions of bow making instruction with bow maker William Salchow at the University of New Hampshire. In the fall of 1990, he began bow making full-time. It worked!
The musicians choice for bows
By the mid 90’s he had been successful in placing bows with some of the best players in the world. Lee continued to serve musicians around the world and am happy to be working in a trade that is tremendously satisfying and infinitely challenging. Lee said “I’ll never learn all there is about this fascinating craft, which insures a never-ending interest in it. Every summer since 1996 I’ve attended a two-week workshop at Oberlin College where bow makers from around the world get together and swap techniques and ideas and share close camaraderie.”
Lee says his goal in bow making is to match the bow to the musician and the instrument and for the musician to be completely happy with his bow. He works with the musician’s particular needs to accomplish this. Using the finest materials available, these bows display excellent playing qualities and have the ability to produce the full, beautiful sound required by both soloists and orchestra members.