Back in July, Jay Durfee (the father of one of my girls that I work with at church) brought this violin to me, which he had just finished making:
I fell in love with it from the minute I laid my eyes on it. I have been playing on the same student violin that I started on back in the 4th grade, and while it has served me well, it doesn't have the ability to play as well I would like it to. In the world of violins, there is quite a difference in sound quality based on the materials used and if it is handmade or machine made. Most student violins are machine made out of artificial materials, to make it cost effective.
Jay Durfee started making and restoring violins within the last year. He is self taught (I KNOW!) and does amazing work! When he brought this violin to my house, while I loved it, I knew I couldn't afford a new violin. Not for many years. Too many other things taking precedence right now. To my shock (surprise, astonishment) he offered it to me. He said that he got really attached to his violins and that he knew one day he would have to learn to part with them to people he didn't know, but right now he would like it if I would take it and play it, and tell him about any improvements that he might make. I was flabbergasted. At first I thought, no way ... that was way too generous. The more we talked, the more I realized that he really wanted me to have it ... and it would mean a lot to him if I accepted it.
So, I accepted this precious gift with the promise of playing it lots. Not only have I fulfilled that promise (played at my mom's wedding, several duets with friends for various events, in church for Christmas, etc.), but I cherish this violin. I can't tell you how much it warms my heart. This year, Aubrey started violin in school, and I was able to turn over my old student violin to her so the legacy continues! (Okay, that is cheesy, I know!)
Since July, I have wracked my mind trying to find a way to repay Jay, besides the thank-yous and letter. Yesterday I came up with a great idea of a Christmas present. First, I did a photo shoot with my violin and came up with this awesome shot:
Then I got a see-through picture frame and printed out some black vinyl letters to come up with this sign to hang in his shop:
I really hope he likes it and that he can begin to understand just how much this violin means to me.