Sharon Que portrait photo

I was born with the name Sharon Querciagrossa and shortly thereafter it was changed for ease in pronunciation. Querciagrossa is difficult to pronounce but I like the origins of it. It literally translates as “big oak” but when I speak with my relatives from Emilia Romagna in Italy the more accurate local definition is “the most robust oak tree on the mountain”.

I completed my undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, School of Art, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The following year I started my woodworking career with an apprenticeship at General Motors for Wood Model Making. When completed I received my journeyman’s card in this rare and wonderful program. In this apprenticeship I developed my skills of precision woodworking and the ability to analyze forms in two and three dimensions.

So then with my fine arts degree and a journeyman’s card in wood model making, I entered into the violin world through the shop of Curtin and Alf as a violin making assistant. I worked there 7 years refining my ability to work in a precise way with repeatable results, designing jigs and tools to aid in this process and developing a core knowledge of the violin and how it functions. I then continued with Joseph Curtin Studios another 5 years. All this time was very well spent expanding my violin knowledge and woodworking skills on interesting projects amongst fantastic makers.

In 2001 I opened my violin shop with most of my time being devoted to restoring violins and violas. Attending workshops with Hans Nebel and at Oberlin College have contributed greatly to my knowledge. I’m also happy to assist new violinmakers, do small repairs and construct new violins. I became a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers in 2006. Most years I attend workshops and conferences to keep up with any new techniques and expand on what knowledge is available. I have published and taught a workshop on the procedure for molding violins in R.T.V. rubber and casting the urethane positives. The most up to date article will be published in The Pau-Brasil Conservation Project. Frequently I travel to Parma, Italy and work in cooperation with Scrollavezza & Zanrè.

My professional interests extend to my ongoing work in sculpture. There is a great relationship I have between working on violins and sculpture with each one informing the other.

Ann Arbor has been a fantastic place to live and work with so many colleagues involved at such a high level and the proximity to Oberlin College.