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Kevin Basle

Kevin grew up in the small countryside town of Chateau-Gontier in the Loire Region, east of Brittany. Nothing predestined him to become a violin maker, having no musical background at all but listening to a lot of different genres of music certainly influenced him.

“My father had a little room in our apartment of only 2 square meters where he would work on making furniture for the house, entirely made out from scrap wood panels fetched here and there. They were beautiful and always working very well. I guess that must have intrigued me as a child and that’s probably what triggered my love for wood !”

Professionally he was aiming into designing and building kitchens. “My mum was an incredible cook and she never could afford to buy a decent one. So I promised her I would build her one, one day !”

He started his studies by doing two years of carpentry where he acquired a first diploma, for then switching for two years in joinery to acquire a higher qualification, where he would start building staircases/furniture and more importantly kitchens ! He spent some time on work experience with companies which helped him to acquire more woodworking skills, like woodturning, cabinet making etc..

But once he was in the trade, making kitchens one after the other, he realised: “It’s boring !”

During all those years of studies he would learn to play the guitar, on his own, but one day his brother dropped the guitar and it broke apart. He decided to fix it and realized that although he was already a qualified woodworker, there was a need to be more ingenious for fixing a musical instrument, he started to look on the internet to see what was the best way, and it turned out to be far trickier than expected and it needed to be absolutely perfect. So he started to wonder if that was an actual job, fixing instruments… The internet informed him that it was yes but that there was only one school per country that teaches it.

 

His will to leave his home country, to learn another language and another culture pushed him into choosing the English School. He entered the Newark School of Guitar Making in 2011 at only 19 years old, starting to make acoustic guitars according to the traditional Spanish method for two years, where he qualified with Distinction.

During this time, Kevin got fascinated by the construction of the violin, and having friends working on them at home probably developed it . So he entered the Newark School of Violin Making, taken straight away into the second year of study for having the Guitar Making background. There, he learnt to make violins from scratch but also to repair them which was what interested him at first. He qualified from NSVM in 2016. There is so much to learn, no violin maker can say he cannnot learn anymore, but that’s what makes this job so interesting!