Meet the Rosin Maker
Andrew has always been excited by the colours, textures and aromas of the violin-making tradition. Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin evolved out of this passion, offering string players a means to directly inform and shape their rosin experience. Andrew believes the relationship between client and maker is just as relevant for rosin as for instruments and bows. With many years experience as a professional performing violinist, pedagogue, researcher and manager, Andrew wishes to continue contributing to the experiences of string players through a product that enhances their playing and indulges their senses. A graduate of Sydney Conservatorium of Music (performance) and the Australian National University (string pedagogy), Andrew has received numerous awards and prizes during his school years. He has lived and studied solo performance, chamber music and baroque music period practice in Amsterdam studying with some of Europes finest teachers. He has worked as Head of Strings and Director in regional conservatoriums, and as concert master and soloist with a number of orchestras in regional Australia.
Emma co-founded Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin with her husband Andrew. She does not play the violin, but don't let that fool you. Emma has had a varied career working with her hands. From helping on her childhood farm, to ceramics, painting, blacksmithing, jewellery making and metal working, Emma's creative talents and ideas infuse all of of Leatherwood's products design and manufacturing.
Victoria's diverse artistic skills converge at Leatherwood in Rosin making, new product development and visual conceptual design. A graduate of the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Victoria has forged her career as an editioning Print Maker, Etcher, and Phototographer, for some of Australia's finest artists. For years, her hands have been working with resins, waxes and other chemicals, and has transitioned to Rosin Maker in the most seamless way. As a Cellist and Bass player, Victoria has performed in bands and orchestras, her musical knowledge vital ingredient in her role in developing rosin recipes.
Ayah has wide-ranging interest in art, sport, travel, and immersing herself in different cultures. An excellent communicator, organiser and administrator, Ayah provides meticulous and efficient support to customers, clients, and to Leatherwood's online and administrative systems. She ensures the journey of a rosin from pot to post box is quick and smooth, and adds an artistic flair to every order that leaves the workshop.
Nick is an innovative artist, industrial designer and engineer who makes sure the workshop runs smoothly and safely. Nick is a CAD designer and 3D printer who draws, prototypes and tests new product designs, new manufacturing equipment and processes. A graduate of Fine Arts, his skills radiate across complicated online design programs, industrial mixing, production line design; and Nick has even managed to prevent his beard catching fire in a blacksmith's forge. Nick makes sure every Leatherwood Rosin is precisely measured, cut, and fastidiously finished.
Severiano is an endorsed artist, and Product representative (Europe) for Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin. Severiano is a much sought after Bass player across Europe, performing on both historic and modern instruments, including Baroque and Modern Bass, Violone, Viennese Bass, Violas da Gamba - the list goes on. While performance is his training, work, life and love, his true passion is Rosin (... and food, wine and beer). His hands helped create the Amber Range Rosin for Double Bass, one of the Bass world's most popular products. He is deeply involved in Leatherwood's research and development of new recipes and packaging design, his goal being to create a rosin recipe 'better than the last'! Severiano is available for consultation about Leatherwood's products, particularly with the Amber Range for Bass. www.severianopaoli.com
Richard is Leatherwood’s Product Representative in the Midwest of the USA. Since being awarded a Master’s Graduate from Manhattan School of Music in classical Bass, Richard’s Double Bass expertise and interests have traversed many music genres including performing as principal and section Bass with a long list of American Orchestras; to swingin’ it with Bobbie McFerrin and Foreigner on the Jazz and Pop stages. Richard has even been caught with a Tuba in his hands - we have seen the footage to prove it! Richard has recently involved himself with the products and instruments of the string world through his business Dick’s Bass, and his deep understanding of the Leatherwood products (not only the Amber range rosin for Bass…) is slowly changing the lives of performers and shops across USA.
Jeannot Maha’a, is a specialist in historical performance practice on original instruments. In addition to baroque and modern cello, he also plays double bass, viola da gamba, and violone—including the 18th century Viennese violone. Born in Honolulu, and raised in Hawaii and French Polynesia, Jeannot's initial studies were in evolutionary biology and systematics. The cello has accompanied him on his educational journey, with double bass and historical performance practice being his focus. Jeannot also founded Editions Violone, a publishing house that specializes in scholarly performing editions of rare and little-known music of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, with an emphasis on works for cello, double bass, and viol. He heads an international team of musicologists in the search for forgotten music, and has discovered many unknown pieces. Jeannot has joined the Leatherwood team as a stockist and product representative, offering warm and friendly service to string players and shops, as well as bring his diverse knowledge and experience to developing new rosin products.
As much as we rely upon rosin as a vital ingredient in sound and response enhancement, it is hard to decipher exactly how, or in what way, a generic rosin recipe enhances your sound. Some rosin brands offer no description whatsoever on their sound and response characteristics, and for those that do, the messages are often general, generic and all encompassing. More importantly, the experience of a rosin is very subjective. Two players will find their experience with one rosin vastly different because, for example, of differing types of bow, strings, bridge, instrument qualities, and even differences in their technique or playing style.
The main sound and response characteristics rosin can affect are:
Varying these characteristics in your rosin can affect brightness and projection, the amount of surface noise (the clarity of the traction), the depth / warmth or richness of sound, and the overall effectiveness of advanced techniques such as triple stopping, sautille, spiccato and sostenuto.
If you need a rosin with a stronger initial, attack, a smoother feel, a brighter sound or less surface noise, how do you go about finding one that does specifically that? Which do you buy?
Differences in playing qualities of rosin depend almost entirely upon the species of the tree, environmental and climatic conditions of where it is grown, but more so on the method of extraction from the tree and how the rosin is distilled. Rosin can be extracted in two ways. It can be ‘tapped’ from a cut in the trunk (this is called Gum Rosin), or chemically extracted from tree stump pulp using a chemical-based method (called Wood Rosin). Very generally, gum rosin tends to be more brittle and powdery, and wood rosin more tacky. Rosin can then be distilled to varying degrees resulting in the different colours from clear to dark brown / black.
Raw resin ingredients vary to a such great degree that a rosin maker has a wide choice of ingredients, all of which feel and sound different. As rosin is the interface of bow and string, the stickiness and texture of the rosin will significantly affect the vibration of the string. So when choosing a rosin, the player must consider carefully what sound and response characteristics they wish to enhance, rather than simply looking for something that might just be a welcome change from their current rosin.
For the first time in rosin history, string players can enhance their sound and response to suite their instrument, style and playing contexts.
Your bespoke rosin, as you desire it.