Kate Rickenbacker comes from a family of musicians and carpenters. She started playing the violin at age two. From there, she kept playing, often determined to keep up with the playing of her three older siblings. She enrolled at the University of Kentucky to play in the symphony orchestra and study Music Education, but she found herself called to a different path. The woodworking piece came in when she attended the Chicago School of Violin Making. After school, she worked at the renowned Seman’s Violins for seven years before moving to Black Mountain and establishing Rickenbacker Violins.
Today, Kate builds and repairs violins for musicians playing anything from classical to old time music. When building, she bases much of her work on legendary instruments built by Stradivarius and Guarneri del Gesu, but she also produces instruments from her own designs. Some of Kate’s original designs take standard violin form and offer unique and playful variations, as well as different dimensions and scale lengths. Kate usually builds around two instruments per year.
Kate designed her shop and did much of the interior carpentry. She even laid the violin shaped flagstone in the walkway. Visitors to Kate’s shop can find her at work repairing and restoring instruments, building original instruments, re-hairing bows, and more.
Open by Appointment