(All photos © Henry Strobel)
Here is the first cello I made about twenty years ago for the prominent Oregon cellist, Mary Johnson. Her daughter Rhonda of the Salem Chamber Orchestra has now performed on it exclusively for many years.
Here is the first violin I made forty years ago with its owner, my son George Strobel. It was made with prime Yugoslavian maple, tools, and patterns from my late friend and advisor Mittenwald graduate, teacher, and connoisseur Leon LaFosse of Palo Alto.
Two more recent Strobel violins with their owners. Left, Jim Charnholm, and Matt Manary. Below: Mr. Charnholm's 1992 Strobel violin in 2002. Like my other best instruments, it's made from wonderful Oregon trees.
Here are a couple of backyard snaps of a small viola I just completed as the demonstration viola for Viola Making, Step by Step. It is only 397 mm long (15 5/8 in), with the size and outline of a fine viola by Gasparo da Salo. Other style elements are mine. Despite its small size it is wonderful sounding and easy to play, with a 141 mm neck and a 212 mm stop. It has the same style and varnish, and is made from the same maple tree as the violin and cello that were demonstrated in Violin Making, Step by Step and Cello Making, Step by Step.
Here is a collage of an earlier Strobel viola in a different, "da Salo," style, but built on the same mold as the first.
Here are front and back views of a violin I made in 1982. The back is of an unusual and striking piece of slab-cut maple I had bought from my advisor in the '60s, Leon LaFosse. Here is also a detail showing the varnish at the lower back of this violin. The interesting "crackle" effect is the result of a (Bismarck brown) colored spirit varnish applied over a yellow oil varnish.
The construction of this violin provided illustrations for "Violin Making, Step by Step".
The same intertwined double purfling pattern is seen below on the back of this small viola made in 1987.
An illustration from "Cello Making, Step by Step" shows a newly cut sound hole in a Strobel cello. The wood surface here is scraped, unsanded, and unvarnished.