Monday, March 25, 2013

Look for me on ...

The Philip Smith Luthier blog is having a temporary break as a swish new website/blog is being developed and will be launched soon. 

In the meantime, please follow my work and words and like and share on my Facebook page .

Looking forward to seeing you there. 


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 has kicked off and now that the festivities are over, and I am fully installed in my new atelier (with deck) the working year is all go already.

Violin number 17 is almost finished. This instrument will be off to its new home in Queensland for predominantly folk stylings very soon. The heat we have been experiencing, has provided good varnish drying weather, but has wreaked havoc in the form of bush fires all over our island. Sympathies to all those who have suffered loss in this catastrophe. If anyone would like to join me in contributing to the appeal, donations can be made here.

Number 17 is a my version of a the Kruse Stadivarius model 1721. The violin will be sporting geared pegs and an asymmetrical tailpiece, both resulting in improved sound quality. 

My next commission is an exciting one -  a viola, my second to be commissioned by a violist in the TSO. Philip Smith viola's will make up 2 out of the 5 viola's in the TSO,when this viola is completed. The instrument has been commissioned with assistance from Arts Tasmania and our Premier sent a note to the player mentioning how wonderful it was to have a maker in Tasmania who can provide quality instruments to the TSO - it was very encouraging and I was well chuffed to hear it. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Philip Smith Luthier is Moving!

Dear Friends, 

I have exciting news. After 10 years, I have finally burst out of the little shop in St John Street. I am moving to a bigger and better, purpose built atelier in South Launceston with more than enough room to swing a cat.

Nothing will change apart from the address, there is now no landline number and the coffee will be made on the premises rather than bought from the great cafe down the road. 

The move is going ahead tomorrow so by next week, Monday 3 December. I will be ready to receive customers and to show off the new Philip Smith Luthier atelier. 

Please call for an appointment on 0422 945 752 or email me at


Kind regards,

Philip Smith Luthier
Violin Viola Cello Double Bass 

South Launceston
Mobile 0422 945 752

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It has been a long time between posts, hasn't it? I have been up to my ears in some very interesting and challenging work which I plan to update you with over the next few posts. The most exciting news I have to tell you is that I am having a new workshop, or atelier, as I prefer it to be known, built for me. The work is progressing fast and as it gets closer the excitement is building. This space will be a lot bigger than my little shop, (which is not difficult, as many of you know, my shop is approximately the size of a postage stamp). The new space will have lots of natural light, proper insulation and the opportunity for my customers to make appointmetnts to visit and receive my undivided attention without interruption by random drops-ins trying to convince me to change my name to Stradivarius. I won't miss the other random interruptions from off-chance passers by that are always right in the middle of  things like a delicate gluing or varnishing processes. You wouldn't believe the number of people who drop in just to enquire, with incredulous looks on their faces, as to whether or not I could possibly make any money out of this work. Very encouraging!

I have been in my little shop at the "Paris end of St John St" for ten years, almost, and it has been sad to see this building bought by a developer with little sympathy for the heritage of the building. The recent redevelopment has changed the old and quirky character of this block and diminished the space available for my work and so it seems like the perfect opportunity to bite the bullet and move to a new and bigger space.  I'll miss the neighbours though, Graham the horologist, the Milkbar guys who have fed and kept me in coffee for the last few months and the other interesting and diverse small business owners that operate on this end of the street.

I am yet to set the date for the move but will post it here and contatc all my customers once that has been confirmed.

Meanwhile the Philip Smith Luthier atelier progresses and I am looking forward to working and welcoming you there. Here are some pics of the work so far.

Monday, February 13, 2012


This is my 35th instrument played beautifully here by Alex. This violin is brand new and this is the first time it has been played. It is my version of the Kruse Stradivari dating from 1721. It has a strong and robust sound with great depth and projection. It is also very quick to respond which means it takes little effort to create a sound, an aspect that my instruments have become known for. It is being delivered to its new owner today, hopefully I will get to hear it again after it has been played it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cello Numero Dieci

This is cello no. 10 in the white being played by a 'mystery cellist'.
Based on 'The Sleeping Beauty' Montagnana made circa 1739. This is my preferred model, because of its broad proportions which results in robust, earthy sound with much depth and presence (like a fine wine or a good woman). I always have players test out an instrument in the white before the final varnish, to gauge the instrument's potential and for final adjustments. This particular instrument has an excellent open sounding A string and more C string than you know what to do with. Thanks very much to my willing mystery cellist!

The cello is currently being varnished and polished to within an inch of its life, as is required. And is soon to be heard in a southern Tasmanian venue near you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Secret Ingredient

The Philip Smith Double Bass bow No. 2 without underslide.

In the words of Kung Fu Panda,
'There is no charge for awesomeness or attractiveness."