I continue to make a personal 16-inch model (three of three which are sold!), this next one of American red spruce and soft maple, the woods same type as the very successful viola no.1, loved and played by Leslie Bahler of Buffalo, New York (who BTW enjoys playing on her Griffin violin, as well!).
I've chosen a two-piece maple back of strikingly beautiful figure, and Eastern red spruce, that shares characteristics of European alpine spruce.
Additionally, I'm currently making a copy of a rare, almost untouched, and recently highly documented 41.0 centimeter (16-inch) viola ("alto") by Girolamo Amati c.1625, using premium European tonewoods, including one-piece back, like the original. I'm very excited to have this reference book from which to learn the Amatis tradition. It features CT scans that almost exceed the benefits of having the actual viola in hand. It should be said that one is also studying Stradivari's tradition, he himself having learned making from Nicolo Amati. It is educational and stimulating to identify the specific design and making techniques that passed from Andrea Amati, to Nicolo, and all his Cremonese students, birth of Stadivari's foundation from which he soared.
Previous violas I've made include back wood of butternut, a softer hardwood that lends a buttery sound and markedly beautiful grain. I'm anticipating trying some walnut after these next violas are completed. Two of my customers each enjoy owning & playing both my handmade viola and violin!