Invisible touch

Invisible touch

Local man’s craft is restoring instruments to original glory

Invisible touch

Brian Epp, who restores and repairs violins, violas, cellos and other instruments out of his Durango home, says the reward is “when your client comes in and he can’t see where you’ve retouched.”
Brian Epp specializes in violin repair and restoration, but he also works on other instruments, including violas, cellos, and sometimes basses. With such a variety, he said he has a space issue.
Brian Epp estimates he repairs or restores a hundred instruments a year. Some take a week, others can take half a year.
Brian Epp performs the painstaking work of repairing the pegbox of a violin.
Brian Epp slowly scrapes away the surface of a violin before grafting a piece of wood onto the instrument in a procedure known as a flank repair.
“I’ve been a craftsman all my life,” said Brian Epp, who also loves motorcycles. Epp owns four bikes, including one he is building in his living room.
“It’s been a huge, huge help,” said Bill LaShell, right, a music teacher at Park Elementary School, who dropped by Brian Epp’s home to pick up a bass that needed repairing. In addition to the work he does for individuals, Epp also repairs instruments for Durango School District 9-R.
Brian Epp holds up a one-sixty fourth-scale violin he made himself that shares space in his violin cabinet with larger instruments.
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