“My work is to make bows that are a natural extension of the arm with balance, strength, tone, flexibility, and many other attributes, making a bow that becomes a living entity with its own ‘soul’. As a cellist myself, I have the player’s understanding of the complexities which a bow must handle, and as a maker the satisfaction of these (sometimes contradictory) requirements gives me my greatest pleasure.”
‘Soul’ for Howard means that undefinable quality that works with the player’s technique to turn notes into music. ‘Soul’ means a player’s instant realisation that something special is happening after playing the first few notes. ‘Soul’ means an abundance of empathy between the player and the bow.
Howard personally makes every element of his bows and insists on using materials of the highest quality. Metal parts, for example, the shield inlays, are bent and soldered in place where needed and then hand-formed. All this individual preparation of parts inevitably makes for a significantly longer build-time, but results in bows with originality, personality and individuality. Howard’s inspiration is his drive to make a bow in harmony with both player and instrument.