The purple heart is the violin that started this Journey and passion for me back in 1994 with a request from my teenage son for me to make him a blonde violin with fittings made with the purple heart wood that I was using for other projects in my shop. I told him that I knew nothing about making a violin, but he wasn't going to take no for an answer and said let's go to the library and get a book. Fairly certain that we wouldn't find a book on making violins at our library, I said okay let's go look. When we got there, to my surprise we found a book called "The Violin Builder's Primer" written by a maker in Springfield, Missouri named Houston Taylor. This little book was very well written and had a lot of excellent hand drawn illustrations. After skimming through it real quick, I'm thinking maybe I can do this. So we checked it out and so started the most satisfying thing I have ever done. The book had a great bibliography in the back and a list of places to buy wood and the supplies that we needed, so we placed an order for some European Spruce and Maple from the International Violin Company and we were off to the races.
This violin consumed me for months until it was finished. I couldn't wait to get home from work so that I could work on it. The only accessories that I didn't make for this violin were the bridge and the strings.
While working on this one, I was already planning more, so I knew I had found something that would be a lifelong passion for me. When I look at this violin today, I immediately see all my mistakes and things that I maybe should have done differently, but it still has special meaning to me, and at the time I thought it was just perfect.