My workshop is located in the historic town centre of Montpellier where I really enjoy to work.
My greatest inspiration comes from the Italian makers of the 18th century (from Cremona, Venezia and Breccia) who perfected the sound and aesthetic beauty of the violin family.
The study of these masterpieces has lead me to search for only the finest materials. I select spruce from Italian Alps and flamed maple from Bosnia.
I draw my models based on geometric and harmonic proportions used by the ancient makers (thanks to François Denis who found this lost informations).
All the woodwork is done using cutting tools like knives, gouges, planes and scrapers in order to obtain good control and quality in the making process.
I endlessly research matters of varnish and wood treatment. By using different resin, oil and cooking tricks I can change colour, flexibility and transparency: all these details influence the personality of the sound.
Throughout the process of making, my intuition, experience and exchange with musicians influence my aesthetics and sound direction.
My instruments are performed on throughout Europe and the United States by concert artists and teachers.
Nicolas Gilles Violin Maker in Villeneuvette - France
Making of violin, viola and cello