tue 23/07/2024

We Made It: Double Bass Maker Laurence Dixon | reviews, news & interviews

We Made It: Double Bass Maker Laurence Dixon

We Made It: Double Bass Maker Laurence Dixon

Love at first sight, a six-day week and the satisfaction of a job well done

The secrets of a double bass maker: 'I woke up the next morning with it in my bed next to me'Photo: Alex Daltas

Double bass maker Laurence Dixon has solid oak floors in his new shop-front in Herne Hill, south London. The solid oak door which leads to the workshop behind has three (not two) solid bronze hinges and settles into its solid oak frame as softly as a cloud and as solidly as a slab of marble. In an unguarded moment, he refers to his favourite hand plane – a tool of cast iron, bronze and razor-sharp carbon steel – as “my baby”.

It is no surprise when he later drops in to conversation that he has “always had an obsession with things doing what they’re supposed to do” and gets “the heebie-jeebies with things that look pretty and don’t function properly”. His daily work is a testament to that feeling: double basses may be delicate compared to, say, a chest of drawers but, bar a few decorative flourishes, they are entirely functional: their size, shape and materials chosen for the task at hand. And like any working object, they are subject to wear and tear; they require maintenance, new parts, setting up for a new owner, rescuing from an unfortunate accident. That’s when you need Laurence Dixon. Read the full interview on the Bruichladdich site.

Read other articles in We Made It, our series on craft in partnership with Bruichladdich



I get the heebie-jeebies with things that look pretty and don’t function properly

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