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OKG Artist: Arsenios Corbishley

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Arsenios Corbishley makes violins, violas and cellos in his shop in Farmers Market District. - NEISHA T. FORD
  • Neisha T. Ford
  • Arsenios Corbishley makes violins, violas and cellos in his shop in Farmers Market District.
luthier noun
lu·​thi·​er | \ `lü-tē-ər , -thē-ər \Definition of luthier: one who makes stringed musical instruments (such as violins or guitars)

Oklahoma Gazette: How did you get into the world of violin making, also known as being a luthier?

Arsenios Corbishley: I got into violinmaking kind of by accident. I was a cellist and started working in a violin shop when I was 17. I worked there through college and a few years afterward, but nobody there had formal training. I went to the Chicago School of Violin Making in 2009 and finished in 2012 to learn how to make instruments. I have been working on my own in OKC since.

OKG: On average, how long does it take to make a violin?

Corbishley: I make new violins, violas and cellos as well as do repair and restoration work. If I were to only make new instruments, I could have one finished in a few months. On average, I make four to five instruments a year.

OKG: You are creating these from scratch, including the varnish ... along with using techniques that are primarily done by hand?

Corbishley: The instruments I make are handmade. All of the materials are hand-selected and aged at least 10 years. I model my instruments after classic masters, with a few variations for modern tastes.
Arsenios Corbishley makes violins, violas and cellos in his shop in Farmers Market District. - NEISHA T. FORD
  • Neisha T. Ford
  • Arsenios Corbishley makes violins, violas and cellos in his shop in Farmers Market District.

OKG: Do you have a signature aspect to your instrument that establishes your name?

Corbishley: The craft of violin making is really pretty subtle. Anyone can make a violin-shaped thing, and it will always sound like a violin. The devil is definitely in the details. My work has elements that tie each instrument to the next, but as an individual still relatively early in my career, I try to always improve the aesthetic as well as the performance and functionality of the instruments I make.

OKG: What is most important when making an instrument, functionality or artistic expression?

Corbishley: The instruments I make are foremost tools. They are utilized by musicians as a means to an end but rarely are the end in itself. While violins are beautiful in their own right, they require humans with the skill and passion to shape them into vehicles for expression.
OKG: What music styles inspire you?

Corbishley: I am a classically trained cellist, but you will rarely find that kind of music in my shop. I listen to everything from hip-hop to indie rock and folk, audiobooks, podcasts and silence. Most of my clients are classically trained or are bluegrass musicians.

@corbishleyviolins
corbishleyviolins.com
1205 SW Second St. 

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