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Rosie Smith

Love this viola it’s so beautiful!  And the bow – your man has done a fab job.  I had my first viola lesson the day it arrived, I can see I’ll have to get past those scraping noises before I find out how wonderfully this instrument can play!

It had always been one of my ambitions in life to be able to play the viola.  However as a long time vegetarian turned vegan, I soon found that there were particular obstacles that prevented me from obtaining an instrument.  In particular, I found it VERY difficult to find a bow anywhere that was completely free of animal products.  The hair on the bow was from slaughtered horses, the slide or eye made from abalone and mother of pearl (also exploited by cruel practices), and other materials such as leather, snakeskin, bone and sometimes even ivory.  My heart sank – perhaps playing this instrument was never to be.

But I don’t give up so easily, and I’m glad I didn’t.  After a few e-mails to different music shops, I learned that many student instruments tend to use a low melting point resin glue rather than animal hide glue.  This was good news – now if only I could find a bow that used synthetic strings…

It was then that I stumbled across Coruss hair on the Cardiff Violins website.  At last, synthetic bow hair for the viola!  It DID exist!  I was so excited – I got in touch with Cardiff Violins immediately about buying an outfit from them with a completely customized bow.  Being vegetarians themselves, they completely understood my problem.  They were extremely helpful and more than happy to fulfill my needs, replacing the horsehair with Coruss hair, removing the leather thumbgrip and shell, and replacing the slide with ebony instead.  They did an absolutely AMAZING job, and without their help I would probably never have had the chance to play.  Thank you so much Cardiff Violins!