Roderick F. Smith
Roderick Smith was born in Rabaul, November 1938, and grew up on the North shore of Sydney Australia. Much of his life was spent wandering the floors on his grandfather's (Arthur Smith) and his mother's workshop, so it comes as no surprise that in 1955 he began his career, in the study of repair and restoration techniques to the violin family of instruments, in the workshop of his grandfather's business A.E. SMITH & Co. Pty.,Ltd., and so begins the third generation of Smiths' Violins. Roderick's early career saw him specializing in bow restoration, with the progression to the art of violin making to follow. His tutor and mentor was his grandfather Arthur E. Smith, along with the continued supervision of his mother Kitty Smith.
In 1972 Roderick left the family business to open his own shop selling, repairing and restoring instruments in Adelaide South Aust. He became repair contractor to the Education Dept. of South Australia, whilst continuing to make his own instruments. Also during this time conducted a number of experiments into viola shape & size. Rodericks reputation for being a fine and distinguished violin maker, was fast becoming apparent.
In 1984 returned to Sydney, severely restricting repair work, pursued his earlier findings on shape and sizeing for viola, concentrating on the making of intruments, moved around a little during this time eventually arrived in Brisbane late 1988, with his entire immediate family, wife married daughthers and sundry grandchildren.
Roderick F. Smith has earned the reputation as a maker of fine quality violins, violas and cellos. His instruments sought after and used by professional musicians in America, Switzerland, England, Germany, Austria and of course Australia. Along with these fine instruments Roderick produces instruments specifically designed to suit students, at a student budget, whilst keeping to the quality he has become known for.
The exceptional artistic ability in the art of violin making and Bow making, has been passed down through 3 generations of Smiths. If Arthur E. Smith were alive today he would be proud of a tradition he began over 100 years ago.
Author; Deborah Peacock