‘This might be the smallest workshop ever featured in The Strad’ - My Space: Ilja Grawert

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A look at the luthier’s travelling workshop near the Australian Whitsunday Islands

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I love having a beautiful environment to do my work in, and I’ve built my business around that ideal. My main violin shop is situated in Brisbane, but five years ago I went about 650 miles north and bought seven acres of land on the north-east coast of Queensland. I got the idea that I’d like to make instruments while being inspired and surrounded by nature, so I bought a 13-ton truck and built a violin workshop into it. Now I mainly work in my truck workshop and spend time working on new instruments and the more intricate repair and restoration work, but five times a year I’ll go down to Brisbane for two to three weeks to deliver finished instruments and service violins. There are several national parks around here, and I can drive out to any of them and work there in peace and quiet; the weather’s beautiful and I can’t think of anything better. At 9 sq m (2.4m x 3.5m), this might be the smallest workshop that’s ever been featured in The Strad

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